Equality Michigan Elects New Board Leadership

AT&T's Jim Murray Named Chair

BY BTL STAFF

LANSING - Equality Michigan today announced its board leadership for 2017 with AT&T Michigan president, Jim Murray, elected chair of its board of directors.

Joining Murray in the organization's leadership is board vice chair, Michael Rowady of Pleasant Ridge, and Buzz Thomas of Detroit, who will be joining the executive committee as an at-large member.

"Jim, Michael and Buzz have all proven themselves to be exceptional board members and tremendous advocates for the LGBTQ movement here in Michigan," said Stephanie White, executive director of EQMI. "I am excited to see them help lead our organization as we continue the fight to end discrimination against Michigan's LGBTQ residents."

The organization also named leaders of its political and lobbying arm, the Equality Michigan Action Network. The group reelected State Senator Rebekah Warren as chair, Gary Reed to continue as vice chair, and Tim Atkinson as Member-At-Large. The Secretary and Treasurer positions, which serve both boards, were also reelected from last year: Sean Rhaesa and Dr. Mira Krishnan, respectively.

Incoming chair Murray has served as president of AT&T Michigan since 2010 and is responsible for company's regulatory, legislative and external affairs efforts throughout the state of Michigan. The company, according to the EQMI press release, has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to leading way the way for inclusion of the LGBTQ community. In 1975, AT&T became one of the first major American corporations to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation, and in 2006 the company was one of the first to offer transgender-inclusive health-care benefits.

"I'm honored to serve as the chair of the board of directors for Equality Michigan," said Murray. "This important organization leads the way in the fight to achieve fairness and equality for all in our state, and there's no effort I could be prouder to lead."

EQMI has been working for 25 years to achieve full equality and respect for all Michigan residents regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. EQMI educates and advocates to challenge Michigan laws and address issues that disproportionately impact LGBTQ lives throughout the state.

"Jim's strategic experience and past success in leading other organizations will serve him well in this new position," said State House Democratic Leader Sam Singh. "I have no doubt he'll be successful in positioning for future success."

State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich said, "I know that Jim will provide great leadership and insight to the board and I welcome this opportunity to work with him and Equality Michigan."

Equality Michigan Action Network officers include Chair, Senator Rebekah Warren; Vice Chair, Gary Reed; Secretary, Sean Rhaesa; Treasurer, Mira Krishnan; and Member-at-Large Tim Atkinson. EQMI officers include Chair, Jim Murray; Vice Chair, Michael Rowady; Secretary, Sean Rhaesa; Treasurer, Mira Krishnan; and Member-at-Large Buzz Thomas.

For more information, visit EQMI online.
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