Emergency board meeting called at Utah Pride Center

An emergency meeting of the Utah Pride Center Board of Directors was called in response to a letter, signed by former board members and staff of the Center as well as high-profile leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally community, calling for executive director Valerie Larabee’s resignation as well as a review of the existing board members.

The meeting was called late this afternoon and took place at 6 p.m. at the Center’s board room.

Prior to the discussion of the letter, board members talked about many issues brought to acting president John Netto since his election two weeks ago.

Much talk centered around regaining the trust of the community, especially surrounding the SAGE Utah program since the Center let its program director, Charles Lynn Frost, go because of budgetary reasons.

The layoff of Frost and director of operations Joe Gonzales, as well as remaining staff agreeing to take a 20 percent cut in pay and benefits, has opened the Center’s board and executive director to scrutiny at all levels.

SAGE Utah’s advisory board presented a letter to Netto and the board at a “talking circle” meeting Nov. 6, which said, ““[T]rust has been severely compromised over the last year, but more specifically, no one on the Sage Advisory Committee felt they held any trust or confidence in the management or leadership capacity of the Utah Pride Center.”

The advisory board requested that SAGE Utah be released to them and run separately from the Center, but utilizing the space for meetings.

At tonight’s board meeting, Netto and several board members said that the requests made were reasonable, yet several issues needed to be addressed, such as the name of the organization being owned by the Center and that email addresses were entrusted to the Center as people signed up for the organization.

“These email addresses were entrusted to the Utah Pride Center,” said board member Alison Beddard. “We need to protect their privacy.”

Netto said that he wanted to give the SAGE advisory board more autonomy, though still hold the program under the Center’s umbrella.

“SAGE needs to know that, while we are giving them autonomy, there are rules,” board treasurer Chris Wharton said. “The board [of the Utah Pride Center] has fiduciary obligations.”

The board voted unanimously to draft a memorandum of understanding between the Center and the SAGE Utah advisory board within the next two weeks.

Netto announced that he had spoken with leaders of SAGE, asking them to write a $5K-$10K proposal, to which he promised to use Center resources to raise the seed money.

Next, the board talked about the potential formation of a community council and advisory groups to help the board decide how to best address the community.

Netto charted out a possible way of making such an idea happen, but many board members said that current bylaws and state law would prohibit such a council.

Board member Jen Seelig said she liked the idea of increasing community participation, however she felt the advisory groups and community council added additional bureaucratic layers, further separating the board from the community, rather than bringing them closer together.

Instead, the board determined it would be best to do as their bylaws state, and give notice of board meetings, offer time at the beginning of meetings for anyone in the community to speak, and to assign each board member a group with which to interface.

Board member Jesse Nix suggested that board members would be assigned to respective groups within the community and actively seek out input and attend their activities.

“People feel they have no voice,” Nix said. “People would now be working directly with voting members of the board.”

Nix also suggested that the Center’s monthly email blasts include an online survey with open-ended questions, such as, “What is the Center doing right?” and , “What is the center doing wrong.”

Netto said that each of the board members who is representing a part of the community is responsible for lobbying for their group; to be their voice.

Chris Wharton and Jen Seelig were chosen to draft a plan to increase community participation and representation in the Center within the next two weeks.

Next, board members discussed a succession plan for any leader in the organization.

“We need to protect the financial stability of the Center as long as we are around,” Netto explained. “And we also need to develop a strategy that helps build future leaders.

That discussion took on a broader range, as it was wrapped into an entire review of the Center’s bylaws, also run by Wharton and Seelig.

Netto encouraged all board members to participate.

“We need all hands on deck,” he said, “to decide what we like about what we are doing, and what we need to change.”

Lastly, before the board went into executive session to discuss the personnel issues, Nix described his project to address the issues of transparency in the organization.

“There are transparency issues at three levels of the organization,” Nix said. “Transparency in our finances, transparency in our operations and transparency in our communications.”

Board member Jon Jepsen also noted that there needs to be transparency on the board, particularly in the selection process of board members.

The meeting was then closed to the public to discuss the letter of no confidence presented to Netto earlier today.

According to the Center’s bylaws, if the board makes decisions during executive session, they must be reported in an open meeting and recorded into the minutes. Details of the debate and discussion before and after, however, are kept confidential.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 2.

 

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About the Author

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake. He has been active in Utah's gay and lesbian community since the early 80s and published two publications then and in the 90s.
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Comments

  1. QSalt Lake
    November 12, 2013 at 5:08 am

    An emergency meeting of the Utah Pride Center Board of Directors was called in response to a letter, signed by former board members and staff of the Center as well as high-profile leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally community, calling for executive director Valerie Larabee's resignation as well as a review of the existing board members.

