Acting GLCCB director announces departure as search for replacement continues

Center to hold interview with new candidate on Tuesday

  • The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore, located in the Waxter Center, is searching for a new executive director.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center… (Photo by Monica Lopossay )
September 22, 2014|By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

The acting executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore has dropped her bid to become the organization's permanent head, even as the search to fill the spot continues.

Kelly Neel's announced departure from the GLCCB, effective Oct. 3, surprised the group's board of directors, which had short-listed her as a finalist among a narrowing pool of contenders for the permanent job, said Mike McCarthy, the board's president.

McCarthy said there were "points of contention" between the board and Neel, but he didn't think "it was at the level that she felt her value was questioned."

Neel on Monday said she felt "not only that my vision and my values didn't align [with those of the board], but more so that they weren't respected."

She also said she felt "with the community input that we've gotten, there are needs that still aren't being addressed," but declined to elaborate.

Neel said she is currently "looking for work and finding out what my next steps are."

Her departure continues a pattern of staff turnover at the center that leaders say has contributed to increased public scrutiny over the center's responsiveness to the broader LGBT community.

"It has been a tumultuous time for the organization, which has been in transition for quite some time now," Neel wrote in a letter announcing her departure.

McCarthy said transition in the top spot at the center has "been kind of an issue," and the current search was conducted with the hope of finding a candidate who would be committed to "sticking around for the long term." 

McCarthy said the board is hosting an interview session on Tuesday night, in which several members of the community will question a remaining contender for the executive director position. The man, who McCarthy would not identify Monday, scored well during a blind board scoring of his resume.

Those community members who were selected to participate in the interview event will be able to score the candidate. Those scores will be added to an overall assessment of the candidate.

"We're under the assumption that he will be well received," McCarthy said.

The board hopes to have the new executive director in place soon, he said. A salary for the position has not been finalized.

About 15 people applied for the position in total, McCarthy said.

Neel said she wishes the GLCCB the best in its search, and hopes she can "remain a face in the LGBT community" in Baltimore.

"I definitely want to stay involved and volunteer my time," she said. "If there is another position for me somewhere, I'm all for it."

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