The Dallas gay community ranks 5th largest in the nation and may well be the gay mecca of the South. VisitDallas exists to promote the city and its business ventures which includes fighting back against bigoted Texas legislation. Brian and Colman sit down with Gary Sanchez, senior director of Community Impact, Equity and Public Affairs to discuss the challenges and triumphs of marketing the city.
As senior director of Community Impact, Equity and Public Affairs at VisitDallas, Gary is responsible for developing and fostering relationships with community partners, stakeholders, elected officials, chambers of commerce and state and national associations as they relate to hospitality and the travel/tourism industry. Additionally, he leads the organization’s government affairs, and works with local, state and national associations to protect and advocate for policy directly related to keeping Texas a welcoming destination for all. His experience includes more than 12 years at the City of Dallas, including the Dallas Zoo, Office of Arts and Culture, and the office of the Mayor and City Council. Gary is currently the chair of the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of directors at the Dallas Regional Chamber and 24HourDallas. In September 2021, he was appointed as co-chair of the Dallas Mayor’s Anti-Hate Advisory Council.