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Local LGBTQ Organization Expands; Grand Rapids Pride Center Hires Executive Director, Sets Goals to Expand Services and Partnerships.

Grand Rapids, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Pride Center (GRPC) has hired a new Executive Director, Thomas Pierce, LLMSW, MPA, effective Jan. 2, 2018. The position is the second paid, full-time position at the GRPC, and will oversee all operations and strategic direction for the organization.
Pierce has a master's of social work degree from Spring Arbor University, and a master of public administration from Grand Valley State University. He has worked with Hope Network since moving to Michigan in 2012, most recently serving as the Director of Children's Residential Services. He has served on the Grand Rapids Pride Center's Board of Directors for the past two years.
"I am beyond excited to announce the hiring of Thomas Pierce as Executive Director of the Grand Rapids Pride Center" said Grand Rapids Pride Center Board President, Mike Hemmingsen. "Thomas has shown his dedication to the LGBTQ community over the last two years with his involvement with our Pride Festival, growing our Safe and Supported program, and becoming a member of our Board of Directors. Effective Jan. 2, 2018, Thomas will take the reins of the Grand Rapids Pride Center and continue our efforts to empower our LGBTQ community through supportive services and awareness. We look forward to how Thomas will grow our organization in the coming years." Pierce came to the Board with a detailed 30-, 60-, and 90-day plan to assess the dayto-day operations of the organization. Among Pierce's long-term goals for the GRPC are:
– Strategic placement of the GRPC to better align with the unique needs of the Grand Rapids LGBTQ community.
– Continued advocacy and support through expanded services offered at the GRPC.
– Engagement with community initiatives and projects that will work to further support our Grand Rapids LGBTQ community and impact policies in support of equality.
– Increased partnerships with communities beyond our own, across Michigan and beyond.
"These are exciting times for the GRPC and I believe we are poised to grow significantly in the next 3-5 years as we begin to form new partnerships and expand our services bring offered. I'm looking forward to getting the internal operations working smoothly and effectively, and building upon the great work that our staff and volunteers have already been doing!" said Pierce.

About Grand Rapids Pride Center
Sanctioned in 1988 as The Lesbian Gay Community Network, The Grand Rapids Pride Center (GRPC) strives to empower West Michigan's LGBTQ community through
supportive services and awareness. GRPC aims to be the center of a vibrant and inclusive community that supports all LGBTQ individuals. The organization hosts several support groups, community education and sensitivity trainings, and leadership and volunteer opportunities. For more information on the Grand Rapids Pride Center, visit: grpride.org.

For more information on this appointment, and the Grand Rapids Pride Center, visit: grpride.org.



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