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For Immediate Release

Jane Yedinak
(415) 765-3241

Steve Roth
(323) 936-1831

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 22, 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 KQED to honor four extraordinary individuals as part of the Local Heroes program. The 2013 LGBT Pride Month honorees — Michael V. Discepola, Dawn Harbatkin, M.D., Jodi L. Schwartz, and Stu Smith — will be recognized during an awards celebration on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

The ceremony will be hosted by Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, better known as The Fabulous Beekman Boys, and recent winners of The Amazing Race. The event will include performances by the acclaimed San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the musical theater company 42nd Street Moon, and Voices Lesbian Choral Ensemble.

The Local Heroes program recognizes and pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their workplace, community, region and the world. The program premieres on KQED 9 Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 7 p.m. and has repeat airings Monday, June 24 at 1 a.m. and Saturday, June 29 at 6 p.m.; and on KQED Life Sunday, June 23 at 9:30 p.m., Monday, June 24 at 3:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Tuesday, June 25 at 1 a.m.

The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 18th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with KQED, the public media organization that serves Northern California. Union Bank and KQED created the awards to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for the African American, Latino American, and Asian Pacific American communities. In 2011, it was expanded to also recognize honorees as part of LGBT Pride Month.

“Union Bank has been honored to partner with KQED on the Local Heroes program for nearly 20 years, and the program has allowed us to recognize the triumphs and successes of local heroes who have contributed so much to our community,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “The honorees embody our core values of diversity and community involvement, and they continue to inspire us.”

“KQED is privileged to join our long-term partner Union Bank as we celebrate the 2013 local heroes,” said KQED President John Boland. “These individuals are doing outstanding work to benefit the local LGBT community, the Bay Area community in general and the world at large. We are also pleased to introduce these heroes to our viewers through the video profiles airing on KQED throughout LGBT Pride Month as we celebrate with programming that focuses on the LGBT community.”

The 2013 LGBT Pride Month honorees are:

Michael V. Discepola is the director of The Stonewall Project for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The Stonewall Project is a family of programs dedicated to providing client-centered harm reduction counseling, treatment and support services. Since 1993, Mr. Discepola’s work has focused on community health and wellness for LGBT communities. He is a member of the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council (HPPC), and has served as the community co-chair for both the HPPC and the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS).

Dawn Harbatkin, M.D. has been the executive director at Lyon-Martin Health Services since May 2012 and the medical director since January 2006. Lyon-Martin is a community clinic in San Francisco that provides healthcare to women and transgender people in a safe and compassionate environment, and services are provided regardless of ability to pay. Dr. Harbatkin also completed a fellowship through the California Health Care Foundation’s Healthcare Leadership Program.

Jodi L. Schwartz became executive director of the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center’s (LYRIC) in 2005. She has an ardent commitment to social justice and has devoted more than 30 years to nonprofit work. During Ms. Schwartz’s tenure at LYRIC, she developed San Francisco’s first LGBTQQ youth-specific case management program, and facilitated the formation of the Community Partnership for LGBTQQ Youth -- an eight-agency continuum of services for LGBTQQ youth ages 16-24. Before joining LYRIC, Ms. Schwartz co-founded and served as executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

Stu Smith was a CEO in the Silicon Valley in the 1960s and was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the late 1980s. While volunteering on the Shanti Project board, he discovered the communications challenges many nonprofits face. From this experience, he created Tin Pan Alley Productions, an Internet portal that connects nonprofits to needed resources. Smith is board chair emeritus of the Shanti Project, a member of the LGBT Senior Task Force, a producer and host of The Drag Show and a Bay Times columnist.

To view the videos profiles of each honoree and to get more information on the wide range of LGBT Pride Month programming KQED offers in June, or to nominate a future local hero, visit 2014 LGBT Pride Month nominations are now open. For more information about the Local Heroes Awards, 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.

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.