The nonprofit foundation’s mission is to use the power of travel to build bridges with communities worldwide.
Guaracino is joined on the board’s executive committee by Vice Chair Steve Roth, OutThink Partners; Secretary Richard Gray, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Treasurer Brianna Murphy, Trillium Asset Management.
Guaracino takes over the board leadership role from industry veteran Charlie Rounds, who secured a pivotal grant from the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation for the Foundation’s 2012 launch. Under Rounds’ direction, the Foundation made key contributions to LGBT tourism over the past two years:
- Expanded a scholarship program to support the next generation of tourism professionals; the IGLTA Foundation Building Bridges Scholarships have allowed students and small LGBT business owners to attend the IGLTA Annual Global Conventions in Chicago and Madrid. Participants have come from Brazil, Colombia, Curacao, Liberia, Suriname, Peru, and the U.S.
- Provided subsidized IGLTA memberships and convention registrations to small LGBT-welcoming businesses in emerging destinations that lack governmental support or established infrastructure for gay tourism, including tour guides/operators in Jamaica, Panama and Vietnam and a hotel in Serbia; more information about the ongoing Emerging Destinations program can be found here: www.iglta.org/emerging
- Presented the 2013 educational symposium “We’re Out, Are You in?” in New York to create dialogue between gay and mainstream travel professionals
- Hosted a volunteer day in conjunction with IGLTA’s 2013 Annual Global Convention in Chicago to benefit non-LGBT causes, including packaging food for those in need, removing litter from a local park, and beautifying the outdoor space at a elementary school
“With Charlie’s leadership and generous funding, the Foundation has embarked on exciting projects,” said Jeff Guaracino, who previously served as vice chair of IGLTA’s board of directors. “Our board is fully committed to engaging in projects that will advance LGBT tourism with research and programmatic approaches.”
Rounds will remain on the IGLTA Foundation board. Also on the board are: Jody Cole, Wild Rainbow African Safaris; Gregg Kaminsky, R Family Vacations; Charles Lapointe; Todd Ney, Brendan Vacations; Rebecca Rittgers, Themis Fund; Ed Salvato, ManAboutWorld; John Tanzella, IGLTA; and Shannon Wentworth.