A. Latham Staples
|A. Latham Staples|
|Born||Andrew Latham Staples
April 16, 1977
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
|Residence||La Jolla, California|
|Alma mater||Baylor University(B.A.)|
|Political party||Democratic (2008–present)
|Movement||Civil Rights Movement|
|Spouse(s)||Brent Kostelecky (m. 2008–13)|
A. Latham Staples (born 1977) is a San Diego, California community leader, a corporate executive, and an American civil rights activist. He's the Chief Executive Officer of EXUSMED, Inc., a healthcare corporation based in La Jolla, California, and Chairman of the Empowering Spirits Foundation, Inc. (ESF), a national LGBT civil rights organization he founded in the United States.
Early Life and Education
Staples grew up in Fort Worth, Texas where he attended school at Fort Worth Academy, a private school his parents helped found. He spent his Summers in Albany, Texas, his grandparent's hometown, to perform annually in the Fort Griffin Fandangle, the oldest outdoor musical in the state of Texas. His undergraduate studies took Staples to Waco, Texas where he attended Baylor University, a Baptist-affiliated private university. Staples graduated in 1999 as part of the first class of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, a division of the Honor's College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science. It was at Baylor that Staples became heavily involved in public service. He served as assistant to Lester Gibson, McLennan County Precinct 2 Commissioner, and joined and served in various officer roles in Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a national service fraternity. Through APO Staples spent many of his weekends building homes for Habitat for Humanity or volunteering at a local children's learning center. Staples also coordinated with the American Red Cross the largest blood drive in central Texas' history. In addition, Staples was elected to Baylor Student Congress in various roles throughout his collegiate years, including Arts & Sciences Representative and Senior Class Representative.
In 2013 Staples became the Chief Executive Officer of EXUSMED, Inc. (EXUSMED), a healthcare corporation based in La Jolla, California. Prior to joining EXUSMED, Staples served as the President and CEO of Empowering Spirits Foundation, Inc. (ESF), a national non-profit organization he founded in 2008. Preceding ESF Staples was a corporate sales director for Dell, Inc. where he facilitated the creation and build-up of the business-to-business sales divisions at the corporation’s then new Nashville, Tennessee and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma campuses.
Civil Rights Activity
"The day after [the passage of Prop.8] various gay rights organizations attacked Christians, the Mormon Church and minority groups. In my mind this intolerance only amplified the hate, it didn't create change," said Staples, in a feature article about ESF.
Staples said he was laughed at when he suggested to one of the gay rights organizations that they should foster dialogue with those opposed to gay rights, instead of attacking them. Four days later Staples founded ESF, a pacifist LGBT civil rights organization.
Instead of changing the laws, Staples strives to change the hearts and minds of the voters through ESF that are generally ignored by other existing LGBT organizations. ESF’s programs are designed to encourage dialogue between the LGBT community and its non-LGBT neighbors while promoting open, non-disenfranchising communication.
Staples' pacifist attitude, and desire to reach out to those with opposing viewpoints in order to influence change can be seen in a letter he penned regarding a race relations controversy while he attended Baylor in 1999.
"In the past few weeks we have been bombarded with various news articles and editorials regarding the recent surge in tension concerning racial relations at Baylor. Much of this has focused on punishing the NoZe brotherhood and criticizing the administration for its seeming lack of response to the situation.
As a participant of last week's Racial Legacies Dialogue on Race, and a member of student congress, I can firmly say that the administration is very much concerned about this problem and addressing the issues and finding solutions to the problems at hand.
Adrian Despres, speaker at last week's Resurrection Week services, stressed that we tend to focus on the differences and problems of others. However, he continued to say that real change must begin within ourselves. I believe that we as a community are all at fault for the recent strain. The problem isn't just with others of a different race but with differences in people as a whole.
We, myself included, tend to associate with those that we are most comfortable with, mainly due to our upbringing; whether it is those of the same economic status, race, religious beliefs, etc. However, we must step beyond these boundaries. It is only through interaction with others, whether it is through dialogue, mixers, sporting activities or other various forms, that we can truly understand each other. Each of us must take a step."
Echoing Green, an angel investor in social entrepreneurial organizations, named Staples a 2010 Fellow June 22, 2010, and committed to funding ESF for two years. Staples was the only grantee selected from the category of "Civil & Human Rights."
“We found both the mission and the approach of Mr. Staples and his organization to be refreshing and timely,” said Cheryl L. Dorsey, Echoing Green President. “It takes courage and grace to work alongside someone who fundamentally disagrees with you. Through ESF’s community service programs they are engaging in work everyone can agree on and be passionate about. Mr. Staples and his organization are creating a common ground, a new tool in creating social justice.”
Staples also currently serves on several large non-profit nationally based governing boards, including as Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Department of Defense Federal Globe, and on the Board of Directors of the National Women Veterans Association of America. He also served on Lori Saldana's, former member of the California State Assembly from the 76th Assembly district, Hate Free San Diego Commission as he consulted with representatives of San Diego businesses to foster programs to end hate crimes. He’s also a voting member of the San Diego LGBT Center’s Community Leadership Council, and he serves on the Public Policy Advisory Committee.
Staples has worked on several political campaigns, including those of former Vice President Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, San Diego Schoolboard Vice-President Kevin Beiser, and former Congressman and former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, and he served as political adviser to California 50th district Democratic candidate Tracy Emblem. Staples also currently serves on the San Diego LGBT Community Center Public Policy Action Committee and the Center for Leadership Committee.
- EXUSMED Team | A. Latham Staples
- Echoing Green Fellows | A. Latham Staples
- Empowering Spirits Foundation | A. Latham Staples
- ESF | About ESF
- "Community leaders react to the Pride scandal". San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. 2010-01-07. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "The Empowering Spirits Foundation: Bridging the gap between the LGBT community and non-LGBT neighbors". SDGLN.com. 2010-01-29. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "5,000 Plus Gays & Lesbians Help Local Communities Nationwide". My So Called Gay Life. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- SDGLN Contributors
- "APO lends helping hand to philanthropies". Baylor Lariat. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Blood drive seeks donors from Waco community". Baylor Lariat. 1998-10-14. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Student Congress passes bill for tuition breakdown". Baylor Lariat. 1998-10-23. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Students must move beyond traditional boundaries to heal". Baylor Lariat. 1999-04-07. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- A. Latham Staples Named CEO of EXUSMED
- "Empowering Spirits Foundation Founded After Passage of Prop. 8" (PDF). Empowering Spirits Foundation Press Release. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Coming Out into Community". Fox23 News - Albany, NY. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Echoing Green To Fund Empowering Spirits For 2 Years, ESF President A. Latham Staples Named 2010 Fellow". Empowering Spirits Foundation Press Release. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-08-06.