McKinney Chief Operating Officer Joni Madison was recently elected to serve as co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign’s national board of directors. As the governing body of HRC, the board has ultimate authority over the organizations’ actions. During her two-year appointment, Joni will help to lead the board in determining HRC’s political mission and establishing the policies that help fulfill it.

“What’s most exciting is that I’ve been a volunteer for HRC for 13 years, and now I get to help lead this incredibly dynamic group of intelligent, passionate individuals,” says Joni. “Everything I’ve done for HRC has been for the next generation of LGBT Americans. When I was a teenager, I never imagined that gay rights would have come as far as they have, that it would become an issue at the forefront of politics. It’s an exciting time to be a part of HRC.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Tim Downing of Cleveland, Ohio, was elected co-chair in 2011 and will work with Joni through the end of his term later this year. In 2010/2011, Tim and Joni co-chaired HRC’s strategic plan initiative. “Tim is a tenacious and passionate leader, and he’s my HRC husband now,” says Joni, smiling. “And I’m happy with the union.”

HRC President Chad Griffin is happy too: “Joni Madison’s passion and commitment will help drive this organization as we work toward full LGBT equality in America. Joni brings tremendous leadership to this position, and I’m thrilled to work side by side with her in this historic battle for fairness, freedom and equality.”

Joni is conscientious as a business leader and quickly notes that politics is a personal issue, saying that she appreciates working for a company that not only allows her to volunteer with HRC but also supports her efforts. “I never take for granted that McKinney is so open and inclusive. I’ve had co-workers come to my office to talk about how some people have different legal rights than other people, even people who work together — and sometimes we agree to disagree on the ways to create full LGBT equality,” she says. “For these conversations and McKinney’s ongoing support of my HRC habit I am so grateful.”