When we received word that we had been named Foundation Philanthropist of the Year, my heart literally skipped a beat. Our good friend at ROSMY, Beth Panilaitis, along with financial development volunteer, Ann Criswell, had written the most beautiful nomination and gathered letters of support from some of our partner agencies. Their efforts proved successful.

It was just a few years ago that this recognition would not have been possible. But that was yesteryear. This is today. Sometimes I still need reminding.

Thank you, Jon Klein, for making your dream a reality and laying the foundation for Diversity Richmond to become the leader that it is today. Thank you for your vision, your determination, your tenacity, your stubbornness.

Thank you to the executive director who followed Jon -- Jay Squires -- and the many board members, volunteers and staff who have worked tirelessly, often with little support, without ever once losing sight of the ultimate goal: building community and ensuring that LGBT people have a safe place and a strong voice in this city in which they live.

And thank you to our hardworking current board of directors, who are instrumental in making all this happen.

It was a "wow" day and one that is deserved. We are a very strong people and can overcome any adversity placed before us. We just proved that once again.

Bill Harrison
President and Executive Director