Today, SunServe’s Board of Directors announced new leadership changes with the hire of Tony Lima as Executive Director of the agency as well as the appointment of Dr. Todd Tedrow as Chairman of the Board. SunServe opened its doors in 2010 and to this day remains the go-to non-profit community organization providing professional experts, services and care for LGBTQ+ people in need. SunServe serves over 5,000 clients each year, offering support programs in the areas of Mental Health, Youth, Transgender, Housing Case Management and Seniors.
Tony Lima assumes the role as Executive Director of SunServe, effective November 1, 2021 and is uniquely qualified for this position. He has more than 20 years of experience leading community organizations in the non-profit sector. Tony Lima is already a well-recognized name in our community for his previous contributions managing two other major organizations that, like SunServe, focused on LGBTQI+ people in need. Most recently, Tony served as Chief Executive Officer, to Arianna’s Center/Translatina Florida, a non-profit advocacy and social services organization with offices in Florida and Puerto Rico focused on uplifting the most marginalized within the LGBTQI+ community, with a focus on transgender women of color. In that capacity, Tony was charged with developing and overseeing the organization’s strategic vision, developing and implementing the fundraising strategy, all while expanding the reach and scope of services the organization provides. Tony has also been a sought-after bilingual thought leader on LGBTQI+ issues for media and educational/advocacy forums at the local, state, and national level.
Prior to serving as CEO of Arianna’s Center/Translatina Florida, Tony honed his leadership skills and affected real political change as the Executive Director of SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone). Under Tony’s leadership (2013-2019), SAVE, Florida’s longest-serving LGBTQI+ advocacy organization, secured the most significant political victories in the organization’s 26-year history – including when SAVE successfully sued the state of Florida in 2015 to legalize same-sex marriage and when SAVE passed comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals at the Miami-Dade County Commission in 2014. During his tenure, SAVE was nationally recognized in both the journal Science and The New York Times for its groundbreaking prejudice reduction work in the area of transgender equality.
In addition to his many professional accomplishments, the broader community has long praised Tony’s tireless commitment to equality and social justice. In 2012, for example, Latino Leaders Magazine named him a “Top Latino Leader.” The following year, 2013, Brickell Magazine recognized him as a “Top 20 Under 40” community leader. By 2019, Tony had also received the Trans Latina Coalition Ally Award; the Miami Dolphins had honored him with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award; SFGN had named him LGBTQ Activist of the Year for several years in a row; and the national Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center honored him with a Diversity Honors Award. In 2020, he was included in the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s TOP 50 Professionals in the State list and was honored by TransInclusive Group, The Pride Center, and the Florida Department of Health with the Bishop S.F. Makalani-Mahee Transgender Ally of the Year Award. In 2021, Telemundo featured Tony in the Unstoppable Pride media campaign in celebration of Pride Month. Tony currently also serves on the inaugural Miami-Dade County LGBTQ Advisory Board and is a lead anchor on the popular internet-based programs: Queer News Tonight and TRANSlation, part of the HotSpots, WMEG and Happening Out Television Network umbrella.
“It is an honor to take on this new role at SunServe and I look forward to building the trust and serving all who seek our services and assistance. We are here to serve and welcome every opportunity to strengthen the ties that bind us”, said Lima.
Other areas of change for SunServe include the transition of Dr. Todd Tedrow from Secretary to his new position as Chairman of the Board, which occurred on October 1, 2021. Todd, a professor of Social Work at Barry University comments “Tony brings decades of experience in working with some of the most marginalized people in our LGBTQ community, and he perfectly encapsulates SunServe’s commitment to diversity and offering services of the highest quality to all. This is an important step forward for the organization and its continued efforts to build trust, collaborate, and be transparent in all of the life-affirming and uplifting work it provides to our many communities.”
Indeed, the appointment of Tony Lima as Executive Director and Dr. Todd Tedrow as the new Chairman of the Board signal the organization’s unwavering commitment to offering our broad and diverse community the very best in care, treatment, and solidarity. We all look forward to hearing more about SunServe’s continued accomplishments serving the economically disadvantaged, marginalized youth, adults and seniors in the greater South Florida metropolitan area.