Meet Randy Soriano, First Executive Director of the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation
He will use his marketing and management experience to effect positive change for the LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF communities.
In our vibrant and diverse community, a dynamic leader has emerged to champion the rights and well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community. Randy Soriano, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation, is igniting a wave of positive change and bringing forward a fresh perspective to uplift and empower marginalized voices. With his commitment to inclusivity, advocacy and community building, Soriano is poised to leave an indelible mark on the legacy of LGBTQIA+ activism in the Aloha State.
The foundation will benefit from his professional skills as a marketing, communications and management professional with more than 15 years of experience at industry-leading companies in Hawai‘i. Before joining the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation, Randy spent nearly a decade leading the marketing department at Title Guaranty Hawai‘i, the state’s largest and oldest kama‘āina title and escrow company.
Dedicating himself to his values through years of leadership as a nonprofit executive, Soriano specializes in program development, project management and fundraising. His passion for connecting people and serving the community has been proven through countless hours devoted to various nonprofit and community organizations. He is a Past President of the Rotary E-Club of Hawai‘i, serving a two-year term that oversaw an aggressive strategic plan to grow the Club’s membership and community partnerships.
He is also a board member at the Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center, serving on the marketing and fundraising committee. In 2022, Randy served as the Chairperson of Honolulu Pride, leading the organization to its largest parade and festival to date. He has also previously served as Board Secretary of the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation and is a recent graduate of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i’s Fellows Program.
He was an honoree at the 2019 Business of Pride Awards presented by Pacific Business News, which recognizes individuals who excel professionally and are leaders in advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2022, Randy was the recipient of Pacific Edge Magazine’s Young Professional of the Year award.
“I’m grateful to be able to combine my passions for connecting and empowering people with my marketing and management experience in a position that will effect positive change for the LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF communities. Our rights to exist and thrive are under attack, and it’s so important to create a space for people to be heard and feel safe,” says Soriano.
Q&A With Randy Soriano
For those who may be unfamiliar with your programs, can you share the current initiatives of the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation?
RS: The Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation produces Honolulu Pride, hosts the LGBTQ+ Center and creates programs that inform, unify and empower Hawai‘i’s LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve expanded on educational and cultural programming through our Māhūi committee that leads our Rainbow Town Halls and our annual Pride Pāʻina Lā ʻOhana event.
The Foundation also provides in-kind and financial support to organizations addressing social, cultural and economic inequalities. Our mission is to help LGBTQIA+ people live happy, healthy and productive lives as integral members of Hawai‘i’s larger, diverse communities.
What are your plans as the first Executive Director of the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation?
RS: The Executive Director position is an exciting step for the Foundation because it’s an investment in the growth and sustainability of the organization. Our plans are focused on increasing representation and equity for the LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF communities through programming and events. This will include the expansion of Honolulu Pride to a Pride 365 concept, which will offer programs throughout the year for the queer community. We have a lot of large projects in the pipeline, including the return of the Vision Without Limits Gala on July 20th at Hyatt Regency and a stacked lineup for Honolulu Pride in October featuring parade grand marshal and festival headliner Sasha Colby, winner of season 15 of Rupaul’s Drag Race.
What unique challenges is the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation facing in 2023?
RS: We represent a community whose rights are being targeted by anti-trans policies and rhetoric throughout the nation. In a recent press release by Human Rights Campaign, a record of more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures, with over 220 targeting transgender and non-binary people. 70 anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted, 15 of those banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.
In a time when we face increased opposition, the Foundation is committed to improving representation and support through educational programs and community engagement campaigns.
What can the LGBTQIA+ community expect in terms of expanded programs and services?
RS: We’re introducing programs and services that will engage more intersections of our community. On June 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hawai‘i State Art Museum, we will be partnering with Spill the Tea Café and Mark Kanemura on a family event called “I Am a Rainbow,” which will be the launch of Mark’s first keiki book of the same name. The event will feature art workshops, keiki art gallery, drag artists, drag story time, food vendors, a dance party and a book reading and signing by Mark.
We will be expanding the Rainbow Town Hall offerings throughout the year as well. Topics will include kūpuna care and resources, allyship and inclusivity training, diversity in marketing and more.
How can readers best support the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation and its mission in 2023 and beyond?
RS: If you’re interested in supporting the Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation, we encourage you to visit our community calendar and attend any of our events and programs. Also, everything that is done by the Foundation is supported by grants and community giving, so we encourage those who have the resources to consider donating or joining our monthly recurring giving program, Rainbow Giving. Mahalo for continuing to support the LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF communities.
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