Tim Gill

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Tim Gill
Born (1953-10-18) October 18, 1953 (age 63)
Hobart, Indiana
Residence Denver, Colorado
Occupation Founder of the Gill Foundation and Quark, Inc.
Co-Founder of JStar LLC
Known for Philanthropy
LGBT Rights Activism
Computer Software Programming
Spouse(s) Scott Miller

Tim Gill (born October 18, 1953) is an American computer software programmer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and LGBT rights activist.

He is the founder and co-chair of the Gill Foundation, a private Denver-based philanthropic organization supporting the LGBT community across the country.[1] He is the single largest individual donor to the LGBT rights movement in U.S. history, having personally committed more than $422 million since the early 1990s.[2]

Gill is also the founder of the pioneering page layout software company Quark, Inc.[1] Gill sold his 50 percent stake in the company in 1999 for a reported $500 million.[2]

Gill’s latest venture is JStar LLC, a smart home technology start-up that invented Josh.ai, a voice-controlled home automation system using JStar’s own artificial intelligence technology platform.[3]

Background[edit]

Tim Gill was born in Hobart, Indiana. He attended Wheat Ridge High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, eventually studying computer science and applied mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[1]

Gill first became involved in LGBT activism as a freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[2] He volunteered for the campus gay-liberation group and later supported local HIV/AIDS awareness.[2]

Philanthropy and Political Action[edit]

Tim Gill is the founder of the Gill Foundation, Gill Action Fund, and OutGiving.[4]

He first became involved in LGBT political action in 1992 in response to the passage of Colorado Amendment 2, which prevented non-discrimination ordinances in the state from protecting people based on sexual orientation.[4][5]

Following the sale of his stake in Quark, Inc., Gill set aside 60 percent of his assets - more than $300 million – to fight for LGBT rights.[2]

He is widely credited as a visionary strategist and mega-donor who has made significant contributions to virtually every major LGBT rights victory in the United States, from the 2003 Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health decision making Massachusetts the first U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage, to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.[2][4][5][6]

In July 2017, Gill was the subject of a profile by journalist Andy Kroll for Rolling Stone magazine titled “The Quiet Crusader: How Tim Gill turned a $500 million fortune into the nation’s most powerful force for LGBTQ rights.”[2]

Gill Foundation[edit]

Tim Gill founded the Gill Foundation in 1994.[7] The national, Denver-based non-profit organization underwrites academic research, polling, litigation, data analytics, and field organizing related to the LGBT rights movement.[2]

The foundation’s early focus was to fund LGBT and other mainstream projects in Colorado.[4] The foundation established the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado in 1996, which provides financial support to non-profit organizations in the state.[2][8]

The foundation primarily focuses on advancing LGBT rights and causes at the state level.[2][4][6]

Gill Action Fund[edit]

In 2005, Tim Gill established the Gill Action Fund, which is separate from the charitable endeavors of the Gill Foundation.[9]

The political fund has helped to elect hundreds of pro-equality lawmakers across the country at the local, state, and federal levels.[2] In 2006, its first election year, the Gill Action Fund helped defeat 50 of the 70 anti-LGBT candidates it targeted.[2]

The Gill Action Fund contributed to the successful 2016 election campaign of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who defeated the incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.[2] Gill prioritized unseating McCrory after he championed and passed the anti-LGBT HB2 “bathroom bill,” which forced transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their sex at birth rather than their gender identity.[2]

OutGiving[edit]

Tim Gill founded OutGiving to bring major pro-LGBT philanthropists together in 1996.[10] OutGiving holds a conference every two years that convenes many of the country’s most generous pro-LGBT donors to discuss philanthropic strategies.[10][6]

The conference is a private, invitation-only event geared toward individuals whose philanthropy exceeds $25,000 annually.[2]

Freedom for All Americans[edit]

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, Tim Gill has shifted his focus to securing non-discrimination protections in the 28 states where it is still legal to discriminate against LGBT people in housing, employment and public accommodations.[4][11]

Gill is credited with developing a bipartisan strategy for securing non-discrimination protections in traditionally Republican states.[4] In 2015, Gill, Paul Singer and Daniel Loeb, helped fund Freedom for All Americans to advocate for non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in states and local communities across the country.[12][13]

Freedom for All Americans has successfully enlisted the support of businesses and corporations to work with Republican-held state legislatures to reject or overturn anti-LGBT legislation.[14][15]

The organization borrows the state-focused model of Freedom to Marry, the grassroots organizations that directed the fight for same-sex marriage equality from state to state leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision.[16][17]

Other[edit]

In 2016, Tim Gill directed funding from the Gill Foundation to support a comprehensive theme study by the National Park Service to identify historically significant places related to LGBT history for potential inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places or designation as a National Monument.[18][19][20]

Business Ventures[edit]

JStar LLC[edit]

In March 2015, Tim Gill co-founded the smart home technology start-up JStar LLC.[11] Gill is the Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the company.[21]

