Affirmation’s Executive Director Announces Departure

Affirmation’s Executive Director Announces Departuregallowaycollens1

(Affirmations Press Release, Nov. 19, 2013)

Antonio David Garcia, Executive Director of Affirmations, has announced his resignation, effective February 1, 2014, in order to allow time for the Center to transition to new leadership.

Dave advised the Board of Directors at its monthly board meeting that:

“I have been fighting for and working with the LGBT community for over 15 years. Affirmations has provided immense challenges and rewards and I feel we have accomplished a great deal together,” said Dave Garcia, Executive Director. “Now that the center is in a secure financial position, it’s important that I allow plenty of time to ensure a proper and healthy transition for the center”.

Under Garcia’s leadership Affirmations has implemented a new strategic plan, and expanded its hours of operation and programming. Highlights of Garcia’s tenure include facility upgrades, Affirmations’ Vineyard fall sharon chess thank youevent, and his involvement with the “Hungry for Equality” campaign, which brought international media attention to the community center and increased engagement from the LGBT community and it’s allies.

Staying with Affirmations through early 2014 will allow Garcia to guide the organization through a final budget cycle, orient Affirmations’ newly hired Development Director, and ensure the framework is in place for Affirmations’ 25th anniversary celebration at Spring Bash 2014.

Garcia joined Affirmations as Executive Director in August 2011 after a national search. In this position, Garcia was responsible for providing leadership, strategic vision, goals and objectives for Affirmations’ staff and volunteers.

“As Dave concludes his service as our executive director, we look forward to building on our success as we move into 25 years of service to the southeast Michigan LGBT and ally community. Dave has provided a strong foundation to propel our strategic vision forward with solid community partnerships and great leadership. Dave will be missed and we look forward to leveraging the foundation he has built to propel Affirmations into the next 25 years,” said Mark Blanke, Board PresidentJim Shaffer ad EDITED

The Board will shortly create a subcommittee that will lead the organization’s search for a new Executive Director. The subcommittee will be directed to undertake a search process that efficiently identifies an excellent candidate with input from Affirmations’ diverse stakeholders.

Jon Fitzgerald, Affirmations’ current Chief Administrative Officer, will serve as Interim Executive Director after Mr. Garcia leaves his position, until a permanent Executive Director has been selected. Having been with the organization for just under five years, Fitzgerald is very familiar with the organization’s development goals, operations and programming. The Board is confident he can continue to execute the organization’s strategic plan in this period of transition.

“Dave has been a wonderful mentor, leader and friend throughout the past couple of years and I will deeply miss him. Fortunately, he has assembled a great team and I am confident that collectively we will be able to continue to build on what he started and move forward as the board searches for our next Executive Director”, said Jon Fitzgerald, Chief Administrative Officer.

Affirmations is metro Detroit’s community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) people and their allies.  Open since 1989 and located in Ferndale, a suburb of Detroit, Affirmations provides a welcoming space where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities & expressions, and cultures can find support and unconditional acceptance and where they can learn grow, socialize and have fun.

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