President & Founder
President and Founder
How do you sum up the life and achievements of human rights pioneer and successful entrepreneur Judy Dlugacz? In one simple sentence: she is an extraordinary woman who was born to bring awareness to LGBT causes and create opportunities that enable lesbians throughout the world to live in freedom. Over the past 40 years, Judy has helped achieve groundbreaking victories for the LGBT community and to those who know and have watched her work…she is still going strong!
While living in Washington D.C. in 1973, her singer/songwriter friend Cris Williamson suggested that Judy start a record company specializing in female artists. Together with nine partners, Judy took a leap of faith and founded Olivia Records, which grew to become one of the industry’s leading independent small labels. Judy produced 40 albums and sold more than one million records by artists such as Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Teresa Trull and Linda Tillery.
Taking her talents outside of the recording studio, she oversaw the production of hundreds of concerts and events across the United States, including four sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall.
Judy’s vision and evolution continued when, in 1990, she combined two of her passions – music and travel – by hosting a “concert on a cruise.” She invited women to enjoy the performances of Olivia Records artists and scheduled activities on a completely chartered ship. The response was so overwhelming that she founded a company offering vacations exclusively created for women, Olivia Travel, which has today become the premier travel company for the lesbian community, with a 98% satisfaction rating from its guests.
Judy is the driving force behind the support of numerous LGBT causes and organizations across the country including: Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Victory Fund, Arcadia Women’s Health Center, Dade Human Rights Foundation, GLAAD Media Awards, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Lesbian Community Cancer Project, National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, National Organization for Women, and the California Alliance for Pride and Equality.
Judy has received countless honors and recognition throughout the years for her work, with the most recent being her appointment to the LGBT Leadership Council for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
• Mautner Project Chair’s Award for her contributions to lesbian and bisexual women’s health
• San Francisco’s Golden Gate Business Association “Entrepreneur of the Year”
• Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”
• Curve Magazine “Powerful Women”
• Out and About Magazine “Lifetime Achievement Award”
• Fortune Magazine “America’s 100 Best Companies To Work For”
• San Francisco Business Times “Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses”
• Girlfriends Magazine “Longest Operating Lesbian Company in the World”
• Featured in national publications such as The Advocate, Curve, Out & About, People, Huffington Post, Gay Voices, Washington D.C.’s Metro Weekly and more
Judy shares an important business philosophy with her staff and clientele, which is to recognize areas of need and give back. Following the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, Judy helped found the LGBT Haiti Relief fund of the Red Cross, which raised over $250,000. Through her efforts, Olivia became a founding partner in the USAID LGBT Global Development, created to support and fund LGBT organizations throughout the developing world.
While splitting her time between the San Francisco Bay area and Washington D.C., Judy spends as much quality time as possible with her daughter, granddaughter and the family dogs.
Her next big project? Judy will be compiling a book that showcases the last 40 years of lesbian culture through the lens of her life experiences.