  2. Kip T Rishton
    November 12, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Really? Great information but spellcheck for heaven sake!! Embarrassing.

  3. Jeremy Almquist
    November 12, 2013 at 5:48 am

    If the previous board is asking questions somthing is not right. In my opinion three questions come to mind when . Is the organization following the rules? Is the organization treating its employees fairly? Is the organization doing what it truly set out to do and doing it with legitimacy?

    If the board (management) cannot answer these questions with an unequivocal YES! The there is definitely something wrong.

  4. Geoff Doiron
    November 12, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Y'know what, that's fine but when are they going to get rid of Valerie Larabee? That is the most important question to pretty much everyone who has been giving up on that broken place for years now…and that is what people want to know right now. Not next week, not a month from now. Not at some future circle jerk…I mean talking circle. She has done more to alienate this community from each other and to make people not want to be an active part of it than I think many people thought one person could do. Stop skirting the issue and quit trying to resurrect, exorcise the demons, fix that woman. She has lost the faith of the community long ago and, honestly, no one wants her in this post any longer no matter what kind of changes she attempts to make. If she had any sense of allegiance to or care for this community, she would do the most noble thing she has done in years and resign.

  5. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I wasn't going to state my viewpoint until Wednesday's Talking-Circle. I've decided to start discussing my feelings ahead of that.

    I was actually going in to defend Valerie. I think that she has learned a lot. I think she has grown a lot. She resurrected the Center when it was, literally, 30 days from certain death.

    After reading posts and discussing this with so many friends,acquaintances and colleagues from the community, I decided that it IS in the best interest that she resign. That's why I signed the letter.

    While she has done some incredible work for our community, it is obvious that the community has lost faith in her. For that reason alone, she should resign so that the community can move forward.

    I also think it would be best for John Netto to resign… and basically the entire Board of Directors, really. I actually think that there should only be 2 or 3 board members stay, just to help transition into completely new leadership.

    Not only has the community lost faith in Valerie, they've lost faith in the entire Board.

  6. Chace Wolf
    November 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    That last sentence sums it all up.

  7. Nate Bassett
    November 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Dom, I wish I were there so that I knew what was going on. I'd really like to be involved, but it's hard to do from 5,200 miles away.

  8. Marcy Taylor
    November 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I can remember, years ago, wanting so badly to have a Pride Center, as thriving as that in SLC, to come to Ogden. A couple of years ago I was thankful that the same model was not brought to Ogden, as the feeling of exclusiveness of the SL Pride center was such a turn off. For a place asking for inclusion, the "good ol' boy" feel kept many, like myself, from involving my time or money.

  9. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Taken from the Financial Reports on the UPC website:

    Line 15 – Salaries, other compensation, employee benefits
    2008 – $250,626
    2009 – $331.136
    2010 – $389.833
    2011 – $484,204
    2012 – $706,133

    Line 12 – Total Contributions
    2007 – $797,993
    2008 – $863,338
    2009 – $1,037,341
    2010 – $1,302,542
    2011 – $1,224,287
    2012 – $1,993,375

    Executive Director Salary

    2007 – $50,470
    2008 – $52,225
    2009 – $59,188
    2010 – $63,430
    2011 – $67,148
    2012 – $91,242

    http://www.utahpridecenter.org/about-us/financials

  10. Marcy Taylor
    November 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Wow ….

  11. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I don't think the negative comments are saying, "Nothing good happens at the UPC."

    On the contrary, we all know how many lives are saved. Many of us speaking out were there before any of those currently running the UPC were. We know precisely what it takes/took to bring that place, and community, together. Many of us were pushed aside and marginalized by those who were also marginalized.

    I think what we're saying is:

    1. Ego is ruling the day.
    2. If we were flush enough to throw a huge Pride, spending (I think) somewhere around $300,000, and
    3. If we were flush enough to buy bigger, better digs, in a bigger, better, more public location, and
    4. If we were flush enough have grand plans to refurbish and redesign the new location, and
    5. If we were flush enough to hire all these new, previously non-existent positions, and
    6. If we were flush enough to pay an ED an unprecedented salary, increasing 45% over 5 years, and
    7. If we were flush enough to increase the ED compensation by 30% during the worst economy crash since the Great Depression;

    Then…

    1. Just WTF happened to all the money that made all those things possible?
    2. How did we go from totally flush to totally broke in a few short weeks?
    3. Why was the board bushwacked by this and totally unaware of the danger?
    4. If they were aware, why the hell didn't they make the community aware?
    5. If grants had sunsets and no replacement funds, why were we spending money like it was our birthday?
    6. Why were we not putting away rainy day funds?
    7. If there has been wrong doing, why the hell have heads not rolled? (anyone remember why Utah Pride and the (then) Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Utah "merged")

    …………………….

