NYC GAY CENTER NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
GLENNDA TESTONE NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NYC LGBT CENTER
FIRST WOMAN TO HELM ORGANIZATION DYNAMIC LEADER BEGINS ROLE IN NOVEMBER
NEW YORK, NY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2009– The NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York’s Board of Directors today announced that they have unanimously chosen Glennda Testone to be the Center’s new Executive Director. Established in 1983, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center has grown to become the largest LGBT multi-service organization on the East Coast and second largest LGBT community center in the world.
“At a time when the opportunities and challenges faced by our community are limitless, the Center is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of LGBT people,” said Testone. “I am honored and excited to lead the Center in providing the kind of thriving, nurturing community that we all want to come home to. It is an ambitious goal, but my commitment to serving the LGBT community, the passion of the people involved and the possibilities for this institution are also limitless.”
Throughout her career, Testone has been a leader in the fields of social justice for women and LGBT people. Testone joins the LGBT Community Center from The Women’s Media Center (WMC), where she served as the Vice President for three years and created and launched the highly successful Progressive Women’s Voices media training program. The Women’s Media Center was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem to make women visible and powerful in the media. The Progressive Women’s Voices program is responsible for providing media and leadership training for some of the Progressive movement’s preeminent leaders.
Prior to the WMC, Testone led the Program Division as the Senior Director of Media Programs at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). During her six years at GLAAD, Testone played a pivotal role in key milestones in LGBT media activism, most notably leading the team that persuaded The New York Times in 2003 to change its longstanding policy to include same sex couples on its wedding pages. Testone has served as a spokesperson for GLAAD and for the LGBT movement, appearing on CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, and in outlets such as The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out and W magazine.
The daughter of a school administrator and a social worker community center director, Testone was brought up recognizing the power of service and activism. Testone will become the Center’s the first woman at its helm and has been in leadership roles within the LGBT and women’s movements for over a decade, launching programs for LGBT youth, families, women and activists. Testone graduated from Syracuse University magna cum laude with honors and degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Philosophy. She received the Syracuse University LGBT Foundation Award for Outstanding Alumni in 2006. Testone got her Master’s degree from The Ohio State University in Women’s Studies.
Testone succeeds previous director Richard Burns, who led the Center for 22 years. Center board president Bruce Anderson has served as interim executive director for the past eight months.
“As a board president and an interim executive director, I have seen the work of the Center firsthand. And I have seen the staff in action. It has been a privilege and has also offered me a unique perspective on the kind of leader the Center will need to propel its work forward,” says Anderson. “This organization needs and deserves a leader with a contemporary perspective, an inspirational vision and the management expertise necessary to bring that vision to life. We have found that in Glennda.”
Board members Gwen Marcus, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Showtime Networks, and Brian Offutt, Senior Vice President Creative Operations at Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, led the search process.
“The Center’s history and reputation brought us a field of impressive candidates, each of whom understood the challenge and brought a depth and breadth of experience and commitment to LGBT equality. But in Glennda Testone, we found that and more," says Marcus.
Offutt added, "We found a dynamic leader who we believe will be at the forefront of the next generation of advocacy and services for the LGBT community. Glennda inspired all of us and we cannot wait to begin the next chapter of the Center's history under her leadership."
Testone was appointed by the Center’s Board of Directors at the culmination of a comprehensive national search conducted by Philips Oppenheim.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2008, the Center has grown to become the largest LGBT multi-service organization on the East Coast and second largest LGBT community center in the world. Every week, 6,000 people visit the Center, and more than 300 groups meet here. The Center has four programmatic departments: Adult Mental Health and Social Services (including Center CARE and Center CARE Recovery); Youth & Family Services, Cultural Programs; and Advocacy. The Center offers programs and activities that provide adult and youth counseling, social services and referrals, educational forums, advocacy, community organizing opportunities, coalition building projects, leadership development workshops, and cultural programs.
For more information go to www.gaycenter.org.