The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach announced Tuesday the election of a new executive team, which will head the organization’s 2016 board of directors. LaDawn Best has been elected The Center’s new board chair, Justin Boettcher will again serve as vice chair, Justin Potier will serve as treasurer and Sylvia Rodemeyer will continue as board secretary.
Longtime Chairman and President Ron Sylvester and Board Member David Fernandez announced their resignations, while the board voted to grant Sylvester the title “Chairman Emeritus” for the next year in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the local the nonprofit, according to the release.
Best currently works as the program director at Peer Health Exchange Los Angeles, a national non-profit organization that provides health education and mentorship services to teenagers. She previously worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where she worked to support LGBTQ domestic violence victims. A graduate of the African American Board Leadership Institute, Best holds both a Bachelor's in Liberal Studies and a Master's in Education with an emphasis on Leadership and Change from Antioch University, according to The Center’s announcement.
“I am incredibly honored to have been selected to lead The Center’s exceptional Board of Directors,” said Best in a statement. “Ron has served The Center faithfully for years and I look forward to building on the tremendous achievements he has spearheaded during his tenure.”
Sylvester served seven years on the board and six years as chairman. During the recession, he led the board in overseeing day-to-day operations while staffing levels were incredibly low. The Center credits him with leading the nonprofit out of debt and overseeing a major transformation for the once-fledgling organization.
“It’s been a unique privilege and honor to lead this organization through one of its most transformative periods in recent history,” said Sylvester in a statement. “In my new Emeritus role I look forward to being an advisor to the new Board Chair, as well as an ambassador for The Center to help further our mission in the community.”
Boettcher currently works for L’Oreal and will be serving his second term as vice chair. Potier is currently a vice president at Boardwalk Properties in Long Beach and previously served as the President of the Pride Real Estate Professional Organization. Rodemeyer works for Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), providing digital and social media content and is a co-founder of AMP Org, a nonprofit serving queer and trans youth in the city. This will be her second term serving as Secretary.
The new executive committee, along with The Center's full Board of Directors, will provide strategic oversight and fundraising support to The Center, which has tripled its budget and quadrupled its staffing over the last five years. For the first time in decades, the nonprofit’s annual budget will exceed $1,000,000 due to increased funding to provide STI testing and treatment and domestic violence services to the Long Beach community, according to the release.
“Our Board of Directors is the root which sustains and nourishes The Center and I am thrilled to work alongside our new executive committee” said Executive Director Porter Gilberg in a statement. “We will miss Ron tremendously. His legacy of giving, stewardship and service to our LGBTQ community will be present in our hearts here at The Center for years to come.”
For more information about The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, click here.
Image courtesy of The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.