Thank you so much for your involvement with COLAGE. It is because of your investment that COLAGE has been able to connect people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer parents to a network of peers for the past twenty-one years. In honor of your commitment to helping people with LGBTQ parents become strong advocates for ourselves and our families, we write to you with some exciting news and an update on the state of our organization.
As you no doubt know, Beth Teper, COLAGE’s Executive Director, left her position at the end of 2011. Under Teper’s eight years of leadership, COLAGE has grown its annual budget and developed a number of innovative programs and initiatives. We are profoundly grateful for her contributions and wish her the best in her coming endeavors. This shift in executive leadership will mark the end of a year filled with other staff changes at COLAGE. We congratulate Mark Snyder, COLAGE’s Communications Manager, who started a new job with the Transgender Law Center in October. We will soon bid farewell to Jamon Franklin, our Finance and Operations Manager, who will leave her position in January. We are pleased that Elizabeth Castellana, our National Program Director, and Noah Chasnoff, who was hired as our Development Associate/Administrative Assistant in November, are continuing on in the midst of these transitions.
COLAGE is excited to announce that Barbara Green will begin as Interim Executive Director in early 2012.Barbara is an experienced interim executive director, having served in this capacity at 19 non profit organizations over the past 16 years, including Equal Rights Washington, Lambert House (a drop-in center for queer youth) and New Futures (a youth and family empowerment organization). She lives in Seattle with her partner and their 17 year old son, two cats and a dog. In her interim executive director work, Barbara specializes in helping organizations see the opportunities that exist during leadership changes. As the mother of a COLAGEr, Barbara is also looking forward to working at COLAGE because she is passionate about the mission.
In the time between Barbara’s start and Beth’s departure, Elizabeth Castellana has agreed to serve as the Acting Executive Director. Elizabeth’s primary focus will continue to be COLAGE’s amazing programs while also serving as COLAGE’s primary spokesperson. She can be contacted at Director@colage.org.
Clearly this is a time of significant change for COLAGE, and the Board is committed to embracing this opportunity to reshape and revitalize the extraordinary and unique work that COLAGE is already doing. We are eager to hear your feedback and answer questions on the many changes afoot and more importantly, we hope to see you involved in creating those changes. In 2012, COLAGE will be undergoing a strategic planning process, and your involvement as a committee member or input as a friend of the organization are both welcome and desired. In the meantime, there are ample opportunities to connect with and support COLAGE during this time: host a house party, forward an action alert email notifications to friends outside of our network, support your local chapter or help start a new one.
We can’t stress enough how important your ongoing fiscal support is for COLAGE. Your donations are important to us and not only help us offer our programming to people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer parents in places across the country, but this year your donations will also support COLAGE in doing its crucial strategic planning work. We hope you will also consider joining with every member of the Board in becoming a monthly donor or increasing the amount you already donate monthly. Whether $12 or $120 a month, please celebrate the New Year with a donation to COLAGE.
Once again, thank you for your support during our transition year. Like you, the Board looks forward to that moment at the end of 2012 when we can all look back with pride at the tremendous positive changes our organization (and by extension, our families) will have undergone during this pivotal transition year. We are confident that we will get there and we want you there with us. Thank you for all that you do for COLAGE and our families.
Aaron Sachs Paul Perry
Chair Vice Chair