February 23, 2009
San Francisco, CA – 23 February 2009 – The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee (SFLGBTPCC) announced today that Executive Director Lindsey Jones will be transitioning out of her position after the 2009 San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade. She may continue to stay involved with the organization after her departure by providing support in sponsorship and fundraising as the organization manages the difficulties resulting from the global financial crisis.
Lindsey first started working with Pride as a contractor in March of 2004 to coordinate sponsorship and marketing. She worked in that position until November at which time she was contracted to coordinate sponsorship. Lindsey was hired onto staff as the Deputy Executive Director in November of 2004. Shortly thereafter, she became Acting Executive Director in March of 2005. Lindsey was hired on as the first woman Executive Director of the organization starting in October of 2005, a position which she has held since that time.
Board President Mikayla Connell stated,
"San Francisco Pride has been extraordinarily fortunate to have had Lindsey Jones as our Executive Director for the years that we have had her. She helped Pride through difficult times, spearheaded fundamental changes in the organization, pushed our community involvement to new levels and continued her great work with sponsors. We will miss her tireless efforts, her unparalleled ability to multi-task, her quick smile and her enormous heart. We are thankful for all that she has done, and what she continues to do every day, and after the 2009 event, we will wish her well on her next endeavors, always knowing Pride is in her debt."
One of Lindsey's central focuses in her time as Executive Director has been on the expansion of Pride's outreach and educational programming. In addition to creating a full-time year-round staff position to conduct outreach and oversee educational programming, Lindsey was also responsible for initiating the quarterly speaker series 'Threat Level: Lavender' in collaboration with former Pride Board President Joey Cain and the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center of the San Francisco Public Library. Other keystone outreach events during Lindsey's tenure as Executive Director have included a public screening of Pick up the Mic, a documentary about Homo-Hop musicians and artists, and an annual town hall-style community input event known as the Community Rap Session.
Lindsey expanded Pride's outreach and education programming to the web as well, launching an online bilingual, non-partisan voter registration guide, a first-of-its-kind for Pride organizations.
Since becoming Executive Director, community involvement in Pride has ballooned. Since 2005, volunteer participation with the Pride Celebration Committee has increased by over one-hundred percent. Pride's membership, the body which elects the Pride Board of Directors and selects the annual event theme, has grown from 66 members at its peak in 2003 to over 550 members at the end of 2008—a growth of over seven-hundred percent in just five years.
Similarly, Pride's sponsorship grew by over $200,000 from 2004 to 2008. Lindsey stated, "The solid ground upon which the organization now stands is going to allow Pride to take full advantage of the skills and talents of its Board, staff, members, and volunteers. I see a bright future for San Francisco Pride."
Lindsey stated that one of the most meaningful aspects of her time at Pride has been the people she has met through her position. She noted that she was most moved by the letters she would receive from youth telling of the life-changing—and sometimes life-saving—experiences they have had at San Francisco Pride.
One of her most memorable experiences was at the 2008 Pride Celebration when she had the chance to view the Civic Center event site from atop the dome of City Hall. She stated, "I was overcome with emotion and pride looking down on my community and the mass of activity and people." The 2008 event followed in the wake of the California Supreme Court's decision that legalized same-sex marriage. It is estimated that more than 1.1 million people attended over the two days of the event, making it the largest event in the 38 years since its inception in 1970.
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