September 29, 2021 – After a national search, Los Angeles-based Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has assisted in the recruitment of Sarah Mikhail as executive director for Time Out Youth (TOY) in Charlotte, NC. The non-profit offers support, advocacy and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Rodney Tucker, the group’s former leader, resigned last summer after 10 years in the role. Leading the assignment for the search firm were Kevin Chase, managing partner, and Catie DiFelice, senior associate. “Mikhail brings new energy and new ideas to TOY,” said Jacob Hamm, board chair of TOY. “Her lived experience and leadership is inspirational and will motivate our team of committed and engaged staff to realize the organization’s future, while equally empowering our youth to reach their true potential.”
Most recently, Ms. Mikhail has been national director for A Way Home America’s “Grand Challenge” program, a national initiative to end youth homelessness. Prior to that, she was a senior program director at the LGBT Community Center of New York City. In that role, she oversaw an 18-person team and a portfolio of community support programs that included HIV prevention, family permanency, economic justice initiatives, immigration, transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) health and mental health, and mental health services, in addition to maintaining a personal caseload of family counseling clients. During her tenure at The Center, Ms. Mikhail also created the LGBTQ Institute for Family Therapists, a training program created specifically to train clinicians on working with families of LGBTQ+ youth.
Ms. Mikhail is a passionate social work leader and advocate with over 15 years of experience working in the LGBTQ+ community and youth leadership. “As a queer, first generation Egyptian-American woman, I am deeply invested in the power of intersectionality and dedicated to centering the voices of LGBTQ+ youth in the fight for social justice and achieving equity,” said Ms. Mikhail. “I am honored to join the amazing team at Time Out Youth at this critical moment. My vision is for Time Out Youth to impact change that is far-reaching and ensure that LGBTQ+ youth in Charlotte are met with unconditional acceptance and support.”
In her new role, Ms. Mikhail will be charged with leading Time Out Youth to being a strong, visible organization dedicated to ending the isolation of LGBTQ+ youth. Many of the young people TOY serves are BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) and/or queer, trans and non-binary-identifying who face marginalization and discrimination on multiple fronts. Ms. Mikhail will be expected to drive strategic, operational, administrative and financial decisions of the organization while ensuring long-term sustainability through growth and diversification of programs.
Time Out Youth, founded in 1991, provides programs and services ranging from discussion groups to emergency housing assistance to individual counselling to more than 70 LGBTQ youth every year. TOY is an integral part of Charlotte and the surrounding area’s growing and diverse LGBTQ+ community. TOY is supported by a 19-person board of directors and employs a staff of nine full-and part-time employees. Its operating budget is just under $1 million.
“The center is a vital resource and an important community partner in the Coachella Valley,” said Mr. Chase. “The explosive population growth and demographic changes there mean an ever-expanding role for the center in supporting the lives of queer people throughout the Valley.”
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group is a national consulting and executive search firm serving mission-based, non-profit organizations in the human services, social justice, healthcare philanthropy, education, and arts and culture sectors. The firm partners with boards, search committees, senior leadership teams and stakeholder groups on critical leadership transitions.
Kevin Chase Executive Search Finds New Leader for Equality Texas
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has placed Ricardo Martinez as the new CEO of Equality Texas. He is a gay, bilingual, Mexican-American and a recognized LGBTQ leader by the Obama administration. Managing partner Kevin Chase led the assignment along with senior associate Catie DiFelice.
“We are pleased to announce Ricardo Martinez as Equality Texas’s new CEO,” said Elizabeth Myers, chair of the Equality Texas Foundation board. “Ricardo is a visionary leader who is the true embodiment of the American dream. He immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. at the age of six.”
In a career of more than two decades, Mr. Chase has led dozens of executive search and leadership transition engagements for non-profit organizations as well as companies in the finance, technology and professional services sectors. Most of his engagements are for executive director/ CEO, senior development and board positions, though he has also conducted searches for C-level leaders of finance, operations and programs. He has expertise in working with small to mid-sized, mission-driven non-profits, providing consultation and advisory services to the boards and leadership volunteers responsible for governance and organizational development.
Bringing more than five years of retained executive search experience, Ms. DiFelice’s primary focus is non-profit and higher education assignments. She has also worked in the technology, healthcare and consumer markets. Although she has helped recruit C-suite and other senior executives in many markets and sectors, she said she feels most connected to her work on behalf of mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations. Her broad non-profit search experience cuts across the healthcare, civil rights and social justice, education and arts and culture sectors.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media