The North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, made up of 282 leaders from Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties, includes at least four openly gay members.
Wendy Lopez, vice president of URS Corp., is a member of the Host Committee’s Board of Directors, which is chaired by Roger Staubach and includes the likes of Tom Hicks, Ross Perot Jr. and T. Boone Pickens. Lopez declined our request for an interview about her role on the Board of Directors.
The other openly gay members of the Host Committee — who have honorary roles and haven’t been actively involved in preparations for the Super Bowl — are Tony Vedda, president and CEO of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce; Jonathan Palant, artistic director for the Turtle Creek Chorale; and Kevin Moriarty, artistic director for the Dallas Theater Center.
Vedda said he, Palant and Moriarty were named to the Host Committee a few years ago by the city of Dallas.
“To the best of our knowledge, there’s not been a GLBT Chamber ever invited to be on a Super Bowl Host Committee,” Vedda said. “For the state of Texas, which people always assume is so conservative, to have this great event here and to have our chamber connected with it, is really a terrific honor. Of course we all know that North Texas is not the same as the rest of Texas.
“We are a gay and lesbian organization, and I am certainly openly gay, and so to be included and attend the events and interact with folks has just been a terrific experience,” Vedda added. “I think they made a real effort to connect within communities, by inviting people like me to be part of the Host Committee. I viewed this not as a one-time deal. I really viewed this as, I want to understand what it is to be on this committee so that, when it happens again, and I expect it will, we’re knowledgeable enough to position our community better.”