level for the LGBT community.   I am proud to
                                              call him friend and am excited to see what
                                              plans he has next up his sleeve to help our
                                              community.  Whatever it is, I am in to help as he
                                              always does things with the highest integrity
                                              and the goal to make Miami Beach a better
                                              community for all of us.  On the personal side,
                                              I highly suggest catching up with Babak after
                                              12:00 noon on any given day because he
                                              normally works throughout the night as owner
                                              of Halo Lounge connecting people and getting
                                              people excited about all that is happening on
                                              the Beach and he definitely is not a morning
Whoops is that too personal?” added
Jason Tamanini | Regional Manager - HALO |Miami|DC
                        What is he like personally?  Babak is a very generous person.
                        He enjoys doing for others and that brings him happiness. This
                        is why he is involved in so many organizations, and charities.

Misconceptions? Babak can come off a bit brass, he is
                        genuine and puts everything out there, some like it and
                        some don't know how to take it.  People today are so afraid to offer up their
opinion in fear of upsetting others. Babak is the complete opposite.

Best Quality? I would have to say his best quality is the drive and ambition he has to
make a difference. Many people speak about change and what should be done...but
never take action and make a difference. Babak has a drive to make a difference and
does so everyday.
Herb Sosa | How did you become involved in the City of Miami Beach’s Gay Business
Development Ad Hoc Committee? Who else is on this committee with you?
Babak Movahedi | When the mayor (Matti Bower) was running for office, I discussed
with her the lack of a feeling of community here in Miami Beach. Upon election her chief
of staff, the late AC Weintstein was instrumental in implementing the Mayor’s desire to
set up the (Mayors AdHoc/Gay Business Development) committee.

"Babak's leadership of the Mayor's Ad Hoc Committee on Gay
Business Development has been nothing short of extra-
 - Miami Beach Commissioner Victor M. Diaz, Jr.

“These are exciting times for Miami Beach's GLBT community. Thanks to great
leadership from the community and the Commission, we are
accomplishing new milestones for equality. We have legalized
the Gay Pride flag.
We have scheduled Miami Beach's first ever Gay Pride event.  
We will pass in May a new strengthened Human Rights
Ordinance that will place Miami Beach on par with San
Francisco and New York for having the most progressive
Human Rights legislation in the country. This has been a team
effort and Babak has been a very important part of that team." added Diaz.

Recently Babak successfully encouraged the City Commission to approve the
public display of the Rainbow Flag on commercial buildings.  “The Rainbow flag
represents our culture. The flag is a symbol of our community recognized around the
world. By raising the flag, businesses welcome our community which results in a
positive attitude and overall visibility amongst our larger Miami Beach Community.”

About Gay Pride Miami Beach | Where do you hope to see it in 5 years?
“This is an exciting time for everyone in our community. As we
have not had a pride festival in many years. I hope that in five
years we will become a destination for others to attend our gay
pride. It will get bigger and better every year!”
– Babak Movahedi

As the Vice Chair of the Miami Beach AdHoc committee and the Vice President of Miami
Beach Gay Pride, mortgage broker & community leader Robin Schwartz
works closely with Babak.   “Babak has had a tremendous impact on Pride 2009.
                  It is through his leadership of the Miami Beach Mayor’s Gay
                  Business Development Committee that Pride is taking place in
                   2009.   In fact, we call each other husband and wife!!  This is
                   probably a perfect description of our relationship as we love
                   each other but also often ‘buck heads’ as a husband and wife
                   would do.  We both say it like it is and that makes for interesting
                   combination at times.”  

Things I like about Babak | Straight forward, honest, puts his money
where his mouth is, great sense of humor and cares very much about our
community and does something about it!
Robin J. Schwartz           

Babak considers the Major Strength of the LGBT community of South Florida is “…the
shear numbers that we have, if united we can make a major difference.  The biggest
challenge is the ability to become united with one voice. “
he believes that “In this country
anything is a possible as long as
you work hard and stay focused”
and encourages the young gay
community to make a difference
in their community.

Having two of the most beautiful,
appealing and certainly
politically involved businesses in
DC & Miami Beach, Movahedi
says “Halo started as a place
where I could feel comfortable
inviting my family and friends no
matter what their sexual
orientation would be.  As such
we have tried to replicate that
in Miami Beach. Our roots are
out of DC, Politics comes with
the territory and I was elected
into office in DC.”

