GLAAD Vito Russo Award recipient

Multimedia dynamo Suze Orman, financial agony aunt to the entire nation, has the ability to address complicated financial issues as if having a heart-to-heart with a next-door neighbor.

Orman, who attended the U. of Illinois, once aspired to brain surgery. But it was that 1973 cross-country trip in a Ford Econoline Van that led her to a $400-a-month job as a waitress at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, Calif. Waitressing eventually led Orman to her first financial gig, at Merrill Lynch. Wearing red-and-white striped pants, cowboy boots and a lot of bravado, she was on her way to saving Americans from financial ruin.

She has a powerful voice that speaks to the gay community’s financial concerns and also her hopes for the future of the LGBT community. This was evidenced in her recent speech to the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, where she received the Vito Russo Award.

“I want every single one of you in this room to take note of what corporations put time and money behind gays and lesbians,” said Orman. “Invest in those companies that invest in you.”

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