I want all of you, our Garden State Equality members, to hear this from me before you read it in the news. After a year of amazing victories I have made a very difficult decision. On Sunday, January 26, I will be stepping down as executive director of Garden State Equality to take over as the executive director of The Equality Network in my home state of Oklahoma.
Being a part of GSE for the past 5 years has been the highlight of my life. All of you made me grow to love my adopted home almost as much as my home state. The GSE family and the community that has been created over the last decade cannot be compared to any other organization of its kind. That sense of community is what gives me faith that GSE will continue to grow, continue to thrive, and continue to make history.
Garden State Equality has always been so much more than one person. The GSE team, including our staff, board and volunteers, will continue our work without interruption and I have total faith that 2014 will be just as successful as 2013.
My colleague, John Mikytuck, will serve as our interim executive director as the board conducts a national search for our next leader. John has my utmost confidence. He has over 20 years of non-profit experience, including working in the LGBT and HIV/AIDS advocacy arenas. Our board chairs, Luanne Peterpaul and Jeff Gardner, have been with the organization almost since its inception. Together with their colleagues they will continue to guide GSE’s work to new heights of advocacy.
Most importantly, Garden State Equality and all of our accomplishments are a testament to you, our members. It is with a heavy heart that I say good-bye to all of you and look forward to watching your accomplishments in the future.
My last day coincides with our upcoming Victory Brunch; I would love to be able to say farewell to many of you in person there. Tickets are almost sold out, so don’t hesitate to get one here.
Thank you all for all that you do, and know that a part of my heart will always be in New Jersey.