Utah Pride Center Director Resigns, Says Organization Should Be Community Led
Utah Pride Center’s Executive Director is stepping down after only 11 weeks on the job.
Marian Edmonds-Allen took the job this past July, two years after then Executive Director Valerie Larabee stepped down from the post amid allegations of financial mismanagement. Edmonds-Allen informed Utah Pride Center board members of her resignation Monday. Board Chair Kent Frogley says she was engaged in the work and the issues facing the pride center leading up to her abrupt resignation.
“We felt like the momentum was moving in a very positive direction, so that’s why this was very surprising,” Frogley says.
Edmonds-Allen left the board a list of recommendations to advance the mission of the center, which includes eliminating the executive director position altogether. She said in a statement on her Facebook page after an 11-week assessment of the Utah Pride Center, she recommends the organization be “predominantly community-led and operated”. She argued this would “prolong existing resources for the benefit of the community.”
Frogley says the Pride Center will not eliminate the executive director position. He says the board will dip into the same candidate pool that came forward when Edmonds-Allen was hired and move quickly but carefully to find the right leadership. At the same time Frogley says the organization needs to move ahead with a new business model to remain sustainable.
“Fundraising is always an ongoing issue with any non-profit,” Frogley says. “The Pride Festival which provides a significant portion of the funds that keep the doors open, it has become more expensive for a variety of reasons to produce.”
Marian Edmonds-Allen came to the Utah Pride Center from the Family Acceptance Project, where she was the national program director. She was also executive director of OUTreach Resource Centers in Ogden.