NYC LGBT Center announces new executive director
The LGBT Community Center in New York today announced it has appointed its first woman executive director.
Glennda Testone comes to the Center from the Women’s Media Center, where she launched the organization’s Progressive Women’s Voices media training program. The Syracuse, New York, native also spent six years at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. She began her tenure at GLAAD as a regional media manager. And the organization later elevated her to Senior Director of Media Programs.
Testone told EDGE in an interview shortly after the Center announced her appointment she hopes to bring her experience as both a feminist and an LGBT activist into her new role.
"The Center offers something that’s unique," she said. "The Center offers everyone an opportunity to be part of the LGBT movement in a really exciting and tangible way. The Center really belongs to everyone."
"I am excited to bring as many people and as many parts of the community to the Center as I can," Testone added.
Testone succeeds former executive director Richard Burns, who stepped down earlier this year after more than two decades at the helm of the lower Manhattan-based organization. She comes to the Center as the organization continues to experience a decline in revenue to sustain its advocacy efforts and programming because of the recession. But board members were quick to applaud Testone’s appointment.
"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," Brian Offutt said in a statement. "Glennda inspired all of us and we cannot wait to begin the next chapter of the Center’s history under her leadership."
Testone remains optimistic as she prepares to take the Center’s helm in November.
"The concept of working with an organization that leads people to better lives: I can’t think of anything more important," she said.
Editor’s note: Michael K. Lavers is a former GLAAD employee.