    1. We want open, transparent, and honest communication.
    2. Tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    3. Let's work together to find solutions and move forward.
    4. Regardless of feelings, one must make decisions for the highest good of the entire community.
    5. If one does not have the faith of the community, one should take the high road, resign, and move on.

  12. Becki Reece
    November 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Wow, I had no idea, thanks for sharing this.

  13. Reed Abplanalp-Cowan
    November 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    After 8 (aka giving my guts to tell utah LGBT stories) I was fully committed to leaving tv and devoting my life to our community. I applied for the center's communications position. …more than qualified…. Valerie wouldn't so much as return my calls or grant an interview. When I asked why she replied in a chilling and terse way that I'll never forget. She did not show up in my life as an effective leader, or even a kind person with an eye for talent and opportunity. I wish her well, but I wish the Utah community better. Clean house. Start again.

  14. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    If we lost Reed Abplanalp-Cowan in this way, then I'm really on board with cleaning house. *smh*

  15. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Ivonna.. sorry hun, not even going to try to read that unless you split it into paragraphs. Looks like one huge run on sentence.

  16. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    sorry Dominique Storni I didnt split it but deleted it to edit corrections and spell check noe resending it but am to it out. Sorry I love you though by the way I am going to send you an email away from this mess.

  17. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I wasn't trying to be a prat, either, Ivonna. It's just really hard to read long posts without paragraphs. (Hit .. shift+enter to make a paragraph)

  18. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    damn it it keeps telling me error error so I guess I must split it up

  19. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Remember Dominique Storni you of all people should know because you are better than this. Let the person without sin cast the first stone and sadly to say in this community or hell even in this day and age and in the world not one of us can do so. Plus until we can (which we never can) walk in ones shoes we should not pass judgment on her. After all this isn’t our place anyways. We all make mistakes even some that send us home crying and sick to our stomach at night. We'll guess what people NEWS FLASH welcome to the 21 century where the way we have created and turned this world into there is nothing anyone can do in perfection because there are always ones that will find the loop holes and flaws in everything one says. A comment at the last meeting was mention and rudely pushed aside and said no it isn't. Well I'm here to tell you that I am a gay male that has grew up in this state worked for my country and when disabled and no longer could turned to the only person/place that I felt I could repay the people/tax payers gratitude back and it was where I call home and with Valerie Larabee at the Utah Pride Center. For eight years I have been a volunteer/unpaid staff member with somewhat of a personal medical leave of absence for the past two years but still as an unpaid staff member as their correction since it is my/our community center Bingo Rep. (which technically is the only Adult Program left at the center that is nor has never been funded by grants or the center in fact by the wonderful members past and present of one of this communities finest bingo charity fundraising groups. For almost 13 years now we have raised money for local and national charity organizations and correct me if I am wrong but for at least the past 6 or 7 of them we have worked hand in hand with Valerie to help bring money, new ideas, and to connect and mend the bridges with in this community. Which brings me to this point it is our own doing and our ignorance and refusal to forgive and forget, let by-gones be by-gones. As Simbas, Timone and Pumba put it Akuna Matata. I have seen/witnessed a lot over the past 8 years some bad but most good and for all 8 of those years who ran that place (besides me lol) that’s right none other than Valerie. Ok so I and I am sure she admits plus we see it in her press releases the nerves she has when doing so know that she is not front line person Per say. Not that she can’t because we have all seen that she can. It isn’t necessarily her job as the ED to do that but what is her job is to at least delegate it to someone. That is one reason why we have the media department and other staff members that can do this. This my friends is called teamwork. We all have our flaws and what makes us greater then great is that we fill in each other’s and work together. I would say with all the employees/volunteers that have come, gone, been fired or whatever you may call it at least 5 1/2 of those were amazing with teams that went beyond and brought us to where we were. For all of those years there is only 1 person that has been through all of them and that is Valerie with me being the second person right behind her.

