GLBT Center executive director resigns

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The GLBT Center of Central Florida, Inc. needs a new leader.

Randy Stephens, who was executive director of the organization for about five years, resigned his post June 30.

“Change is inevitable, especially in the non-profit world. There is a need for new blood and new visions,” Stephens said. “I am excited for the future of The Center. My only hope is that I left The Center in a better position than when I started five years ago.”

“We recognize Randy’s contributions to The Center, including a major effort to save the Center from the brink of closure in the early half of the decade, overseeing the development and growth of the Board of Directors, and overseeing a series of successful initiatives focused on organizational realignment, cost reduction and process effectiveness,” said Timothy Vargas, president of The Center’s Board of Directors in a media release. “These changes have helped establish a solid foundation for The Center and we thank Randy for his dedication and years of service to the organization.”

When looking back over his tenure, Stephens said he’s most proud of his volunteers, noting that they logged 9,000 volunteer hours in 2013. The Center also administered more than 5,000 HIV tests last year.

“We could not have done all this without our volunteers,” he said. “They are the soul of The Center.”

When asked about his favorite moments during his time at The Center, Stephens remembered the marriage equality rally at Lake Eola almost exactly one year ago, right after the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. He said he was standing to the side with local performer Blue Starr, looking over the huge crowd that formed a sea of red shirts.

“There were tears in both of our eyes, seeing the community come together as one,” Stephens said.

Vargas said the search for The Center’s next executive director is already underway.

“While the search continues, we have hired an Assistant Executive Director, Russell Walker, to handle the day to day operations of the organization,” he said. “Russell has served on the Board of Directors for two years, so his experience and knowledge of The Center will be key as we continue on through the transition between Executive Directors.”


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