St. Petersburg, Fla. – April 18, 2018 – Carlton Fields is pleased to announce that its Chief Operating Officer, Anastasia “Annie” Hiotis, was elected Chair of the Board of Equality Florida Institute Inc., an arm of Equality Florida. Her term begins immediately.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) community.
As chair, Ms. Hiotis will provide overall strategic and policy formulation, direction and guidance to Equality Florida, serving as an ambassador, and assisting in the establishment of the fiscal budget and its approval as well as raising funds to support the organization. The board comprises 15 members from around the state of Florida. Ms. Hiotis was elected to the board of Equality Florida in October 2017.
“Annie’s long-time service to Equality Florida makes her a perfect choice as board chair,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “She knows the organization as a donor, volunteer, and now as a board leader.”
As Carlton Fields’ COO, a position she has held since 2001, Ms. Hiotis oversees the law firm’s operations of more than 600 lawyers and professional staff, which has five offices in Florida, and offices in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, Hartford, and Los Angeles. She has been with the firm since 1992 and previously served as its Director of Office Operations and Human Resources.
Ms. Hiotis has been openly gay at Carlton Fields since 2008, and she is an advocate for the firm’s longstanding diversity initiatives, which are recognized at a national level.
Specifically, Carlton Fields consistently ranks as a top law firm in the country for Diversity by Vault, and the firm has received the distinction of “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” for nine consecutive years by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. Additionally, the firm’s efforts to promote LGBT equality in the workplace are evidenced by its offering of domestic partner benefits to attorneys and staff since 1999; establishing the firm’s LGBT Alliance; and representing LGBT individuals and families pro bono in significant same-sex marriage and adoption cases for all LGBT Floridians — including working with Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights pro bono in Pareto v. Ruvin, which allowed same-sex couples in Miami-Dade County to receive marriage licenses. Currently, Carlton Fields represents Equality Florida, pro bono, in support of a case to defend the City of Tampa’s ban on the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy for minors.
Ms. Hiotis has been extensively involved with Equality Florida since 2009 and to date, either chairing or being an active member of the St. Petersburg Equality Florida Steering Committee. As a result of years of activism, she was honored to serve as a Grand Marshal at the St. Pete Pride Parade in 2016, was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as an Outstanding Voice in their 2016 Business of Pride edition, and in 2014 was presented the Voice of Equality Award from Equality Florida at its St. Petersburg Gala. Ms. Hiotis and her partner of 26 years, Connie Lancaster, have been staunch supporters of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, sponsoring its annual launch party each year since 2011. They were also significant benefactors to the St. Petersburg LGBT Welcome Center.
About Carlton Fields: Carlton Fields has more than 300 attorneys and government and financial services consultants serving clients from offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Washington, D.C. The firm is known for its national litigation practice, including class action defense, trial practice, white-collar representation, and high-stakes appeals; its insurance practice, including life and financial lines, property and casualty, reinsurance, and title insurance; its regulatory practice; and its handling of sophisticated business transactions and corporate counseling for domestic and international clients. For additional information, visit www.carltonfields.com. (Carlton Fields practices law in California through Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, LLP.)