Babak observes that Miami
Beach is not as politically charged as the DC community. “The main challenge is to give
our community a voice by becoming politically involved; to unite as one and to further our
goals as a minority.”
www.ambiente.us  APRIL | ABRIL 2009

Babak Movahedi | The Pied Piper of Pride
By Herb Sosa

My mom has always told me that we are judged by the company we keep.   
She has also told me to lead by example, to always be a gracious host & learn to make
a great martini…and a few other helpful life lessons along the way.   
Babak Movahedi, community leader & proprietor of Miami Beach & DC’s HALO
Lounges obviously was taught the same rules..

As Miami Beach debuts its first-ever Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival, passes
innovative LGBT rights initiatives & flies our rainbow flag proudly, Babak stands tall
above all others in making these things and much more- a reality in our community.  
The Pied Piper of Miami Beach Pride.

Having gotten his feet wet in politics, community leadership, law & the bar business in
DC, Babak has proven that whatever you believe in can be developed, strengthened
and flourish, with the right attitude, commitment & teamwork.

Always smiling, courteous and with a youthful glow, Babak is an inspiration to anyone
wanting to make a difference. Born in Tehran, Iran and raised in the U.S.,

Fresh-Squeezed Paradise


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on the CHEAP
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Political activist, entrepreneur &
community leader Chip Arndt
jokingly says about working with
Babak “Mmmmmm… I am unsure
if I work with him or for him.

"Babak is a doer-We love that
in Miami Beach and the energy
he has brought to this city is
incredible; Miami Beach Gay
Pride would not be here, finally,
without his steadfast and
committed leadership.  Many
people don’t know that he was
instrumental in getting out the
highest voter turnout last fall in Miami-Dade, which directly led to President          
                      Barack Obama being elected, and interacting at the highest
                      levels to get celebrities and others to come to Miami Beach
                      to participate in our community.  He was personally
                      responsible for the likes of Cynthia Nixon, Matt Damon, Ben
                      Affleck, Governor Jim Corzine of New Jersey, Mayor Gavin
                      Newsome of San Francisco, and my favorite Marissa Tomei to
                      come to Miami Beach for various events.”

The part I love about Babak is that he always contributes his time, heart, and his
personal money to every event with which he is involved.  

“Most significant to his many contributions is probably that he is Chairman of the Miami
Beach Mayor’s Gay Business Development Council, which has been quite productive is
helping raise awareness and actualizing legislation at the local
Tehran – Childhood

Miami Beach – Progress

DC – Politics

Religion – conflict

Pride – Community

Men- Women

Success –relative

Favorite thing to wear – Relaxed Clothes

I want to be remembered – As someone, although tough, Leads with his heart!


CLICK HERE For more articles by Herb Sosa

Photos courtesy of Dale Stine |

Copyright © AMBIENTE MAGAZINE.   Do not reproduce without citing this source.

HALO Lounge

Miami Beach

APRIL 16-19, 2009

Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009

APRIL 16-19, 2009

Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009

APRIL 16-19, 2009

Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009

APRIL 16-19, 2009

Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009
                                        Following up on the personal, this bachelor, when
                                        not working, leading, wheeling & dealing, enjoys a
                                        quiet dinner with a nice bottle of wine amongst
                                        friends.   “I am one that puts everything on the
                                        table (about my person), there is very little my
                                        friends do not know about me.”

                                        As to why he does all of this, he says he has a
                                        personal need to be involved and to make a
                                        difference…and to give back to the community
                                        that he feels has given so much to him.

                                        As for local political aspirations in your future…
                                        “You will have to wait and see. No one has a
                                        crystal ball!”

HS | What are you most proud of?
BM | I am most proud of the mayors gay business development committee and its
accomplishments over such a short period of time.

HS | What makes you smile?
BM | Seeing the progress of our community has made over the past several years.
With the election of our new president the future looks very bright and that makes me

Babak has already left his positive mark on Miami Beach and those that have met him,
and I am sure will continue to do so for some time to come.  Our community is a better
place because of his efforts– in the meantime, keep leading and we'll proudly follow
the sound of the flute!