Gala History

2016: 23rd Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

We are Cleveland
Tri-Chairs: Luz Pellot, Justin Weseloh & Shawn Wolfe
Location: Hilton Cleveland Downtown
Corporate Equality Award: Rockwell Automation
HRC Cleveland Choice Award: Kristi Andrasik
Torch Award: Stacy Kenney
Corporate Award Recipient: Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland
Special Guests: Conrad Ricamora & Dana Goldberg

2015: 22nd Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Equality, We’ve Only Just Begun

Tri-Chairs: Melanie Falls, Luz Pellot, & Justin Weseloh
Location: Cleveland Convention Center
Corporate Award Recipient: Consolidated Solutions
Torch Award Recipient: Equality Ohio
Leadership Award Recipient: Phyllis Harris, LGBT Community Center
Special Guests: Wendie Malick, actor, Connie Schultz, & Sherrod Brown

2014: 21st Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Progress & Pride: Turning Toward Equality
Tri-Chairs: Melanie Falls, Luz Pellot, & Eugene D. Walters
Location: Cleveland Public Auditorium
Corporate Award Recipient: Skylight Financial Group
Torch Award Recipient: United Church of Christ accepted by Dr. Rev. Edward Smith Davis
Leadership Award Recipient: Nickie Antonio
Special Guests: Alex Newell, actor & Dana Goldberg, comedian

2013: 20th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Everlasting Equality: Spotlighting 20 Years of Engagement
Co-Chairs: Alana Jochum, Wally Lanci, & Eugene D. Walters
Location: Cleveland Public Hall
Special Appearance: Jonathan Del Arco, actor
Guest Speaker: Chad Griffin, HRC President
Leadership Award Recipient: Dr. Henry Ng, Metro Health
Corporate Award Recipient: Charter One
Entertainment: Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
MC: Dana Goldberg

2012: 19th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Make Equality Count
Co-Chairs: Alana Jochum & Wally Lanci
Location: Wolstein Center Arena
Special Appearance: Lana Parilla, actress
Leadership Award Recipient: Vision Video
Corporate Award Recipient: University Hospitals

2011: 18th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Be Part of Equality
Co-Chairs: Alana Jochum & Michael Smithson
Location: Wolstein Center Arena
Special Appearance: Senator Sherrod Brown
Equality Award Recipient: Chrissie Hynde
Leadership Award Recipient: Councilman Joe Cimperman, Ward 13
Corporate Award Recipient: Progressive

2010: 17th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Expressions of Equality
Co-Chairs: Char Ligo & Michael Smithson
Location: Wolstein Center Arena
Special Appearance: Eric Stonestreet, actor
Equality Award Recipient: Cleveland Synergy Foundation
Leadership Award Recipient: Sue Doerfer
Corporate Award Recipient: Key Banks
Entertainment Guest: Anne E. Dechant

2009: 16th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Celebrate the Fine Art of Equality
Co-Chairs: Char Ligo & Eric Lozier
Location: InterContinental Hotel – Cleveland
Guest Speaker: Beth Grant, Actress
Leadership Award Recipients: Barbara Snyder, President of Case Western Reserve University & Dr. Lynn Singer, Deputy Provost and Vice President for Academic Programs, Case Western Reserve University
MC: The Very Reverend Tracy Lind, Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Featuring: North Coast Men’s Chorus, Verb Ballet, Jack of Trades Sinners Highway
DJ: Greg G

2008: 15th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Applaud Excellence
Co-Chairs: Craig Foti & Rob Podlogar
Location: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center
Guest Speaker: The Honorable Ted Strickland, Governor of Ohio
Special Guest: Eric Alva
Leadership Award Recipient: Jane Daroff
MC: Jason Stuart
DJ: Jerry Bruno Production

2007: 14th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Come Together and Celebrate
Co-Chairs: Craig Foti & Eric Lozier
Location: InterContinental Hotel – Cleveland
Guest Speaker: Marty Rouse, HRC National Field Director
Leadership Award Recipient: Patrick Shepherd
Entertainment: Suzanne Wesenhoefer, comedian
MC: Bruce Vilanch, Comedian
DJ: Brenda Love

2006: 13th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner & Dance

Freedom is for Everyone
Co-Chairs: Kathy Crowley & Eric Lozier
Location: InterContinental Hotel – Cleveland
Keynote Speaker: Judy Shepard
Guest Speaker: Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign
Equality Award Recipient: Anshe Chesed, Fairmount Temple
Entertainment: Gene’s Jazz Hot
MC: Bob Smith, Comic
DJ: Brenda Love

2005: 12th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner & Dance

Make Them Hear You
Co-Chairs: Gina G. Roach & Thomas J. Rankin
Location: Playhouse Square
Keynote Speaker: Alec Mapa, actor/activist
Guest Speaker: Barbara Menard, Deputy Director HRC Foundation
Equality Award Recipient: U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Entertainment: Angela Lynard
MCs: Regina Brett & Connie Shultz, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
DJ: Jerry Szoka

