Equality Texas Names Longtime Equality Texas Consultant Angela Hale as Acting CEO of Equality Texas
Austin, TX, June 26, 2019 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans announced today that longtime Equality Texas legislative and media consultant Angela Hale of Red Media Group has been named as the group’s Acting CEO. Hale replaces Interim Executive Director Samantha Smoot, whose contract to lead the organization on an interim basis expires on July 1. Equality Texas is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent CEO.
Smoot, a veteran progressive organizer and activist with a variety of groups both in Texas and internationally, has led Equality Texas on an interim basis since January. The transition will take place on July 1, with Smoot remaining temporarily as a consultant to aid in the transition.
Hale is a Dallas native, a former Emmy Award-winning TV reporter and veteran journalist at CBS KTVT Channel 11 in Dallas Fort Worth. She is the managing partner of Red Media Group, a strategic communications and public affairs company. She led communications efforts for the legalization of gay marriage for the Akin Gump Law Firm and the Texas plaintiffs and has been leading lobby and communications strategy at Equality Texas since 2015.
She led communications and lobby strategy during the 2017 legislative session for Equality Texas, and the business coalition against LGBTQ discrimination defeated the bathroom bill twice. During the 2019 legislative session, she spearheaded Equality Texas communication and lobby efforts and led the Texas Welcomes All Business Coalition that included Texas Competes, Texas Welcomes All, Tech Net and the North Texas Commission defeating dozens of discriminatory bills. She has also served in executive leadership for Speaker of the House and for the Office of the Attorney General.
“Equality Texas extends its deepest appreciation to Sam Smoot for her six months of exceptional service and leadership. She leaves the organization in a stronger position to advocate for full lived equality for all Texans,” said Elizabeth Myers, Chair of the Board of The Equality Texas Foundation. “Sam Smoot was instrumental to Equality Texas’s success and leadership throughout the 86th Legislature. This session saw the creation and rising influence of the LGBTQ caucus, significant legislative success both in defeating discriminatory bills and advancing bills to protect the LGBTQ community, and an increasing awareness by our state’s leadership that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is against Texans’ fundamental belief in equality. Sam’s leadership deserves significant credit for this progress,” said Holt Lackey, Chair of the Board of Equality Texas.
“We are pleased to announce Angela Hale as Equality Texas’s Acting CEO while we continue the search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer,” said Myers, “Angela’s years of dedication to the LGBTQ rights movement and to Equality Texas make her the perfect candidate to lead the organization through this transition.” “We are honored to have Angela Hale serve as Acting CEO,” added Lackey, “We know from her years of service with Equality Texas that she is a talented and formidable advocate for the LGBTQ community and equal rights for all Texans.”
“I am both proud and humbled to accept the position as Acting CEO of Equality Texas. In more than 25 years working in Texas politics and media, I have repeatedly seen Equality Texas leading the fight for full lived equality throughout the State of Texas. It has been an honor to work with Equality Texas for the past 5 years, and I am excited to continue that work with Equality Texas in this new role,” said Hale.
“I thank the Board and staff of Equality Texas for the opportunity to lead this organization for the past six months,” said Smoot. “Equality Texas will be in good hands with Angela Hale as Acting CEO until a permanent CEO can be identified. I am proud to have been associated with this organization, which has led the fight for LGBTQ equality in Texas for 30 years and wish Equality Texas continued success in the future in advocating for full, lived equality for every Texan,” said Smoot.
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.