CLGS to present Leading Voice award to Mitchell Gold

January 17, 2011

Growing up Jewish in the Northeast, Mitchell Gold experienced first-hand the damage of religion-based bigotry to individuals and society as a whole. As an openly gay business leader, he became doubly aware of the powerful forces of discrimination present in American religious discourse. Convinced that religion was at the heart of the social and political forces arrayed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality, in 2005 he founded a non-profit organization, Faith in America, to address this important issue. Gold recently released a book: Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America.

In 1989, Mitchell Gold and his business partner, Bob Williams, created a furniture company in Taylorsville, North Carolina. Today, Gold and Williams head a nationally recognized company which boasts a 600,000 square-foot factory with a family-friendly work environment that includes an on-site not-for-profit daycare center (the company says this is the first of its kind in the residential furniture industry). In addition to selling furniture in Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma Home, and Bloomingdale’s, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has a growing chain of signature stores in cities including New York; Washington, DC; Greenwich, CT; Boston; Atlanta; Miami; Houston; Nashville; Ann Arbor; Portland, OR; Los Angeles; San Juan; and Mexico City.

A quote from a recent editorial on the America Forum blog, in which Gold spelled out part of his public-minded business philosophy:

"It’s clear that our political leaders need to shift course in order to build a healthy economy. We need to put aside the myths and rationalizations that excuse the unprecedented greed the last decade has witnessed. We need to have a basic sense of decency and focus on policies that benefit us all. It’s pretty simple: when Main Street consumers are doing better, we all do better. Or, as the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce recently said, 'We need customers, not tax breaks.'”

Gold will be the distinguished speaker at the CLGS luncheon on Wednesday, January 26, during PSR's annual Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference. His presentation is titled, "Our Daily 'Mind': Faith, Work, and the Economy." The luncheon will take place from 1:00-2:30 pm at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific refectory (2450 LeConte Ave), across the street from the PSR campus. The cost is $20 for the general public; $8 for students with ID; please register.