2004: 11th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner & Dance

Co-Chairs: James P. Downing & Gina G. Roach
Location: Playhouse Square
Keynote Speaker: Cheryl Jacques, HRC President & Executive Director
Equality Award Recipient: City of Cleveland Heights – Mayor Ed Kelley & Heights Families for Equality – David Caldwell
Leadership Award Recipient: Timothy J. Downing
Entertainment: Lounge Kitty
MC: Shula Neuman

2003: 10th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner & Dance

Building Equality, Building Family
Co-Chairs: Mary Beth Schwartz, Charlotte Wells & James P. Downing
Location: The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Keynote Speaker: Laura Innes, actress
Guest Speaker: Frank K. November, HRC Capital Campaign Officer
Equality Award Recipient: Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau
Leadership Award Recipient: John Corlett, Senior Fellow and Director at the Federation for Community Planning
Entertainment/MC: Barbara Barrett & Melissa Ross
DJ: DJ Diato

2002: 9th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner & Dance

Celebrate Equality
Co-Chairs: Dan Dowhowser, Richard A. Settersten, Mary Beth Schwartz Charlotte Wells
Location: The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Guest Speakers: Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell & Winnie Stachelberg, HRC Political Director
Equality Award Recipient: U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
MC: Karen Williams
DJ: Gregg Witbeck

2001: 8th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner & Dance

An Evening of Purpose & Pride
Co-Chairs: Dan Dowhower, Anne M. Duli, Frank K. November, & Richard A. Settersten
Location: The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Keynote Speaker: E. Lynn Harris
Guest Speaker: Elizabeth M. Birch, HRC Executive Director
Equality Award Recipient: AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
Entertainment/MC: North Coast Men’s Chorus
MC: Karen Williams
DJ: Sarena Tyler

2000: 7th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

OutReachOut2000
Co-Chairs: Anne M. Duli & Frank K. November
Location: Executive Caterers at Landerhaven
Keynote Speaker: Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer Ph.D.
Guest Speaker: Akron and Cleveland Chapters of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Equality Award Recipient: Noreen Lehmann and the Coastliners
Entertainment/MC: Carole Chandler & Marshall McPeek, WKYC Channel 3 News
DJ: Sarena Tyler

1999: 6th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

OutReachOut
Co-Chairs: Timothy J. Downing & Jean Tutulo
Location: The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Keynote Speaker: Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco
Guest Speaker: Donna Red Wing, HRC National Field Director
Equality Award Recipient: Lesbian & Gay Community Service Center of Greater Cleveland
Entertainment/MC: Original Production of In Our Own Words: Gay & Lesbian Experiences from 1920 to the Present
MC: Adam Shapiro, WEWS Channel 5 News

1998: 5th Annual HRC Cleveland Dinner

Diversity. Unity. Equality.
Co-Chairs: Timothy J. Downing & Elizabeth R. Berrey, Ph.D.
Location: The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Keynote Speaker: U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D – California)
Guest Speaker: Donna Red Wing, HRC National Field Director
Equality Award Recipient: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio
Entertainment/MC: Elvira Kurt, comedienne

1997: 4th Annual HRC North Coast Dinner

Visibility Equals Equality
Co-Chairs: Gregg Levine & Elizabeth R. Berrey, Ph.D.
Location: The Marriott Society Center Grand Ballroom
Keynote Speaker: U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia)
Guest Speaker: Winnie Stachelberg, HRC Political Director
Equality Award Recipient: The United Church of Christ
Entertainment/MC: Jason Stuart, comedian

1996: 3rd Annual HRC North Coast Dinner

Cleveland at the Crossroads: Claim Your Piece of the Rainbow
Co-Chairs: Gregg Levine & Georgiann Pace
Location: The Marriott Society Center Grand Ballroom
Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Birch, HRC Executive Director
Equality Award Recipient: U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum
Entertainment/MC: Georgia Ragsdale, comedienne

1995: 2nd Annual HRCF Cleveland Dinner

Co-Chairs: Allen Cutter & Wendy Zahler
Location: The Metropolitan Club at the Huntington Building
Keynote Speaker: Candace J. Gingrich
Torch Award Recipient: U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes
Entertainment/MC: Elanor Hayes, WJW Channel 8 News

1994: 1st HRCF Cleveland Dinner

Co-Chairs: Anthony Scafaro & Wendy Zahler
Location: The Metropolitan Club at the Huntington Building
Keynote Speaker: Tim MCFeeley, HRC Foundation Director
Torch Award Recipient: Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher
Entertainment/MC: Suzanne Westenhofer, comedienne