CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In February the 2007 Human Rights Campaign Carolinas Gala Dinner drew a record crowd of 1,500-plus, becoming the second most attended HRC dinner in the country, behind only the national dinner in Washington, D.C. More than two dozen HRC fundraising dinners are held across the country.
Human Rights Campaign Carolinas Gala Dinner Co-chairs Robert Dogens, Cherie Green and Scott Bishop with the 2007 Legacy/Trailblazer Award winner Scott Vitez (second from left).
Depending on how you look at it, that’s either a lot to live up to or a great foundation on which to build for Scott Bishop, Robert Dogens and Cherie Green, who have been selected to co-chair the next installment of the annual Carolinas fundraiser that supports the work of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT equality organization.
“I am very excited about the 2008 HRC Carolinas Gala Dinner and specifically the talent of our co-chairs Robert Dogens, Cherie Green and Scott Bishop,” said LaWana Mayfield, who co-chaired the 2007 Carolinas Dinner.
“Each is dynamic in their own right; together they are sure to bring the next level of awareness and excitement to the HRC Carolinas Gala. As an HRC Board of Governors member and friend to all of the above, I am thrilled that they have taken on this challenge.”
Bishop is a Senior Change Consultant with Bank of America’s Information SecurityBusiness Continuity team. He has volunteered with the HRC Carolinas Dinner committee for four years and also serves on the HRC Charlotte Steering Committee and the HRC North Carolina Steering Committee. Originally from Wilmington, Mass., he moved to Cary, N.C., in 1990 and has lived in Charlotte for the past 12 years.
Dogens, a native of Louisiana, has lived in North Carolina for 11 years and Charlotte for seven. He is a Senior Vice President and Business Process Director for Wholesale Banking Operations at Wachovia. He is the immediate past board president of Metrolina AIDS Project and wasa volunteer with the HRC Carolinas Dinner Committee in 2006 and 2007. He is also an HRC Federal Club member.
Green is a Quality Deployment Manager with the Quality and Productivity Team at Bank of America, where she has worked for two years. She holds a B.S. degree in Accounting and an MBA from Wingate University. She served on the 2007 HRC Carolinas Dinner Corporate Sponsorship committee. She has lived in the Charlotte region for 23 years.
The first HRC Carolinas Gala Dinner was held in Greensboro in 1996. The event remained there the following year before moving to the Raleigh-Durham area in 1998 for a five-year stint. Another successful run in Greensboro, this time at The Grandover Resort, followed in 2003 and 2004.
Charlotte hosted the 2005 dinner at the city’s massive Convention Center, drawing a record crowd of more than 1,300. The event has remained in the Queen City each year since and the attendance record has been broken annually. HRC Carolinas officials are hoping to set a new benchmark at the 2008 dinner.
Tickets prices are $190 before Jan. 31, $225 after. More details about the 2008 HRC Carolinas Gala are expected to be released soon, including the schedule of events and the dinner keynote speaker.
Gay, Emmy-winning actor Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “Sordid Lives”) gave the keynote address at the 2007 HRC Carolinas Gala Dinner. Previous keynote speakers have included lesbian actress Jane Lynch (“The L Word”), gay actor Robert Gant (“Queer As Folk”), Judy Shepard, mother of murdered college student Matthew Shepard, gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Betty DeGeneres, Tipper Gore, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and actress Judith Light (“Who’s The Boss”).
The 2008 HRC Carolinas Gala Dinner is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 16 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Westin Hotel will again serve as host hotel.
To volunteer with the event or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hrccarolinas.org.
— Bert Woodard contributed to this story.