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Comings & Goings

Enríquez takes role at Victory Institute



Brad Davis, Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade

The ‘Comings & Goings’ column chronicles important life changes of Blade readers.

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at [email protected].

Brad Davis, gay news, Washington Blade

Brad Davis (Photo courtesy of Davis)

Congratulations to Brad Davis chosen to head the new division of Acorn Paper. Acorn Paper Products Company is one of the largest independent, family-owned paper and packaging companies in the Western United States. This new division, Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging (APCP), will focus on meeting the paper, packaging, janitorial/sanitation and custom promotional needs of the cannabis industry. David Weissberg, CEO of Acorn, said, “We recognize the tremendous opportunity that the cannabis industry presents to our company. This will be a $70B industry in just a few years, and Brad Davis is the perfectly positioned executive to lead our initiatives in the space.” Upon accepting the position Brad said, “I am proud to represent one of the largest privately held packaging companies on the West Coast. With their long history of success and vertical focus in areas from agriculture to wine, addressing the needs of the entire cannabis supply chain is a natural addition to the Acorn family.”

Davis is a senior sales, marketing and business development executive. He has a record leveraging innovation to drive revenue and market share growth. His background includes several C-suite corporate sales executive posts at major digital media organizations including Disney, AOL and Comcast. He is a recognized “lifestyle brand expert” in fashion, parties & events, and was recently recognized by Angeleno Magazine as one of Los Angeles’ “Modern Men.”

Congratulations also to Mario Enríquez who began his new position as domestic programs manager with the LGBTQ Victory Institute. In this position he will help deliver top-notch training and executive development programming to openly LGBTQ public leaders and future leaders. Victory’s suite of programs is aimed at growing the skills and leadership capacity of participants from college-aged to mid-career public servants. He will lead the Victory Congressional Internship (VCI) and Victory Congressional Fellowship (VCF) programs and manage recruitment and selection process for VCI and VCF and work with the director of domestic programs. In addition he will serve as deputy director in the planning and execution of the International LGBTQ Leadership Conference, which brings together 500+ LGBTQ officials and other policy makers

Prior to joining Victory Institute, Enríquez worked as a summer program coordinator with the George Washington University–Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute. Before that he was with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) as a Higher Education Graduate Fellow. He worked as a Youth Leadership Associate with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

Mario Enríquez (Photo courtesy of Enríquez)

Congratulations also to Kimberley Bush, named interim executive director of the DC Center. The DC Center’s mission is to educate, empower, celebrate, and connect the LGBT communities.

Bush came back to The Center a year ago after serving as executive director of the DC Shorts Film Festival, to serve as director of arts and cultural programs. Prior to that she had been at The Center as program director of Reel Affirmations. Bush said, “I am excited to have this new opportunity to serve the LGBTQ community in D.C. and to use my knowledge and experience to promote all the programs of The Center.”

Prior to coming to The Center, she worked for the Del Ray Artisans Art Gallery and had been a board member and then executive director of One in Ten when it ran the Reel Affirmations Film Festival.

Kimberley Bush (Photo courtesy of the D.C. Center)



Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep



Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Blade wins multiple journalism awards

Society of Professional Journalists recognizes writing, design work



The D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the work of the Washington Blade at its annual Dateline Awards dinner last week.

The Blade took top honors in the weekly newspaper editorial/opinion writing category for a piece by Michael Lavers, the Blade’s international news editor, titled, “Bearing witness to the unimaginable,” which recounted watching raw footage of Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7.

In it, Lavers wrote, “The Israeli government clearly wants the world to understand the barbarity of what happened on Oct. 7, and that is why it has shown footage of that horrific Saturday to journalists and lawmakers. The footage left me deeply shaken, and perhaps that was the point.”

Washington Blade graphic designer Meaghan Juba won the Dateline Award for front-page design in the weekly newspaper category.

And in the weekly newspaper-features category, the Blade’s Kathi Wolfe was recognized as a finalist for her piece titled, “Meet one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet.”

“These awards reflect our 55-year commitment to journalistic excellence,” said Blade Editor Kevin Naff. “Congratulations to our team for another year of award-winning journalism.”

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