GLBT Center executive director resigns

By : Jamie Hyman
Comments: 5

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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  • Anonymous

    I would of thought the highlight of your tenure with The Center would have been the sale of the adjacent property, which helped to substantially reduce the debt of The Center. Perhaps it didn’t have enough media attention on your personal behalf. Everyone knows that you were quite the attention seeker with the media. In the meantime, I personally look forward to a new beginning at The Center, and will now increase my donations and presence in your absence. Thanks for your valuable time Sir.

    • Bill Janssen

      Its amazing how bold people can be with their comments and criticism of an individual when they can remain anonymous. Its examples such as this where our community finds a division – its quite sad. Randy has been an exceptional leader in our community and deserve much praise for the many accomplishments he oversaw during his tenure. I am not going to speak with blinders on that all decisions and actions are perfect, but simply put – the Center is in a far better position than it was five years ago before his first day. With that, kudos Randy and i wish you all of the best and with your partner.

      • Guest

        actually Mr. Janssen, if you click on Anonumous above, it shows my full name. Not sure why it posted that way to begin with. I have nothing to hide, and speak my words with pride.

        • Bill Janssen

          Fair enough Adam – and thank you for the clarification. So then i ask you an honest question based on your criticism of the outgoing director – what is it that you have done in the last five years to spearhead projects and initiatives to move our community forward? I believe those who criticize have accomplished more than those who are the subject of the criticism – therefore i would like to be enlightened. I do not know you – so i am asking so i can truly understand and appreciate both men and their contributions to the community. Thank you for your time and engaging in the respectful conversation on the topic.

      • Adam Garcia III

        actually Mr Janssen, if you click on the word Anonymous in my post, it shows my full name. I’m not sure why it posted this way to begin with. I have nothing to “hide” from and speak “boldly” with or without your permission or the community.