A Statement from Pride Foundation CEO, Kris Hermanns:

 

Throughout the past year the old, familiar adage, “the only true constant is change” has been a source of fuel for my optimism and belief in progress. Change is not only inevitable, it is a critical and necessary step for growth—one that can also unlock different perspectives, innovative developments, and new opportunities.

With this in mind, I want to share some news of change at Pride Foundation: Later this year, I will be stepping aside from my role as CEO and creating space for new leadership to move our foundation into the future.

It has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life to lead Pride Foundation for the past seven years and work for justice with you. Through joy, loss, and uncertainty, we have overcome so much together, all while forging a path to a place where the seemingly impossible has become attainable.

All the ways our communities have shown up in just the past year have proven without a doubt that our movement is incredibly strong, deeply dedicated, and determined to keep fighting to make our world a better place. We are more united and resilient than ever, and now is the right time for the next person to lead us even further down this path.

 

An Opportunity for Continued Growth

I could never have imagined that I would get to spend my life surrounded by a community of such courageous, generous, and inspirational people who are changing the world together. Or that I would be invited into peoples’ lives as I have been—to listen and hold such incredible stories and dreams, to be entrusted with deep hopes and fears.

And I certainly could not have imagined all the progress we have achieved together coming to fruition in my lifetime. From winning marriage equality, to gaining and also defending the non-discrimination laws that protect our community, to the strides we have made to end LGBTQ youth homelessness—our work together has fundamentally changed the landscape for LGBTQ people. This is in no small part due to our collective determination and deeply-held belief in a better, safer, and more humane world for all.

I want to thank each of you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of this journey with me and with Pride Foundation, and for giving one another so many reasons to remain hopeful.

 

The Right Time

It is from this shared hope and promise for the future that we look to Pride Foundation’s next chapter, and to the new CEO who will lead us in writing it. This change could not come at a better time given where we are as a foundation:

  • We have made historic levels of investments this past year through our community grants, scholarships, and rapid response fund.
  • Our board is deeply engaged in critical issues facing our region and leading from a place of vision, expertise, and openness.
  • We have an integrated plan in place for centering racial justice in all our work at the foundation.
  • We have a team of talented staff who are leaders and change agents in our communities and in our movement.
  • Because of the generosity of our supporters, we have continued to mobilize more resources for our community.

I am deeply grateful that the organization can begin this transition with confidence and certainty that Pride Foundation will continue to grow and evolve in new and exciting ways—and will continue to build an even stronger movement in the face of unrelenting and dynamic threats to LGBTQ equality at local, regional, and national levels.

The people who are a part of this organization and our communities mean too much to me, however, to depart without incredible care and thought, and I will continue leading the foundation through this transition until September 1, when we intend to bring on our next CEO.

 

Moving Into Our Next Chapter

Our Board of Directors, under the leadership of our Board President Wakefield, is establishing an Executive Transition Committee and has set in motion plans to engage with an executive search firm. Wakefield will be in touch in the coming weeks once the job prospectus has been finalized and the search is formally underway.

Please know that we will continue to be communicative and transparent with you through this process, and our staff and board will be working together to ensure a smooth transition. If you have questions or comments about the transition, we encourage you to connect to the Executive Committee of our board. You can also check this webpage,  www.pridefoundation.org/ceotransition, for updates along the way.

Change can sometimes be unsettling—and it is also an exciting, invigorating, and vital part of every organization’s and community’s story. As we begin writing the next chapter of Pride Foundation’s history, I hope that you will join us in welcoming this opportunity for continued growth and evolution.

Words will never be able to convey how much this experience and each of you have meant to me, but in reflecting on the past seven years I have two overwhelming feelings: hope and gratitude. While I will no longer be CEO, please know that no matter what I am doing or where I am, I am fully committed to this work and this community.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this work with you and for giving me endless reasons to believe in an even better tomorrow.

 

With pride and appreciation,

Kris

 

Please keep an eye on this webpage for future updates and a forthcoming job prospectus.