On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am happy to announce that Dana Van Gorder will serve as the new Executive Director of The Spahr Center, effective immediately. Many of you have come to know Dana since he stepped in to this role on an interim basis on February 28. If so, you will have experienced the attributes that caused the Board to offer him the permanent position – strong skills as a community builder, outspoken and effective advocacy for the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities, solid fundraising and communications, capable management, warmth and a great sense of humor.

Dana’s highest priorities in the coming months are:

  • to continue working with clients, community, donors, Board and staff to further develop the vision and work plan for the agency’s future;
  • to continue working with our community advisory boards and staff to assure the effectiveness of existing programs;
  • to significantly increase the agency’s funding and assure its sustainability;
  • to increase visibility of The Spahr Center in the larger community and build collaboration with important partners;
  • and to build the agency’s advocacy for policy and funding on behalf of LGBTQ people and people living with and affected by HIV.

Let me briefly describe key parts of Dana’s resume that establish his ability to be an effective leader of this agency. Dana has worked as a legislative aide to two openly gay and lesbian members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and has helped managed multiple political campaigns. He served as the Coordinator of Lesbian and Gay Health Services for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, as a lobbyist for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in Sacramento, and for 10 years as Executive Director of Project Inform. Importantly, Dana was also a founder of San Francisco’s LGBTQ Community Center, playing a central role in envisioning the mission and programs of the new agency, and raising $13.5 million to build its 40,000 square foot home.

I have great confidence in Dana’s ability to build on the incredible legacy of Jane Spahr and countless agency leaders and community members who have served so brilliantly before him.  I know how enormous his respect is for our history, and how solemnly he takes his responsibility to be a successful steward of the agency.

I hope you are able to welcome Dana tomorrow at our Marin Pride Picnic, from 12 to 3 in Larkspur’s Piper Park, 250 Doherty Drive. If not, feel free to reach out to him with thoughts about the future of this important agency, and its mission to empower and assure well-being for all of the LGBTQ+ people and people living with and affected by HIV in our beautiful county. Dana’s email address is dvangorder@thespahrcenter.org and he wants to hear from you!

Thank you so very much for being an essential and valued part of The Spahr Center family, and for your support as we grow its impact in the community.

Whitney Hoyt

Board President