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For Immediate Release

Tanya Peebles-Hill
(213) 236-5329

Steve Roth
(323) 936-1831

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 6, 2013) – As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, Union Bank, N.A., has partnered with KCETLink to honor two remarkable individuals as part of the Local Heroes program. The program recognizes and pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their profession, community, region and the world. The 2013 LGBT Pride Month honorees are: Thomas T. Carpenter, Esq. and Kalil Cohen

Mr. Carpenter, an attorney and former U.S. Marine Corps captain, helped pave the way for the equal treatment of LGBT service members through his dedication to the repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Mr. Cohen is an educator, filmmaker and founder of the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival (LATFF), an event showcasing the diverse voices of the transgender community.

Earlier this year, honorees were identified during Black History Month (February); Women’s History Month (March): Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May); Jewish American Heritage Month (May) and will also be identified for Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October). The year-long program will culminate in October 2013, when honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 16th annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors. Since 1998, KCETLink and Union Bank have collaborated on the Local Heroes initiative and honored more than 150 outstanding community leaders.

“For nearly 20 years, Union Bank has been honored to partner with KCETLink on the Local Heroes program, which has allowed us to recognize the accomplishments of those who contribute so much to our community,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “Serving as continuous inspiration, these honorees embody our core values of diversity and community involvement.”

“KCETLink is privileged to join our longstanding partner Union Bank to celebrate the 2013 LGBT local heroes,” said KCETLink Chief Executive Officer Al Jerome. “Not only are these individuals benefitting the local LGBT community and the Los Angeles community with their outstanding work, but their impact is felt by the world at large. We are pleased to introduce these heroes to our viewers through the profiles airing on KCETLink throughout LGBT Pride Month, alongside programming that commemorates the LGBT community.”

The 2013 LGBT Pride Month honorees are:

Thomas T. Carpenter, Esq., is co-chair of the Forum of Military Chaplaincy and former board member of Service members Legal Defense Network (SLDN). Mr. Carpenter drafted white papers and organized military personnel until “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2010. He served on the SLDN board from 1995 to 2012 (co-chaired from 1998 to 2005), organized its Military Outreach Committee, and was a member of SLDN’s Military Advisory Council. He also helped establish the first LGBT active duty organization, OutServe, and played a key role in merging OutServe with SLDN in 2012. Now known as OutServe-SLDN, the non-profit organization defends and empowers LGBT service members, veterans and their families. Mr. Carpenter is currently an attorney at LaMontagne and Amador, LLP and Conegy Consulting. He frequently blogs about LGBT and social issues in outlets such as LGBT POV and the Huffington Post. Mr. Carpenter has received numerous awards, including OutServe-SLDN’s Anna S. Curren Service Award and is OutServe’s Honorary Lifetime Member.

Kalil Cohen founded the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival (LATFF), an event that includes film screenings, an awards ceremony and panel discussions, as well as screenings throughout major international cities. Mr. Cohen’s dedication to the LGBT community is featured through his short films, “The Next Gender Nation” (2010) and “Queerer Than Thou” (2008). He is a speaker on gender identity and an assistant programmer of Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Mr. Cohen also serves as director of the Southern California region of The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring (WC/AR). He is a contributing writer of the blog, “Oy Gay,” and has been featured in publications such as “The Progressive,” and news programs such as “Democracy Now!” Mr. Cohen received The Pride Award for Service and Dedication to the Transgender Community from Trans-Unity Pride in 2008. He holds a master’s degree in education.

Throughout the respective commemorative heritage months, KCET, the Southern and Central California public broadcast service of KCETLink, airs a video profile of each honoree, highlighting how they have made a difference in their community. The 2013 on-air profiles can be viewed on the Web at local_heroes. KCET showcases the rich, vibrant history and cultural diversity of our region with special programs during the respective heritage months and throughout the year. For more information about the Local Heroes program, or to nominate a 2014 local hero, please also visit

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $97 billion at March 31, 2013. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 443 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, and New York as well as two international offices, on March 31, 2013. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world's largest financial organizations. Visit for more information.