Longtime Black Tie Dinner volunteer and Turtle Creek Chorale member joins Resource Center Dallas CEO, who is 1st to repeat in 30 years
Resource Center CEO Cece Cox and The Dallas Way organizer Robert Emery were named grand marshals of the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.
Cox is the first repeat grand marshal in the parade’s 30-year history.
She was grand marshal in 1995 when she was president of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance.
Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said the rules for a repeat grand marshal are clear.
“In order to be considered, there must be a 10-year lapse and the person must still be active in the community,” Doughman said.
Since her last appearance as grand marshal, Cox has become CEO of Resource Center Dallas. Under her leadership, Youth First Texas has become a program of the center and land has been cleared near the corner of Inwood and Cedar Springs roads for construction of a new building.
Cox said she was honored her work with the center was valued by the community.
“The center will be in the midst of its 30th anniversary,” she said, “so it’s very exciting for all of us here.”
Robert Emery is being honored for his work with the Black Tie Dinner committee and The Dallas Way. He was a long-time member of the Turtle Creek Chorale.
Cox said she was excited to share the grand marshal title with Emery because of his generosity to RCD and his help in producing events.
The Dallas Way is a year-old project to record Dallas LGBT history. Emery collects, edits and files the written histories of groups, events and individuals who have made an impact on the community.
The organization also produces and records oral history programs and is working with University of North Texas to archive documents and artifacts.
“We can always depend on Rob when we need him,” The Dallas Way founder Jack Evans said.
Emery served as program director of Black Tie Dinner for two years and for 11 years served as new member orientation coordinator for the Turtle Creek Chorale.
Former Black Tie Dinner chair Nan Arnold called Emery incredibly talented.
“He’s a great guy to work with,” she said. “He’s so creative and I’m saying that from the heart.”
Currently Emery serves on the board of Friends of WRR, the city-owned classical radio station, chairing the special events committee.
Nominations for grand marshal that included information on the person’s background and contributions were generated from the community on the parade website.
A committee reviewed the nominations and the top five men and top five women were put on a ballot.
Those nominations were then voted on by the community.
Doughman said he’s unsure whether there will be an honorary or celebrity grand marshal this year.
The committee is looking at several possibilities, but because the parade and festival are community fundraisers, the budget is limited. He said they’re also exploring community partnerships to bring in a special guest. Because this is the parade’s 30th anniversary, Doughman said the committee is trying to make sure it’s one of the most colorful events in its history.
“We’re putting more emphasis on entries in the parade having a more festive presence.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 12, 2013.