Kevin Ivers Ends Ten Years of Service to Log Cabin Republicans
Mark Mead named new Director of Public Affairs; Ivers to Start PR Company
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Kevin Ivers, one of the most quoted national gay political spokespersons, announced today that he leaving Log Cabin Republicans after a decade of working for the nation's largest gay GOP organization.
Ivers announced he is forming his own company, Center Strategies, a public relations consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. His last day on staff will be August 15, 2002.
"I'm very proud and honored to have served a cause I so deeply believe in for the last ten years," Ivers said. "While I'm excited about moving into the private sector and starting my own company, nothing can compare to the experience of being here at Log Cabin all these years. I'm heading in a new direction, but I will be a Log Cabin Republican for the rest of my life."
He will be succeeded by Mark Mead, a veteran Republican activist with nearly a decade of leadership in gay political efforts throughout the country. Mead, a native of Mississippi, helped found the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans in 1994, served on the board of Georgia Equality from 1996 to 2000, and on Log Cabin's national board from 1995 to 2002.
Mead worked for the Republican National Committee from 1986 to 1992, with a term as deputy executive director of the Kentucky Republican Party in 1991.
Kevin Ivers founded the first Log Cabin national office in his Washington apartment in 1993, after serving as volunteer national press secretary during the controversial 1992 presidential election. In 1993, he joined Rich Tafel as one of the first full-time staffers of the organization, and began operations in a two-room suite inside the national office of P-FLAG. The organization went on to expand operations and move to its own headquarters in the heart of Washington's gay community.
The focus of Ivers' career has been public affairs and media relations. He managed Log Cabin's political and legislative efforts until he was named Director of Public Affairs in 1996, taking over as spokesperson. Over subsequent years, Log Cabin Republicans became widely known throughout political and pop culture – from news headlines and editorials to campaign commercials, from a cartoon in the New Yorker magazine to notable mentions in feature films.
A January 2002 National Journal article referred to Log Cabin as "the most prominent group of gay conservatives" in the nation, while CNN said Log Cabin was "nationally the most influential gay Republican organization" in 2001. Ivers played a key role in developing Log Cabin's political ad campaigns in recent years, including the $500,000 print and radio campaign in the 2000 presidential election. He also worked closely with the White House press office and reporters on the Administration beat after the election of President Bush, and counseled White House and administration officials on message development for a range of issues, including AIDS policy, hate crimes and the President's faith-based initiative.
Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), a founding member of the Log Cabin National Advisory Board said: "Kevin Ivers has helped to make Log Cabin Republican one of the premier Republican organizations in the United States, with respect and influence growing daily. His presence will be greatly missed, but the foundation he has helped to build assures the future of Log Cabin Republicans."
Bob Stears, Chairman of the Board for Log Cabin, and President of The Strategy Group, a public affairs and lobbying company in Trenton, NJ, summed up Kevin Ivers' legacy: "The guy is a genius. I've spent my professional life in politics and there are few in the business that are better, faster and more strategic than Kevin. We will miss him, but we're glad he will remain involved in the Log Cabin movement."
Ivers also pioneered the work of the Log Cabin's educational sister organization Liberty Education Forum. His cultural op-eds were carried throughout the gay media and circulated widely on the internet, most notably a piece entitled "The New Gay Plague" on the emerging drug addiction problem in the gay community. "Through tough times and good times, Kevin's brilliance has guided Log Cabin in our public affairs strategy. That same savvy helped us to launch Liberty Education Forum," said Bob Kabel, LEF Chairman. "While we are sure to miss him, it is comforting to know he's only a phone call away."
Log Cabin's founding Executive Director and President of the Liberty Education Forum echoed the comments of both chairmen. "Kevin has been the brains behind an operation that took our organization from obscurity to a political player in a very tough game," said Rich Tafel. "His efforts took us from a time when the gay press refused to cover us, to a place where reporters from around the world regularly seek out our views. That's an amazing accomplishment for any group, and Kevin is the genius behind making that happen. Both the Republican Party and the gay community were blessed to have such a brilliant person commit himself to the cause of ending intolerance from both camps. The Party of Lincoln is more inclusive today, and the gay movement is closer to its own ideals of respect for diversity and tolerance in part because of Kevin's tireless work."
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay Republican organization, with local and state chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.