Utah Pride Center CEO Steps Down

THE UTAH PRIDE CENTER CEO STEPS DOWN

Thanks, and Appreciation to the CEO of the Utah Pride Center as he steps down

[Salt Lake City, UT – July 28, 2021]:  As the Utah Pride Center Board of Directors, we are sad to announce that Dr. Rob Moolman, CEO of the Utah Pride Center (UPC), has decided to leave his position at the Utah Pride Center. Dr. Moolman has asked that we expedite his departure to allow him to focus on his next personal and professional chapter, and to spend time with his loved ones. The Board has accepted his request. 

While the final few weeks of the new CEO search continue, Dr. Moolman leaves the Center in the strong hands of the team at UPC. The current COO – Jonathan Foulk – has been asked by the Board to step in as the Interim CEO, and he has accepted the role and responsibility. As Interim CEO, Mr. Foulk will report into the Board of Directors and will continue the work of the UPC and prepare the way to welcome the new CEO in September. 

“Dr. Moolman’s excellent and noteworthy work here at the Utah Pride Center (UPC) these past three and a half years has brought significant growth and stability, and his commitment and integrity have been fundamental and unwavering in the face of unprecedented challenges and unfounded personal attacks.  For this, we as a Board will be forever grateful.” – Chris Jensen, Board Chair

As a Board we recognize that Dr. Moolman leaves our Center in the soundest position it has been in for many years.  This is largely thanks to his vision and action, the great team that he has built, and his determination to see our Center succeed. This has brought UPC’s front-of-stage work and its behind-the-scenes infrastructure up to equal levels of strength, resulting in a very solid foundation for us as we begin this new chapter.  

Given the strength and stability that the Utah Pride Center is now enjoying, we sincerely thank Dr. Moolman for the numerous large and small accomplishments he has brought about as CEO at UPC.  We acknowledge his has not been an easy task, and we are in total agreement that Dr. Moolman has consistently gone above and beyond for our staff, for the communities we serve, and for us as a Board of Directors.

Therefore, we acknowledge that this is the right step at the right time for Dr. Moolman as he moves into his next chapter.  We appreciate Dr. Moolman as an excellent leader and now as a good friend and welcome his continued commitment to support the Utah Pride Center and its mission.

We will mention that the Board’s search for a new CEO is approaching finalization in the next few weeks.  We look forward in that time, to welcoming our new CEO to fill the significant and innovative place Dr. Moolman leaves behind.

For more information about the Utah Pride Center, the formal letter of resignation from Dr. Moolman, please go to the website www.utahpridecenter.org  

Dear UPC Team, Friends and UPC Community-at-large

The time has come! Last night I announced to our Board of Directors my decision to leave my position as CEO of the Utah Pride Center (UPC) effective today. I leave this wonderful organization with gratitude, pride, and a sense of completion that I have given my very best: for the Utah LGBTQ+ Community, to the work of the Utah Pride Center, and to the incredible team of people I have had the privilege to work with. 

This has not been an easy or hasty decision. It had been my intention that I would remain at the helm until the new CEO was chosen and moved into the position. Over the past few weeks, however, I have realized that it is imperative I change that decision. It is finally time for my focus to be on my husband, my family, and my next exciting personal and professional chapter.

I leave the UPC on solid ground, in the excellent hands of our Board, our staff, and in a few weeks, our new CEO. As I look back on my time at the UPC, I could not be more proud of the work that we have done together and the new heights we have achieved, even while facing unexpected and unprecedented challenges.

For almost a year and a half, a small group of disgruntled ex-employees have continued to systematically attack and undermine both myself and the UPC.  Through their recent lawsuit aimed at myself and the Utah Pride Center, they have continued their campaign despite three third-party, independent investigations separately and publicly refuting all claims – prior to their suit being filed.  The UPC has an obligation to organizational privacy, and this group has chosen to use this as a platform for exploiting personal agendas. It is incredibly sad and telling to see a few of those we once worked with, put the life-saving work at the UPC in risk by actively striving to divide our team, our donors, and our community relationships. Fortunately, they have not succeeded. 

Make no mistake and let me be very clear – I have and always have had, the full support of the Board of Directors and my team here at the UPC, for which I am thankful.  As of today, I choose to no longer engage with a continued character assassination of me and our work by people who have shown by their actions that they have no character at all.  

I stand proud in knowing that I have held the best interests of the UPC, its work and its team at the forefront of my responsibility as CEO. As I look back on my time at the UPC, I am deeply satisfied with the immense work we’ve accomplished for our Utah community.  I know that through our work over my three and a half years of tenure, our Center has not only grown, but has come into its own, and is on the precipice of even greater and more exciting things. 

Through a pandemic and crisis, our Pride Center stood tall, and rose to the occasion. As we adapted and pivoted, we saw the importance of our work and our mission become amplified throughout our entire Utah community. As we conceived of and created the Road Rally, the Pride Story Garden, and Rainbow Wellness, we recognized the need in community to tell stories, to build relationships and to create meaning.  

We formed crucial liaisons with other community partners, acting on the imperative to work intersectionally. We saw the Governor of Utah enter our Center, write the Pride Month Proclamation, and invite us to the Capitol.  And as we developed our finance structures and audits, we accomplished our imperative for clear planning and fiscal responsibility toward ensuring the longevity of our Center. And in all of this, we recognized the knowledge and change potential we hold in our community. 

I am proud and humbled to have been part of this organization. I love this work and our Center very much. In a time where many Pride Centers across the country are struggling to define their work and their identities, I believe that our Center has become an example and a pacesetter. I urge our communities, our donors, our volunteers, and our supporters: Continue your support of our Center, and continue to expect more from the UPC as it grows. 

I leave the UPC with the confident knowledge that it is in such good hands. These are individuals who understand that community work is all about the collective mission – not any one individual. I know the need for this work very well, and so will continue to volunteer and contribute in my efforts to benefit our community-at-large. This team at the UPC is quite simply phenomenal. I know that through this interim period and in the years ahead, our Center is stronger and better because of the staff and Board of Directors we have. 

The next few weeks will be particularly exciting as the new CEO is selected. The review process has been robust and thorough. There is no doubt in my mind that the three candidates selected for the final interviews are exceptional. I am confident that the next CEO will continue to grow and develop the Center in new and exciting ways. As the new CEO steps in to guide, support and expand the vision of the Center, they should be welcomed and given the space to thrive.  They will have my full support.

In conclusion, special thanks to my amazing husband, brilliant friends, and incredible family, who have all loved me fiercely and walked alongside me through this wonderful time at the UPC. I also thank the Board of Directors, the UPC team, our sponsors, donors, volunteers, friends, and supporters in our community. The trust you have placed in me has been visible, very much appreciated and never taken for granted. It has enabled the team and I to accomplish so much of the exciting work that we have done, as well as help our Center grow and succeed through these remarkable and often trying times. As I look back now, before I move on, I am firm in the knowledge that your trust has been well placed. 

Thank you, and farewell.

Yours in Pride,

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Rob 

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