Grethel Bradford Ed.D, M.A, LCPC,ACS

Grethel Bradford Ed.D, M.A, LCPC,ACS

I have known Leo Gilling for over thirty-nine years. Leo is a visionary, who refuses to see obstacles as anything other than challenges and opportunities for growth. Over the years, he has remained focused on his purpose of advocacy, consistently placing the interest of others in the spotlight. In his quest for equity, he remains undaunted by those who would ignore the plight of the disadvantaged. It is indeed rare to meet an individual who is intuitively aware of and sensitive to the needs of others and who will systematically address areas of discrimination against the underprivileged. He has always been involved in a project aimed at making the lives of others better.

I met Leo in college. He was a freshman and I was a second-year student. Of all the students in his group, Leo left a lasting impression on me. There was a practice at that time in our colleges, called “grubbing”, in which the new students were subjected to obeying ridiculous and often degrading orders meted out by the second year’s students. Most of the first year students, out of fear, complied. I would hear horror stories of what some of these students endured. Leo stood up and refused to let them order him around. Of course, he was a pretty tall guy back then, and obviously not easily intimidated! What impressed me and still remains etched in my mind was the evening after dinner in the dining room, when Leo stood up to the bullies on behalf of all his entire cohort in a “face-off” with the second year students. In no uncertain terms, he made it clear that these second years students were oppressors and he was not going to stand by and let them continue to oppress the freshmen, without resistance. He was not going to back down. I remember standing in the shadows and watching him face up to those guys on behalf of all those who did not have a voice. He was an amazingly reticent defender of justice. Today, he still carries that passion for fairness and justice, as evidenced by his numerous philanthropic endeavors over the last quarter of a century.

Without the slightest hesitation, I strongly recommend Leo as the one who will unwaveringly serve in an awesome capacity of Commissioner of Miramar. He has the acumen necessary to successfully represent his constituents. Leo honestly cares for the interest of others. He is a stalwart, who thinks outside the box, and will never shy away from honoring his commitment to the growth and development of others. He has the extraordinary ability to listen to the core concern of others, and then systematically address them in a fair, respectful and resolute manner. He works well with others but is unafraid of taking the lead in the implementation of fair practices.