Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund and LGBTQ Victory Institute announced the election of new chairs to the governing boards of each organization. Wade Rakes will serve as chair of the Victory Fund board of directors and Michael Fuller as chair of the Victory Institute board of directors. Both will start their terms on January 1. As chairs, Rakes will lead Victory Fund’s efforts to endorse and elect LGBTQ candidates across the nation, and Fuller will lead Victory Institute’s efforts to build a diverse pipeline of LGBTQ leaders who seek positions in public office.
“Our boards of directors are among Victory Fund and Victory Institute’s most prized resources – an experienced group of public leaders who recognize that LGBTQ political power comes through representation in government,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of Victory Fund and Victory Institute. “As vice chairs of their respective boards, Wade and Mike have been critical to implementing and expanding our programs and to increasing the number of LGBTQ leaders in public service. We are thrilled they will take on new leadership roles as chairs and are grateful for their commitment to advancing equality for our community.”
Rakes currently serves as Vice Chair for the Victory Fund board and Fuller as Vice Chair for the Victory Institute board. The current chairs of Victory Fund and Victory Institute – Sharon Callahan-Miller and Dr. Claire Lucas, respectively – will remain on the boards when their terms as chairs end.
Rakes currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Peach State Health Plan – an Atlanta, Georgia based subsidiary of Centene Corporation – a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored healthcare programs. Prior to joining Centene, he served in the administration of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland as Senior Advisor to the Governor and Director of Public Liaison. Rakes also serves as Chair of Board of Beyond Differences, a California based non-profit that engages over one million middle and high school students annually to reduce social isolation and loneliness. Rakes’ full bio is available online.
Fuller is a business leader, philanthropist, and LGBTQ advocate who currently serves as chief executive of CD Travel Ventures, a travel-related holding company he founded, and its subsidiary, Fuller Travel World. Recently, he founded Pride Global Travel, which specializes in growing the LGBTQ travel industry. He also leads a private equity firm whose focus is on data-centered technologies and startups and previously served as Senior Vice President at Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, and as a global Vice President at IBM. Fuller is a founding board member of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, where he served two terms as Chairman of the Board and continues to serve as a board member. He was a board member of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation and served on the board of directors for the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York, an organization dedicated to supporting at-risk LGBTQ youth. Fuller’s full bio is available online.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to achieve and sustain equality by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve.
LGBTQ Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.