For more than 10 years, Jonathan Welsh, a University of Miami alumnus, has been actively engaged internationally and locally. In addition to serving in South Africa with the United States Peace Corps, he has campaigned for various environmental and health initiatives both in Washington D.C and in Tallahassee. Jonathan is the head of Marketing and Development with Care Resource, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community health care provider with offices in Downtown Miami, Little Havana, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Tell us about Care Resource:
Services include child services, gynecological care, general adult primary care, oral health, HIV primary care, research, diagnostic laboratory and X-ray, screenings, immunizations, voluntary family planning and referrals to obstetrical and other specialty care services. Support services include case management, outpatient mental health and substance abuse counseling, HIV and STI testing, wellness screening, outreach, nutrition and referrals. One can learn more at www.careresource.org.
What is the scope of your responsibilities at Care Resource?
Regarding public relations and marketing, I manage our website, our marketing and media plans, the production and distribution of our newsletters, media releases, direct mail pieces, our social media activities and our advertising. Regarding development, I oversee the planning, implementation and execution of all our special events including, but not limited to our AIDS Walk Miami and the annual White Party Week.
What program with your organization are you get the most excited about?
It it definately the White Party! On November 29th, we are going to witness the rebirth of “The White Party” in true VIP fashion at the new Perez Art Museum of Miami. Attendees are invited to dress to impress in their finest formal wear and debonairly debut their elegance all while enjoying an evening overlooking Biscayne Bay, the Port of Miami and the Miami skyline. It will be a fantasic night of fabulous fashonistas in white, emblazoned with diamonds and pearls. One can get their tickets at www.whiteparty.org.
Why did you select this venue for White Party?
The Perez Art Museum is an incredible location offering amazing vistas of Miami. Both internally and externally, there has always been the desire to recreate the White Party with a waterfront view of Miami. Our visitors coming from Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Montreal or even Fort Lauderdale deserve the best Miami has to offer. This three-story museum, sits upon an elevated platform and below a canopy, both of which extend far beyond the building’s walls creating a shaded veranda and plazas. The architects worked with local and international landscape designers and horticulturists to“bring a park into the museum” in new and innovative ways.
What should attendees expect for this year’s White Party?
This year, guests arriving before 9pm are welcome to fully explore the Perez Art Museum while being entertained by an array of musical quartets, ensembles and very colorful characters; while outside, guests will be treated to delectable hors d’oeuvres prepared fresh from the kitchen of Stephen Starr Events. Guests of the White Party are certainly in for a treat this year. We are reinventing the wheel and have contracted DJ David Knapp and the White Party Symphony, to perform a very special one hour tribute to 30 years of music, as composed and conducted by Sam Hyken, as never heard before. Guests can also take their chances to win fabulous prizes at our outdoor Casino and enjoy amazing complimentary cocktails all night long. Our party hostess, the ever-so-fabulous Elaine Lancaster, has a MARVELOUS and secretive performance in store. So get your outfits together and prepare for the all new White Party. The tradition and celebration of White Party lives on!
Is there anything else you would like to share about this year’s White Party?
I love my city and my goal is to incorporate a larger spectrum of guests from all around Miami. White Party isn’t just an LGBT event, it’s a Miami event. Moreover, I have great gratitude to all those that have helped steward White Party for the past 30 years. I am reminded of this quotation from Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” So many people have come before me these past 30 years and made both White Party and Care Resource what it is today. Rick Siclari, Care Resource’s CEO has been an incredible mentor. He and the rest of the team here at Care Resource inspire me to come into work every day. I am just grateful that I can help carry the torch and do something amazing for my community. I would like for the readers to remember too that White Party is more than just a fun time. Back in 1985, local successful gay businessman, Frank Wager helped stage this fundraiser to generate desperately needed funds to help combat a disease that was running rampant. This party symbolizes community solidarity in a way that is non-political and non-combative. White Party is about people, friends, those we care for, and those whose memories we will continue to honor, by helping those we still can.
What do you see as the organization’s greatest challenges and how do you feel Care Resource can meet them?
Like Charlotte York from Sex and the City, I am an eternal optimist. I see the word “challenge” and I think “opportunity.” We are South Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization. With that stated, many in the community think that our services are only HIV related. There needs to be more awareness that our offices have been designated as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). We now provide comprehensive health and support services to address the full health care needs of children, adolescents and adults. We can certainly meet this challenge of generating awareness about our expanded services. For more than 30 years, our work in the community has earned us the confidence of our clients as well as public and private funding at local, state and federal levels.
What items are always in your refrigerator?
A couple years ago, Alina Z (Zhukovskaya), nutrition coach and culinary expert, helped me create a healthy diet that reflects both my unique personality and lifestyle. Every morning, I make a green smoothie. So, my refrigerator always includes smoothie items like Kale, Greek Yogurt, Bananas, Blueberries and avocados.
What is your favorite room in your house?
I love my kitchen. It is painted in a salmon color, it has art scattered all over and it kind of looks like a French Brasserie. The kitchen also overlooks a tree-lined street in South Beach which is conducive to amazing people watching.
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my patience. I have the ability to persevere through tough times and keep my eye on the ball. While serving in Peace Corps, there were many times in which I wanted to throw-in the towel and come home. I got stomach viruses, I didn’t have internet and I had language barriers, however, I stuck it out, did my best and I feel like I am a better person because of it. There is also a special butterfly in my life that I am being patient for. We are on different journeys right now. However, we do love each other and I care about him very much. When the time is right, all will be marvelous. Love isn’t possession, but about appreciation.
What is something you have learned from a pet?
My cat’s name is Oscar Wilde Welsh and he is the most amazing kitty in the world. I learned that cats are so complicated. They have such an array of emotions. They can become happy, depressed, vengeful, loving and more. Sometimes he escapes to play with his friends outside, but he always comes home, because, in addition to free meals, home is where the heart is.
How do we get our young people more interested in charitable giving and community volunteering?
I think what it all comes down to supporting organizations that represent one’s talents or beliefs. If you enjoy art and music…support the arts. If you enjoy the outdoors… support an environmental organization. If you enjoys political advocacy… support that. There is no time like the present to start becoming involved. There is this quote by John Wesley that reads, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” I encourage young people to heed those words, become involved, be a good person and leave a positive legacy