August 9, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach Makes Some Changes

For more than three decades, The LGBTQ Center Long Beach has provided a variety of health, social, advocacy, legal, and service programs to the LGBTQ in the Greater Long Beach area. 

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach (the “Center”), a leader in advancing equity for LGBTQ people through culturally responsive advocacy, education, programs, and services. 

Unrelated to recent allegations against its Executive Director Porter Gilberg, claiming he created a “traumatizing and hostile work environment” for Black staffers and other employees of color, particularly women, the center has made some changes. In regards to the allegations The LGBTQ Center Long Beach issued this statement, 

“On Friday, June 26, The LGBTQ Center Long Beach Board of Directors received a letter from SaveTheCenterLB outlining a series of allegations against Executive Director Porter Gilberg. The Board acted immediately by speaking with Mr. Gilberg and outlining a plan to contract an outside independent contractor to conduct a formal investigation. 

On Monday, June 29, Mr. Gilberg was placed on administrative leave and Center staff was informed. By Tuesday, June 30, a law firm and an independent private investigator were hired, and the formal investigation began.

In February 2020, three individuals filed complaints with the board about Mr. Gilberg. As Board President Stella Ursua began to reach out to each individual, the Covid-19 shutdown began. At that point, the investigation was put on hold while the Board and staff shifted focus to keep services in operation for its clientele and to ensure that employees would continue to be paid. The Center successfully shifted many of its programs and services online and continues to serve the greater Long Beach LGBTQ community. To date, no employees have been furloughed or terminated due to Covid-19.

During this time, the Board has finalized a search for an outside Human Resources agency that will come on board in August 2020. The independent investigation’s findings are expected to be concluded by the end of August 2020 at which time, the Board will consult with staff on a plan of action to foster a positive and safe working environment.

“Allegations of organizational impropriety are taken seriously at The LGBTQ Center Long Beach,” says Board President Stella Ursua. “Furthermore, the board has a fiduciary responsibility to its employees, the Center, and its constituents. We will investigate and adjudicate these matters appropriately based on the findings borne out from this investigation.”

In spite of those allegations, The Center has announced the hiring of Myron Day as Director of Development. In addition to Mr. Day’s hiring of Chief Financial Officer & General Counsel Andrew Dorado who will assume the role of Interim Executive Director of the Center.

Myron Day has more than 20 years of experience building nonprofit organizations focused on education, child abuse, divorce, domestic violence, and poverty. He has raised millions of dollars to help several nonprofits expand their operations to better serve constituents and raise public awareness of important challenges facing our nation. 

He is excited to grow the Center’s Development Department and secure funding for programs and services to effectively serve the organization’s clients and the Long Beach community at large.

When asked about his new position as Director it Development Day said, “I am thrilled to join The Center at a critical time in its lifecycle. Fueled by the momentum generated in surpassing a historic milestone of securing $2M in a single year, The Center’s leadership has embarked on a profound, yet completely realistic operational pathway for the organization’s future. Realizing our ambitions requires increased community connectedness and engagement. This is the focus of our organizational development efforts. The Center stands firm in its mission to advance equity for LGBTQ people. The development approach will continue to align more closely and in more clearly apparent ways than ever before. I am invigorated by the possibilities for the community.”

As of July 1, 2020, Chief Financial Officer & General Counsel Andrew Dorado has been assigned as the Interim Executive Director of The Center. Dorado has worked with the Center for more than four years. During his tenure he has been instrumental in professionalizing the Center’s financial reporting, created new operational performance metrics and helped to secure funding leading to the direct the expansion of legal services at the Center. 

In his role as Interim Executive Director, Dorado will continue to advocate for the LGBTQ community and ensure that the community continues to have access to the full spectrum of resources the Center provides. 

Addressing his new role and what is to come Dorado stated, “”I have worked for the organization for a number of years and I have seen the impact we have made on our community. In my role as Interim Executive Director, I will continue the progress our organization has made in expanding the services and programs we offer to our community with a continued emphasis on approaching our work with a culturally inclusive focus. The Center’s staff work tirelessly for the community and as Interim Executive Director, I will continue to promote their hard work as we foster affirming communities where all LGBTQ People live in health, wellness, safety and prosperity.”

Recently, The LGBTQ Center Long Beach and TransHealthLB partnered with L.A. Care and Compton Pride for a “grab-n-go” event. The event took place on Saturday July 25th from 10am-12pm and involved volunteers handing out goodie bags with some essentials, snacks along with fruits and vegetables all the while maintaining social distancing rules and following health guidelines. 

For more information and to keep up with events from The LGBTQ Center Long Beach visit www.CenterLB.org. 

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