The Innovators

They’re not all household names yet, but these innovative LGBTs are transforming critical industries and changing the way we do business for the better.



3. Paul Mareski
President, Team One
Los Angeles
As the head of Team One, a division of global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Mareski’s goal is to “launch the remarkable.” What’s remarkable is Mareski’s unparalleled success in our media-saturated culture; he’s managed to effectively launch and relaunch numerous brands, including Häagen-Dazs, Ritz-Carlton, Icelandic Glacial Water, and Flexjet by Bombardier. Creating innovation in the advertising sphere has never been harder, but Mareski makes it look easy through incorporation of one of Team One’s core values, philanthropy. As he recently told the Agency Post, “Giving back to the local community was always a part of Team One’s culture, and it has now become a pillar for our organization. This philanthropic commitment by the agency has now turned into a multitude of grassroots efforts put forth by our employees. A few examples of our collaborative volunteer efforts include a 15-year partnership with a local elementary school, a highlighted charity each month to volunteer and donate to, and a tradition started long before I arrived: Each year we close our doors for an entire day so that employees can volunteer their time, on our time, to charities.”

4. Judy Dlugacz
Founder, Olivia
San Francisco
Sometimes Plan C turns out to be much better than plans A or B. Dlugacz began her career as a separatist lesbian activist in Washington, D.C, then founded Olivia Records, the largest and oldest independent record company specializing in female artists. Dlugacz had a knack for connecting women through music. When, 15 years into that second career, Dlugacz mused that a concert on the water might be fun, another industry, lesbian cruises, was born. Olivia Cruises and Resorts has since become the largest travel brand, including cruises and land-based vacations, exclusively for women. And Olivia has proven to be an economic force to be reckoned with: In 2000, four Istanbul newspapers featured front-page headlines about how lesbian cruises had spent more than $500,000 in three ports of call in three days, boosting a flagging Turkish economy. A prolific and generous philanthropist, the 61-year-old Dlugacz is currently at work on a book about the last 30 years of lesbian history through the lens of her work with Olivia.