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For Immediate Release

Monday, November 17, 2014, Orlando, FL – The Boards of the Metropolitan Business Association (“MBA Orlando”) and its subsidiary Come Out With Pride (“COWP”), together with nearly two dozen community members, have met several times over the last two. Focus continues to be primarily on checks and balances, financial stewardship, and communication between the organizations.

MBA Orlando also wishes to directly address the November 4 termination of then COWP Executive Director Mikael Audebert (also former MBA Orlando President), for gross mismanagement and serious violations of his COWP contract and making unauthorized changes to COWP bylaws in an unsuccessful attempt to illegally separate the organizations. Both Boards agree that this termination was necessary to prevent significant damage to the organizations, their members, and the community. The boards will continue investigating irregularities in the financial records and working towards an audit, as well as correcting the numerous attempts to disrupt COWP and MBA regular operations.

While carrying out this termination, MBA Orlando temporarily suspended the board of COWP, and apologizes for any negative connotation this protective action may have unintentionally implied.

Both MBA Orlando and the Come Out With Pride are dedicated to moving forward together to make both better and stronger than ever before.

“It is we who must take seriously our responsibility to our members and our community. These have been difficult decisions and important changes are needed to move forward,” said MBA Orlando Board President, Nayte Carrick, who was, last week, confirmed in his new position.

“We grow the most in hard times, and with unbelievable community support, it strengthens our commitment to our missions,” commented PRIDE Board President, Brian Smith.

MBA Orlando was founded 22 years ago as a 501(c)6 membership organization, with the mission to “lead the way for development, advocacy and growth of the LGBT business community and its allies.” It then founded Come Out With Pride in 2005 as a signature fundraising and community event under then President, Ms. Debbie Simmons, and later registered COWP as a 501(c)3 under then President, Dr. David Baker-Hargrove. This was followed a few years later by the formation of a board and team dedicated solely to carrying out this mission under then President, Ms. Gina Duncan.

The Boards of MBA Orlando and Come Out With Pride continue working diligently to move forward collectively.

An webinar with more details will be available on Thursday 11/20 at 2PM. Login information will be available in the news section of our website: ww.mbaorlando.org.

For more information, please contact info@mbaorlando.org

 

Author Description

MBA Board