Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan van Capelle announces departure

This morning, Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan van Capelle announced his departure from the organization.

As Executive Director for seven years, Alan has provided remarkable leadership for the Pride Agenda and New York’s LGBT community. Alan’s decision to move on to a new, exciting position comes at a time when the organization is stronger than it ever has been.

As he told the Daily News this morning, “The tremendous success the Pride Agenda has had over the last seven years may have been while I was executive director, but it wasn't solely because I was executive director...There are a lot of talented people who could lead this movement. My departure will provide an opportunity for somebody else.”

The Pride Agenda’s plan for 2010 is exactly the same as we have recently told you about—our talented staff and Board will work with our allies to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act early in the legislative session, and then launch an aggressive electoral campaign for the fall, which will put us in a position to win marriage equality in 2011.

Later this week, we’ll be reaching out to you again with even more details about 2010. We look forward to continuing to work with our amazing supporters as the Pride Agenda and New York’s LGBT community grows even stronger. As our organization transitions to new leadership, Alan will continue as Executive Director through February. Joe Tarver, the Pride Agenda’s current Managing Director of Operations who has been with the Pride Agenda for nearly 10 years, will then serve as Interim Executive Director as we move forward with our search for the next Executive Director.

Below is the press release with more information on Alan’s departure.

Seven-year tenure makes van Capelle longest-serving Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda

The Boards of the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation and the Empire State Pride Agenda, Inc. today announced the resignation of Executive Director Alan van Capelle. The Boards also announced that Managing Director of Operations Joe Tarver will serve as the Interim Executive Director while a search takes place for the Pride Agenda’s next Executive Director.

Alan van Capelle has accepted the position of Deputy Comptroller for External Affairs with the Office of the New York City Comptroller.

“Alan has provided remarkable leadership for the Empire State Pride Agenda and New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community,” said Board Co-Chair Frank Selvaggi. “Our community has taken significant strides towards winning equality and justice this past decade. During Alan’s seven years as Pride Agenda’s Executive Director, he has built an extraordinary record of accomplishment, by enhancing the organization’s reputation as a leader in the LGBT civil rights movement and ensuring the LGBT community is part of the political fabric of New York State in an unprecedented manner. Alan will be sorely missed at the Pride Agenda, but he has left an organization and a community stronger than they were seven years ago and for that we are enormously grateful. We are also incredibly excited for what lies ahead for Alan, and we are happy that others will now benefit from his enormous talents as he takes this new direction.”

“The Board, staff and our supporters feel great respect and affection for Alan,” said Board Co-Chair Mitch Karsch. “It was Alan's recognition that the Pride Agenda had to be more than just a lobbying organization in Albany that worked to advance our community’s objectives. He realized that Albany would never respond on important human rights issues like transgender non-discrimination and marriage equality unless non-LGBT New Yorkers were brought in and made part of a larger coalition that was energized to act. The local organizing programs the Pride Agenda built starting in 2003 targeting the faith, labor and business communities have resulted in a significantly broader base of New Yorkers who are demanding equality for LGBT people. It is also because of Alan’s commitment and leadership that we were able to: pass statewide laws giving domestic partners the same access spouses have to loved ones in the hospital and control over partner remains; and, to get record amounts of funding appropriated for our community’s health and human services needs.”

“When the LGBT community and our allies pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, marriage equality legislation and a bill combating bias-based harassment in schools—and we will—these grassroots organizing programs Alan conceived and implemented will be seen as an integral part of each of these victories,” said Board Co-Chair Frank Selvaggi. “In the meantime, while the Pride Agenda Boards undertake a search for the position of Executive Director, we will be moving forward with Joe Tarver and our tremendous staff to continue doing the work that is necessary to win here in New York State.”

Alan van Capelle said, “It has been an opportunity of a lifetime to work for the Empire State Pride Agenda over the past seven years. The amazing volunteer Boards, the talented staff, our many dedicated supporters, the statewide community and all of our allies, in elected office and elsewhere, have been a tremendous inspiration. I will always treasure that the Pride Agenda entrusted me with the responsibility to advance our community’s agenda in New York and I look forward to supporting the Pride Agenda’s work in the years ahead.”

Alan van Capelle will continue as Executive Director through the end of February. After that Joe Tarver, who has been on staff at the Pride Agenda since 2001, will serve as Interim Executive Director until a new Executive Director is in place.

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