Ken Shelin has been a Florida homeowner for 28 years and has lived in Sarasota with his partner of 42 years, full-time since 1996. For 34 years he worked in the enforcement arm of the United States Food and Drug Administration in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore. For much of that time, he managed a number of offices in several states as well as helped to write Federal regulations and policy documents in the drug regulatory area. He received numerous awards during his Federal service including two Reinventing Government Awards and FDA's highest individual achievement award, the Award of Merit. Subsequent to his Federal career, he consulted with pharmaceutical manufacturers, blood banks, and blood and plasma processing organizations throughout the world on regulatory compliance issues. He also planned, executed and spoke at numerous pharmaceutical manufacturer conferences sponsored by the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy in the US and Europe for a period of ten years.
Later, Ken became involved in civic affairs in the City of Sarasota and has served on the Boards of and as an officer of a number of resident, civic and government boards including the Sarasota Planning Board for 5 years and was elected to and served on the Sarasota City Commission. While on the Commission, Ken was able to convince the Commission to provide domestic partner healthcare benefits to city employees. Ken continues to serve on public and private Boards in Sarasota and state-wide.
About 12 years ago Ken became involved with Equality Florida as a donor and organizer of the annual Suncoast Equality Florida Celebration. He served on the Board for 6 years including 2 years as Chair of the Board of Equality Florida Institute, Inc. the 501 c(3) arm of this state-wide organization.
To eliminate inequality and a lack of diversity, Ken has been working in recent years in southwest Florida and state-wide to create local ordinances which prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. He is currently working to convince the Sarasota City Commission to adopt a ban on conversion therapy. He often speaks on behalf of tolerance and diversity issues before elected bodies as well as broadcast and print media in our area. He has won a number of awards for his work on behalf of equality in our area including the Sarasota Magazine Unity Award.
Ken is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and has two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Four years ago, Judge Charles Williams, Chief Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit married Ken and Steve Stockwell. They live in downtown Sarasota.