More details about John Mikytuck, Executive Director
John Mikytuck moved to New York City after graduating from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and began working at the Waldorf Astoria. At the time, HIV/AIDS was devastating the LGBT community and thousands had already died. Seeing this for the first time, Mikytuck began volunteering at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR). Within a year, he had quit the Waldorf and began spearheading HIV/AIDS prevention projects in partnership with leading HIV/AIDS organization.
Over the next several years, Mikytuck partnered with the New York Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), New York City Gay & Lesbian Community Center (GLCC) and the Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC) to create public health awareness campaigns about HIV. Several of his campaigns were the first of their kind, including HIV prevention public service announcements targeted to African American and Latino men.
When effective HIV/AIDS treatments became available in 1996, Mikytuck began working for a temporary employment agency. On his first assignment, he was sent to A&E Television Networks (owners of History Channel, A&E, and Biography Channels) to work in their just created “New Media” Department. Mikytuck stayed at the network for the next 4 years, becoming a producer, writer and director working with new technology to tell stories using online digital media.
Over Mikytuck’s tenure at A&E, he produced many of the networks first digital media projects including BioBytes, the network’s first streaming web video series, building their first online web store, and writing, producing and directing the networks first national television advertising campaign for Historychannel.com, AandE.com, and Biography.com.
Mikytuck left the A & E in 2000 and moved to Key West, FL. While in Key West, Mikytuck became the Director of HIV Prevention and Education at AIDS Help, Key West’s only AIDS service organization. His responsibilities included overseeing HIV public health campaigns throughout the Florida Keys and Key West (one of America’s most well-know and popular tourism destinations).
During this period, Mikytuck began researching the HIV risk behaviors of gay tourists on vacation – an area of public health concern that had not previously been studied. His research met with considerable resistance within the tourism industry, but proved eye-opening. Mikytuck’s research (conducted with support from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Center for AIDS Intervention Research) was presented at the 2004 International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. It was later published in national peer reviewed journals. Mikytuck’s findings are still referenced by behavioral scientists working in HIV prevention around the world today.
While in Key West, Mikytuck ran for City Commissioner, served as Key West Citizen Newspaper editorial board member, and founded Key West’s first tenants association. Mikytuck co-authored and helped pass a city resolution that created Key West’s first affordable housing task force, later serving as a member.
In 2006, Mikytuck returned to New York City to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. While in school, Mikytuck created, produced and hosted a web series called Reporting AIDS. In 2007, Mikytuck won an Emmy Award for ‘Youth & AIDS’, a public affairs story he produced on abstinence only HIV prevention programs.
After graduating from Columbia in 2009, Mikytuck produced and directed The Newcomer, a hard-hitting feature documentary about Richard Heyman (America’s first openly gay mayor). The film was screened at the Miami LGBT Film Festival and later aired on PBS.
In 2010, Mikytuck began producing for In The Life, PBS’s longest-running LGBT television series. On assignment, Mikytuck began reporting on youth homelessness, one of the most pressing issues still impacting the LGBT community. Juvenile Injustice, a 15-minute feature story he produced on LGBT youth homelessness, aired on PBS that same year. After producing the story, Mikytuck began volunteering to help raise awareness of the issue.
In 2011, Mikytuck moved back to his native state of NJ to work as Development Director for New Jersey’s first group home for LGBT homeless youth. Over the next three years, Mikytuck became a leading voice for NJ’s LGBT youth homeless population. In 2013, he created and co-founded Becoming Visible, NJ’s first conference to address LGBT youth homelessness and in 2014 he co-founded the NJ LGBTQA Youth Stakeholders Group, a coalition of over 30 NJ organizations working to address issues impacting the community.
Over his career, Mikytuck’s work has been supported by a wide range of public and private institutions including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health and Human Services Administration (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), New York City Community Trust, Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS, Cable Positive, and many other private foundations and individuals.
Mikytuck attended Johnson & Wales Culinary School, earned a BS from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, and an MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Mikytuck is an avid scuba diver and traveler. His diving trips have taken him to Cuba, Thailand, Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, and the Red Sea while visiting Egypt.