On June 19, just two days after Baltimore’s Pride celebration, the board of directors of the 35-year-old Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB)—the producer of Pride—announced changes in leadership effective immediately. Trevor Ankeny, who served as board president for three years, was replaced by Bud Beehler, a retired school principal who had served as the board’s secretary for the past 11 months.
“The GLCCB is a truly historic center,” Beehler told the Blade. “As one of the oldest five in the nation, we are proud of our history. Like many LGBT centers, we have had a bumpy path that has been magnified for us in the past few years. The board spotted some problems in how the Center was being managed and because the current board is committed to due diligence, we made some important changes.”
Jay Day was appointed board secretary. Matt Newcomer and Mike McCarthy will continue as treasurer and vice president, respectively. Chuck Bowers, Rachael Stern and Sharon Brackett were appointed as members of the board, and Mike Robertson, Charlie Mumford and John Flannery will continue in the positions of members-at-large.
The board held a town hall meeting in Baltimore on June 25. It was the first such meeting since 2000. More than 25 members of the community attended, and after Beehler introduced the new board and current GLCCB staff, he explained that this is a “reset” for the GLCCB, and said the board is committed to “striving for transparency and engagement.” He indicated that this is the first of a series of town hall meetings with the next one to take place in 90 days.
One of the top priorities for the GLCCB is to increase diversity on the board. This issue was raised by several in attendance as a key to establishing credibility among people of color as well as transgender individuals. Beehler said that the Center is actively seeking to diversify the board. Finances are another major concern for the Center and its leadership. Net revenues from Pride cover operating expenses for about six months in a fiscal year. Many expenses and initiatives, such as renovations to meet ADA requirements and other improvements must be met by other revenue sources.