JStar’s flagship product is Josh.ai, a voice-controlled home automation system using JStar’s own artificial intelligence technology platform.[21][3]

The company is headquartered in Denver with offices in Los Angeles.[22]

In July 2017, JStar announced an additional $8 million in private investment to create original hardware to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo, and other devices with intelligent assistants inside.[23][24]

Currently, Josh.ai can be used through Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, Google Home, and iOS and Android apps.[23][24]

Quark, Inc.[edit]

After jobs at Hewlett-Packard and a consulting services firm, Gill started the company Quark, Inc. in 1981 with a $2,000 loan from his parents.[4][7][25] Quark, Inc. produced page layout software for the graphics market. With the introduction of Fred Ebrahimi as CEO in 1986 and the launch of the company's flagship page layout software QuarkXPress in 1987, Gill became a multi-millionaire.[26]

Gill sold his 50 percent interest in Quark, Inc., in 1999 for a reported $500 million, citing his growing involvement in philanthropic and activist endeavors.[7][2]

Connexion.org[edit]

In 2003, Gill created Connexion.org, a social media platform for engaging the LGBT community in political activities.[27] Connexion closed in September, 2011.[28]

Personal Life[edit]

Gill married his husband Scott Miller in Massachusetts in 2009.[29] They live in Denver, Colorado with their two dogs.[8]

Gill is an avid snowboarder.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Healy, Rita (April 4, 2007). "The Gay Mogul Changing U.S. Politics". Time. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Kroll, Andy (June 23, 2017). "Meet the Megadonor Behind the LGBTQ Rights Movement". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Chang, Lulu (May 31, 2016). "Have $14,000 to Spend? The Josh.ai Smart Home System May Be for You". Digital Trends. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Green, Joshua (April 24, 2015). "America’s Gay Corporate Warrior Wants to Bring Full Equality to Red States". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Green, Joshua (March 1, 2007). "They Won’t Know What Hit Them". The Atlantic. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Ben (December 14, 2010). "Gay rights take center stage in N.Y.". Politico. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Rothenberg, Matthew (October 25, 2000). "Founder Tim Gill exits Quark". ZDNet. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Tim Gill". Gill Foundation. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  9. ^ Roehr, Bob (March 30, 2006). "The Gill Action Fund: Serious LGBT Politics". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "About OutGiving". OutGiving. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Callahan, David (August 25, 2015). "No One Left Behind: Tim Gill and the New Quest for Full LGBT Equality". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  12. ^ Polaski, Adam (June 8, 2015). "Introducing the Campaign to Secure Non-Discrimination for LGBT Americans". Freedom for All Americans. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ Somashekhar, Sandhya (June 5, 2015). "Ending discrimination in workplace, other areas is next gay rights battle". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  14. ^ "Major Businesses Speaking Up for Nondiscrimination Protections in Georgia". Freedom for All Americans. January 7, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Business Community Leading the Charge for Nondiscrimination Bills". Freedom for All Americans. February 3, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  16. ^ Wheeler, Lydia (July 5, 2015). "The next front in battle over gay rights". The Hill. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  17. ^ Wolfson, Evan (June 26, 2015). "Evan Wolfson: What’s Next in the Fight for Gay Equality". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Doyle, Michael (October 11, 2016). "LGBTQ history mapped for possible national historic landmark honors". Miami Herald. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  19. ^ Sheppard, Kate (October 12, 2016). "National Park Service Studies Historic LGBTQ Sites For Possible Recognition". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Gill, Tim; Jewell, Sally (October 11, 2016). "Preserving LGBTQ history". Washington Blade. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  21. ^ a b Stuart, Sophia (January 8, 2016). "Forget Alexa: Josh Is Your New AI Butler". PC Magazine. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "About Josh". Josh.ai. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (July 7, 2017). "Josh.ai raises $11 million for a premium home automation system with a smarter AI". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  24. ^ a b Johnson, Khari (July 7, 2017). "Josh.ai raises $8 million to build an Amazon Echo competitor for smart homes". VentureBeat. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  25. ^ Hoover's Guide to Computer Companies. Hoover's Business Press. December 1996. pp. 346–. ISBN 9781878753809. Retrieved 2 June 2012. In 1981 Gill, then 27, founded Quark ... 
  26. ^ Anton, Kelly Kordes; Cruise, John (2009-02-13). QuarkXpress 8: Essential Skills for Page Layout and Web Design. Peachpit Press. pp. 209–. ISBN 9780321616913. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  27. ^ Jones, Isa. "Connexion is Shutting Down". CU Independent. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  28. ^ Villarreal, Daniel (September 7, 2011). "How Will Connexion Help LGBTs Now That They’re Closing Down?". Queerty. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  29. ^ Park, Penny (April 13, 2009). "Parker: Tim Gill ties the knot in Massachusetts". Denver Post. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 

External links[edit]