About LINK of BREVARD

About LINK of BREVARD

About

LINK of BREVARD connects the LGBTQIA community to resources, education and advocacy.

Can you imagine a community where every person has equal access to all resources regardless of your race, ethnicity, income level, who you love, gender or gender expression, and any other multiple life circumstances? We believe this is everyone’s right and it’s what we will work towards at LINK of Brevard.

We are a not for profit organization organized to serve the Brevard County LGBTQIA community by connecting individuals with available resources, educating the public about the needs of the community and advocating for the community.

We strive to bridge the gaps in the community by providing Love, Inclusion, Nurturing, and Knowledge to not only the LGBTQ Community, but ALL members of our community.

When someone in our community needs help, we want LINK of Brevard to be the organization that people first think of.  LINK of Brevard will provide one single entry point to access resources for all members of the local community. We will provide the contact information to services and resources. If services that are needed do not exist locally, we will work to provide the services or work with others to provide the services.

We realized that there are services and resources that are available in or near our community but have found that a lot of people in need of these services or resources are unaware of them. We watched how the city of Orlando rallied after the tragedy at Pulse nightclub-multiple organizations came together to support a community in need. We want to make sure we are meeting the needs of our local community and recognized that it really does require multiple organizations to do so.

Mission

The mission of LINK is to provide one single entry point to access resources for all members of the local community.

The specific objectives and purpose of LINK of Brevard organization are:

  • To provide one single entry point to access resources for all members of the local community
  • To provide volunteers and coordination for local social events including fundraising events for other organizations and causes
  • To provide opportunities for participants to engage in local social events including fundraising events for other organizations and causes
  • To sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote the well-being of the community
  • To provide an internship program allowing college students opportunities to obtain real-world experience with non-profit operations

History

LINK was founded in 2017. The concept of LINK of Brevard was created after the Pulse nightclub tragedy when we saw few resources available in our Brevard County community to help people who identify as LGBTQ as well as others.

We also wanted to create an organization that helps EVERY member of EVERY community. Our mission is to provide services to all communities by building a bridge between the gaps in services and a link of all the providers of services in the community.


Board of Directors

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Dawn Hannon, President

Dawn Hannon has spent the last 5 years as the Chief Financial Officer at the Space Coast Health Foundation and has over 17 years of experience in healthcare financial leadership. Dawn has two undergraduate degrees, one in Accounting from the University of the State of New York and another in Business Administration from San Diego State University. She holds a graduate degree in Public Administration and a Certificate of Advance Study in Health Services Management & Policy from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

She is a Florida and New York State CPA. Dawn is on the board of Housing for Homeless and Brevard Health Alliance. She lives in Indialantic, FL with her partner Pam along with their two dogs and four cats.

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Jimit Kapadia, Vice President

Jimit Kapadia, a Vice President and a Board Member at LINK of Brevard and an Executive Manager for marketing and presentations in the financial industry, works for a company based in San Diego that is ranked #7 on Forbes list of 2017. Jimit was awarded National Golden Cufflink Award three years in a row for the best presenter in the banking industry from GonzoBanker Awards. As a former investor in the hospitality industry,

Jimit has lived in Brevard County for 24 years and has great passion for this industry, the culture of the town, and economic growth.

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Michael Aldo Bloom, Director of Resources & Outreach

Michael Bloom is a local First Responder and business owner with a long history of community involvement. He is a founder, executive board member and/or committee member of numerous service organizations. Among them are PFLAG Melbourne Space Coast, Space Coast Pride, Guardian ad Litem 18th JD, LGBTQ Child Welfare Workgroup Brevard, and the Brevard Homeless Coalition.

Mike lives in Melbourne and enjoys riding his motorcycle and reading.

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Brandon Milam, Director of Entertainment & Events

Brandon has lived in Melbourne for the past 4 years and originally from Kentucky. He has been involved in lgbtq+ communities, charities and pride events for the past 10 years.

Brandon is currently the events coordinator for LINK, and loves to plan fabulous parties and events for our community in Brevard. His goal is bring everyone in our community together and have fun and always keep things fun and unique.

When Brandon is not busy with Link, he is a successful full time caterer and party planner here in Brevard and loves every minute of it.

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Cortney Thompson, Director of Communications

Cortney has lived in both Melbourne and Orlando and been here for 2 years with his husband Chad.

He has been actively involved with the LGBTQ+ community for more than 15 years and has been President, Vice President, and Festival Director for various Pride related organizations both here and in Indiana.

When not working or being involved with Pride, he spends his spare time traveling, cooking and volunteering for projects with his husband.

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Shelley Rodden, Director of Youth Services

Shelley relocated from Atlanta, GA to Satellite Beach in 2014, along with her partner, Julie, and their two sons.   An active member of the LGBTQ+ community of Brevard County, she serves as Director of Youth Services with LINK of Brevard, as well as Vice President of Space Coast Pride. Her passion lies with the support and advocacy of the LGBTQ+ youth of Brevard County.

Employed by Brevard Public Schools, Shelley founded the Gay Straight Alliance at Eau Gallie High School, where she is proud to serve as club Sponsor. She works closely with Equality Florida, educating and advocating for safer schools for LGBTQ+ students in the district. Her goals include establishing Gay Straight Alliances in all schools in Brevard, as well as providing an LGBTQ+ support center for the community.

When not working or volunteering, Shelley enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, music, running, and going to the beach.

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Guy Klenke, Director

Guy Klenke has lived in Brevard County for the last 30 years. Guy’s professional career has been working in the not for profit industry developing and overseeing programs to improve the lives of people in our community. These includes affordable and accessible housing, employment training and employment opportunities along with self advocacy. This passion led Guy to become a certified franchise broker helping not for profits in other areas develop income to support their programs.

Guy has been a board member and also worked for the Brevard Homeless Coalition supporting efforts to end homeless in our community.

Guy and his partner Dayle have been together for 28 years and enjoy the outdoors, time with friends and experiencing our local culture.

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Committees

Health and Wellness Committee

The health and wellness committee works to promote health equity in our local LGBTQ Community. Our committee focuses on areas that disproportionately impact our community including HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, homelessness and behavioral health.

LINK of Brevard offers a safe space where LGBTQ people can access individual and family-based care with respect and honesty. We will provide one single entry point to access culturally competent resources for all members of the local community. We will provide the contact information to services and resources. If services that are needed do not exist locally, we will work to provide the services or work with others to provide the services.

Resources and Outreach Committee

Resources and Outreach Committee will gather and maintain a listing of LGBTQ and LGBTQ friendly resources locally, regionally and nationally. Search out additional resources as needed for the community. Refer the community to requested resources.

Provide focused LGBTQ awareness training to the entire community, particularly training of service providers that serve a large LGBTQ population. Maintain a list of qualified trainers and refer them when appropriate.

Youth Committee

The youth committee of LINK of Brevard is led by experienced, passionate and engaged professionals who are actively working with youth in our community. We will provide one single entry point where youth can have a safe space for programs and services that support, educate, empower, and entertain the LGBTQ+ youth of our community.

We recognize the importance and power of positive peer support. We are committed to be the place where young people can be themselves free of judgement to learn and grow.

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