CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte has announced several new board members as it enters a new phase of life, going virtual now after closing its physical location at the end of 2014.
It marks the first time in over a decade the organization hasn’t had a publicly-accessible center. The group, formed from a series of community discussions and strategy sessions in the late ’90s, was established in 2001 and opened its first location on Central Ave. in 2003. It subsequently moved to the N.C. Music Factory in 2008 and to NoDa in 2012.
“The LGBT Community Center officially closed the doors of our NoDa location in December, 2014, but that doesn’t mean the Center is gone,” reads a release from the organizations. “Although we are currently operating virtually, a new board has been created with members from all walks of life who are ready to build a new center from the ground up.”
Board member Ashley Love, who formerly served as grants chair, has been named the group’s new board chair. Her leadership role change comes with the addition of three new board members: Jessica Milicevic, communications and public relations chair; Lee Robertson, member at large; Bree Catlin, member at large. They join remaining board members John Dimier, Nate Turner, Tamika Lewis and Edward McCray.
The center plans to follow a new strategic plan and will roll out a community needs assessment this year.
“We understand there is hesitation within the LGBTQ Community to embrace the Center, after years of mismanagement by previous board members,” the center said. “With a new board and a new strategic plan, the Center will begin the year by preparing a Community Assessment to determine what needs must be met in our community, even outside the LGBTQ realm.”
The center had a rocky 2014, with mismanagement in leadership, accountability and finances. It lost is single-largest funder, the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, in the fall.
New center leaders say they want to move forward with a new vision and purpose.
“Our ultimate goal is to serve the community and provide resources for those in need, and we will do so by working in collaboration with other local LGBTQ nonprofits to achieve this goal,” the group said. “We envision ourselves as the switchboard of the community, routing people where they need to go for support, help, and interaction.”