Categories: Letters

I love my job … and you could, too

What was originally meant to be a three-month “interim” position turned into a two-year role as the executive director of the Utah Pride Center. I have come to love the mission and work of the Utah Pride Center. This amazing organization provides unique support which helps so many people, myself included, navigate our lives more successfully. Through mental health services, youth support groups, and our Pride Week celebrations — the Utah Pride Center is saving lives.

Over the past two years I’ve had the pleasure of working with outstanding people. A specific group deserving special kudos is the Pride Center’s board of directors. This board has guided the organization to a new mission and enabled the Center to more clearly define our role in the community. We have eliminated “mission creep” from our organization and hired staff to program more effectively and deliver on our new vision of a “Thriving LGBTQ+ Community in Utah!”

But why stop there? A revitalized mission is only as good as the infrastructure that supports it. Because of that, after conducting a review of our 400 South building’s ability to meet the needs of our community and with an eye towards financial sustainability, we decided that it wasn’t wise to invest more time, talent, or treasure into that space. So, we’ve found a new ‘home’ for the Utah Pride Center. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting move!

I’m proud of the progress made over the past two years. What is even more special is we accomplished this while eliminating all of the Pride Center’s debt! Not only are we strengthening our Center’s ability to deliver its mission to the community, we are doing it in a financially sound way.

While I wish I could continue on forever in this role, it’s time I return to retirement. I’m excited to hand the Center’s reigns over to an innovative and energetic individual who can help take the Utah Pride Center into the future. A new director will be taking the helm early in 2018. I will continue in an advisory role to support our new director and our transition into the new building. I will be here until I’m no longer needed. You have my word.

I am confident that the Center is in position to serve our community better than ever. Soon you will walk into our new facility and see its limitless possibilities. This space will support more creative programming, greater community involvement, and be an incubator space for LGBTQ+ focused groups and organizations to grow and thrive.

The Utah Pride Center is stronger today than it has been in a very long time. Because of our solid board of directors, generous community of supporters, incredible staff, engaged volunteers, and a great sense of humor. What more could the next leader want?

In closing, thank you for allowing me to lead the Utah Pride Center over the past two years. This has been a journey that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. And if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that we’re all in this together. Join me in supporting each other with love and respect. Utah’s fierce LGBTQ+ community can accomplish anything when we stand by each other’s side.

Your friend in Pride,
Carol Gnade
“Interim” Executive Director

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