February 9, 2018 – Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit that organizes the gay rights LA Pride Festival and Parade, has enlisted Aspen Leadership Group, an executive recruitment firm based in Aspen, CO, to lead the search for its new executive director.
Senior consultant Tim Child is leading the assignment. CSW is looking for what it describes as a risk taker who is ready and capable of leading the organization in this newly created role.
The executive director, in collaboration with the board of directors, is expected to play a critical role in developing the vision and strategy that will guide CSW’s future. For years, the organization has been run entirely by an unpaid, all-volunteer board.
The executive director, who will be the group’s only compensated employee, must possess a passion for advocacy, a deep understanding of the organization’s history and an ability to collaborate with city officials and community leaders to address the issues most important to the local LGBTQ+ community today, said Aspen Leadership Group. CSW is seeking candidates with a strong sense of ethics, a high degree of integrity and a natural sense of empathy, said the search firm.
“As we look toward the future and set our sights on making LA Pride a must-experience pride destination for the global LGBTQ+ community and our allies, there is no better time than now to recruit a forward-thinking leader who will be at the very heart and soul of making this vision a reality,” said Estevan Montemayor, CSW board member and search committee chair. “This announcement marks a significant milestone for CSW, one that’s been years in the making. We have worked hard over the last few years to build enthusiasm and momentum around the LA Pride brand. We’re now ready and in a better position than ever to take this important step forward, ensuring our organization’s long-term future and growth.”
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The role is an exceptional opportunity for a professional with a passion for the advocacy, history, and representation of the LGBTQ+ community to address and impact the issues affecting and facing the community today, said Aspen Leadership Group.
“As human rights and civil liberties for the LGBTQ+ community face serious political challenges, the timing is right for CSW and LA Pride to bring on a strong and passionate executive director to help us lead this charge,” said Mr. Montemayor.
The successful candidate will be a gifted leader and a talented fundraiser with at least five years of leadership experience in the non-profit, education or corporate sectors with progressive responsibility, oversight and management, including administrative and financial experience, said the search firm.
Christopher Street West organized the world’s first permitted parade advocating for gay rights in 1970. Since then, it has been an active voice for the LGBTQ+ community across the Greater Los Angeles area. It produces the LA Pride Parade and Festival every June in West Hollywood. It also organizes events throughout the year with its non-profit, philanthropic, community and corporate partners. CSW has a budget of over $2 million.
Aspen Leadership Group, which opened for business in 2013, conducts searches for board members, presidents, executive directors, chief development and advancement officers, and development and advancement professionals. Founder Ronald Schiller has 26 years of experience in executive search, fundraising and administration of non-profit institutions.
Mr. Child is a seasoned advancement executive who most recently served as vice president of institutional advancement for the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. He has led alumni engagement, fundraising, and organizational development in world-class organizations.
Advancement talent is increasingly being groomed by organizations throughout the non-profit sector that understand the direct connectivity between messaging and contributed revenue, according to recruiters. The function is only relevant to the non-profit and education sectors. In corporate setting, the corresponding role would be chief development officers or chief business development officer.
In general, the best training for such roles is experience. Industry conferences and summits can also help one learn benchmarking and best practices. And while the best fit for these roles ultimately depends on the culture of the organization, recruiters say that “tenacity and drive” are always necessary for advancement and development officers.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media