In ‘open letter’ to community SD Pride confirms departure of executive director; appoints Fernando Lopez to positionAround the City, Online Only, Top Highlights Thursday, February 1st, 2018
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The San Diego LGBT Pride board of directors today published an “open letter” to the community announcing the departure of Eric Heinritz as executive director and the appointment of Fernando Lopez as the new executive director.
Heinritz was appointed in May 2017 after an extensive search and comprehensive selection process managed by Nonprofit Management Solutions. At the time, Heinritz’s selection was criticized due to his lack of experience and the fact that he was brought in from Milwaukee over local favorite Lopez. Less than a year later Lopez is now taking over from Heinritz.
San Diego Pride remained tight-lipped on the reasons for Heinritz’s departure writing that he, “… dutifully served both this organization and our community well, and we are extremely grateful for the sacrifices and time he has dedicated to us.”
In confirming Lopez’s appointment San Diego Pride writes, “Fernando’s commitment to San Diego Pride and our community is without question. Coupled with his knowledge and extensive history at San Diego Pride, we are all excited to see what he will accomplish as we move forward.”
Ironically, it was exactly this “commitment, knowledge and extensive history” that had people scratching their heads in surprise eight months ago when Lopez was passed up for the position.
Lopez will assume his new role Feb. 5. Read San Diego Pride’s open letter in full below:
To our community,
We want to begin by affirming that all of us at San Diego LGBT Pride are steadfast in our commitment to our long-standing mission and vision – to foster pride, equality, and respect for all LGBT communities locally, nationally, and globally. This has been our guiding principle since our inception and why we have worked continuously to unite and empower the LGBT community not just in San Diego, but around the world.
Each of us on the Board of Directors recognize the space San Diego Pride has and continues to occupy within our community, but now it’s time to grow. With growth comes change and we want to share some of those changes with you.
First, we are saddened to announce the departure of Eric Heinritz, our current executive director. Eric dutifully served both this organization and our community well, and we are extremely grateful for the sacrifices and time he has dedicated to us. We wish Eric nothing but the best wherever he goes in the future.
Effective Monday, February 5, Fernando Lopez, our current director of operations, will assume the role and responsibilities of executive director. Fernando’s commitment to San Diego Pride and our community is without question. Coupled with his knowledge and extensive history at San Diego Pride, we are all excited to see what he will accomplish as we move forward.
While this news has already been speculated in the media, we know these are important changes for our organization and community and that is why we wanted to address it directly. In addition, we want to make very clear that our emeriti to the Board are a valued resource to our Board of Directors, but do not have voting rights. We believe their portrayal in recent media reports are tremendously unfair and distasteful, and they will continue on in their role as advisors to the Board.
With all of this in mind, it’s more important than ever that we begin to move forward together. Our current national climate demands unity and that is exactly what we must promote and practice. San Diego Pride will continue to envision and strive for a world free of prejudice and bias, and we hope you will stand with us.
Sincerely and with pride,
The San Diego LGBT Pride Board of Directors
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