“Mr. Braxton has shown incredible leadership in our community and has played a key role in its advancement over the last several years,” said Lovett. “With the recent growth of the LGBT Center of St. Louis and the opportunities that lie before us, Leon is a perfect fit for the role of Executive Director. His proven track record of success in fund raising, event coordination and HR management, combined with his connectivity to the St. Louis LGBT community are sure to bring great success to the Center. The Board and I all look forward to working him—I have no doubt we’ll soon see results of magnanimous proportions.”
Braxton has been active in the St. Louis LGBT community for over 25-years raising countless dollars and having served on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis AIDS Foundation and as a master Guardian with Project Ark since 2004. He serves on the Boards of Pride St. Louis and SAGE Metro St. Louis; was a founding member of and still serves on the Board of St. Louis Effort for AIDS, and is the founder of the I CARE! Campaign. He brings with him a successful background in finance and is also known in entertainment and fundraising circles for his illusion of the incomparable Dieta Pepsi.
The Center was realized following the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 2004 Creating Change Conference in St. Louis. After 3-years of planning and growing remotely, the third LGBT Center of St. Louis opened its doors in the Central West End (625 North Euclid Avenue #420) in July 2008.
In early 2011, the newly elected Board of Directors, at the request of the community, decided to move The Center to a larger, more prominent location. The Center officially reopened at 4337 Manchester Ave. in The Grove neighborhood on July 17th, 2011.
LGBT Center of St. Louis Founder, Muriel “Blue” Jones vacated the position of Executive Director on June 1, 2011.
“I am both humbled and honored to be selected as the Executive Director of The Center,” said Braxton. “I will strive to represent not only the LGBT Center, but the LGBT community as a whole.”
The Board of The LGBT Center of St. Louis is comprised of Colin Lovett, President; Dara Strickland, Vice President; Rick Norlin, Treasurer; Colin Murphy, Secretary; Heidi Clark, Advisory Committee Coordinator; Scott Emanuel and Alderman Shane Cohn.