The Los Angeles LGBT Center has announced that CEO Lorri Jean will retire in July 2022, and it is now launching what is expected to be a lengthy search for her successor. The search will be led by the Center’s Board of Directors and national search firm Koya Leadership Partners.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have a strong leader for so long, and now we must prepare for the next chapter. Our board has literally put years of thought into preparing for this transition to ensure that our next CEO will be a tremendous success, exactly as our beloved organization and community deserve,” said Board Co-Chairs Susan Feniger and David Bailey in a letter to donors about the transition.
At the time of her retirement, Jean will have led the Center for more than 25 years. She took the position when the Center was in turmoil and is recognized for having turned it around and helped it grow to the point where it is the largest non-profit providers of a wide array of services to people in the LGBTQ communities.
“I will have plenty of time to reflect on my retirement and time at the Center in a couple of years,” said Jean. “Right now, my primary focus is helping our Center and community get through this pandemic and the relentless attacks by the Trump administration. In fact, these current challenges reinforce how important it is to help prepare this organization for a successful future. And, as a future constituent of the Center, I can say wholeheartedly that it’s exciting to consider the prospect of a new Center leader who has a fresh perspective and the talents and skills necessary to take the organization into the future.”
The new candidate will start in May 2021 as executive director and will work with Jean and senior staff to assure a smooth transition before assuming the role of CEO in July 2022.
The Center is, by an order of magnitude, the world’s largest and most complex LGBTQ organization and is bigger than 95% of all nonprofit organizations in the country. Its 2018 IRS tax return shows it had revenue that year of $119,297,000. Jean’s total compensation that year was $559,085.
The transition will provide time for the new executive director to establish an in-depth knowledge of the Center’s diverse programs and services and its multiple service locations in Hollywood, South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Koreatown, and West Hollywood. It will also provide time for guidance from Jean and the executive team on the broad set of budgetary, fundraising, and management skills necessary to lead an organization of its size and complexity. This includes building an array of relationships with community members, elected officials, donors, media, and organizational colleagues.
Koya Leadership Partners has been working with the Center for several years and has helped fill key roles at the Center, including director of facilities, chief financial officer, and chief development officer. The Koya team has helped develop a talent profile for the ideal candidate, available online at lalgbtcenter.org/CEOsearch.
CEO candidates will have successfully led or held a leadership position within a significant and growing organization where they had the opportunity to:
- represent that organization effectively to the public;
- lead a diverse management team;
- develop significant experience in fundraising;
- do strategic thinking and planning;
- work with a board of directors; and
- lead or contribute to organizational change efforts.
In addition to this direct experience, the organization seeks candidates who have played leadership roles in the LGBTQ movement; have passion for the LGBTQ movement, communities, and Center clients; and understand the important equity and justice issues (specifically including racial justice and gender justice, among others) that are important to the Center’s work.
Big shoes to fill!
Hats off to Lorri Jean for all she has accomplished over 25 years of service and for all those that have benefitted from her visionary, benevolent, stewardship of the LA LGBT Center, myself included.
Agreed, though I will no longer support the Center until she takes back her endorsement of John Duran for WeHo city council. He makes us a laughingstock–$500,000 of taxpayer money for his sexual misconduct and many such violations since then! There is no place for her looking the other way. She MUST repudiate him or risks tarnishing an otherwise sterling image.
The last time she left the Center, they hired a horrible director by ALL accounts, then they rehired her back. Hopefully they can find a better candidate this time.