Bob Williams and Mitchell Gold (Photo Credit: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams)

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The Tyler Clementi Foundation will honor North Carolina’s Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams with the Corporate Upstander Award at their Vision 2020 2019 Upstander Legacy Celebration on Oct. 23 at Stage 48 in Manhattan.

The foundation shared that for 30 years, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams followed a “professional design and experience ethic of ‘Comfort for All,’ applying that logic not only to their products but also to their world.” As a corporate citizen, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has supported organizations that “lift and protect the dignity of so many different people,” the foundation continued. This includes the Human Rights Campaign, Exodus Homes and Works, The Montrose Center’s LGBT! Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund, Faith in America, The Humane Society, The Reformation Project and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, among others.

The two furniture icons released their book, “The Comfortable Home: How to Invest in Your Nest and Live Well for Less” in 2009 and around that time Gold, along with Mindy Drucker, brought their “Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America” anthology to readers worldwide. This book included a broad spectrum of contributors who told their stories of being an LGBTQ community member, as well as coming out stories, prejudices, fears, pressures and more. Considering the epidemic of bullying, homophobia and discrimination that is prevalent in today’s society under the Trump administration, this book could well serve as a support to those who crave acceptance.

Not only has Gold stood up against discrimination and bullying in his philanthropic work, he has been a strong opponent to conversion therapy. He told N.C. Policy Watch that he could not understand why there was not already a state law in North Carolina banning the practice of conversion therapy. He also does not buy the support for it among religious groups as legitimate.

“It’s time for America’s faith traditions to see their rejection of LGBTQ people because of their innate sexuality, and the insistence that they change through harmful so-called therapy, for what it is — bullying,” said Gold.

Gold’s work has not only been experienced on a large stage but has also been felt in the Foothills in the Hickory, N.C. area. AIDS service organization ALFA presents its Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams Legacy Award annually during its Winter Gala. The recognitions go to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in support of HIV/AIDS services in the local community. The company has been a long-time supporter of ALFA.

Gold and Williams had been coupled prior to their foray into the furniture design and manufacturing business. Their talents and strengths complemented each other so seamlessly that they were able to launch their business and see it grow over its 30-year history. Though their romantic relationship ended, their dedication to grow their business flourished. (Gold married Tim Scofield in 2019). Today they make “everything from furniture to drapes, and includes a hospitality arm,” as well as other ventures, Business of Home reported. The business has been the recipient of a number of awards over the years and has been deemed innovators for their design aesthetic and business acumen.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.