  20. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    This is the only time I will allow myself to fall behind her and attempt to walk in her foot paths because.. and I knew this was coming one day I could see it and feel it (not because of her but because of un happy ex employees and people who didn’t receive a call from her. Well let me tell you this. Who honestly in the same shoes as her has the time to personally call every single person back. That is another reason we delegate. If she is to blame on phone calls then all employees/volunteers over the past 8 years need to step up and take blame as well. Life is crazy in itself let alone in a nonprofit organization in field of work and in this community. I when I hear the bickering and honestly 1 year old attitudes and find myself ashamed of being gay and part of this bickering rude immature community that I live in. Excuse my French but I am really heated right now GROW THE **** up people and PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR *** just for a moment. It is us and ONLY us that is going to and will bring this Center down and the people within it just as the community has time and time again. One of human natures worst things we could do is not forgive. And to forgive/let bygones be bygones and or understand (for those ex employees that are acting childish understand that Valerie is only doing HER JOB and if she didn’t fire or take discipline action in certain areas or with certain things then it would be her that at that time would be on the chopping block with the community/ government and upset ex-employees would be firing but because she did at times what she regretted doing but had to she now suffers for it. Why couldn’t these feeling be addressed and expressed way before there was enough time and people to get their stories straight and details all worked out. I don’t care what you say or show me because people lie, steal and even yes alter documentation in order to bring someone down. And this Mr. John the Corporate guy should be well aware of but I am sure he as well has an angle or a way to side bar the question. I for one think that if it comes to Valerie stepping out and the board as well that WE DO NOT AS THE COMMUNITY ALLOW ANYONE THAT HAS HAD ANY DEALINGS WITH ANY OF THESE IN. ESPECIALLY AS OUR BOARD PRESIDENT. I don’t doubt that he is good and has a good heart but once a liar always a liar and he has been caught already in so many lies INCLUDING CALLING ALL THIS AND US A what was it oh yeah I BELIEVE A PILE OF SHIT. So now everyone ask yourself if it comes to that do you really want him in, on or around the dealings with the future of the center because we all know what happens to piles of shit they get tossed aside and most of it ISNT USED FOR FERTILIZATION. Just Saying!!!! No Offense John like I said I do believe you’re a great guy and I for one personally thank those who brought you in to help unravel what I honestly don’t think needed to be unraveled and definitely not in the way that it/you have done. So since you now are part of this what did you call it oh yeah pile of shit then if we all get tossed aside burned whatever it maybe then you should willingly go first for offering up this pile of shit that opened up a door for untrue allegations and flat out slander of the character of whom I believe to be a wonderful and fabulous person. And I know I am not the only one that feels this. I’m so far just the only one who has the balls to come swinging when shots are fired at my, friend, boss, community leader(whether behind the scenes or not), and yes here is the kicker the one that literally not once not twice but three times in 8 years has saved my life, gave me hope and brought me back from what I and others say was completely and utter destruction.

  21. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Now I don’t know about you guys but to me that is exactly what a COMMUNITY LEADER should do and who they should be. For all the past upset Employees I know of one in particular get over it grow up you didn’t do your job we were growing too big and too fast for you to handle it with an upright positive smiling attitude while maintain the dream and living our mission statement out and move on this is ridiculous. I mean honestly do you people really have nothing better to do then monitor someone so closely in hopes to catch a slip up or what not. You know how many times we would have been shut down if it wasn’t for or atlas not be where we are or have the programs we do have right now if it weren’t for Valerie asking me even though she had a hard time doing so since I and I am not kidding did the work of 5 of your staff members now minus the grant stuff I never dealt with any of that. I felt I wasn’t educated enough to personally feel ok with me doing one. Not even just for a small small grant. Ask me if I wouldn't mind taking over this program or this section or whatever it maybe permanently or until we could and or were able to hire a person to put in that place. I have much much more to say obviously but emotionally can’t go through anymore right now so I not with the target on my back can only imagine how she is feeling and what she is going through. You all expect her to be an outstanding community leader and support. Well you must give before you get. So come on people where is the love for her. But go ahead fire away because I as well as others will be standing in front of her. Protecting what we are born to do which is protect our own. The Utah Pride Center is and has been my only home for the past 10 years but really for the past 8. My only regret is that the third time she helped save me from the break of death and allowed me to take the leave that I had taken was to do so for the past two years. Well I at times now feel worse than when I left because none of this shit went on while I was there. Ask anyone even the ones targeting her. I made damn sure that humanity and positive energy along with team building and employee appreciations went on. If the atmosphere was tense and moods were down or people were feeling sad I for one would have that changed if not by half way through the day but by the next morning when we all walked in laughing and smiling. Thank you Val for letting me take that break but I wish I would have stayed and toughed it out I always have been and have always known that I am safe at the Utah Pride Center with you there or even when family emergencies came up or what not without you there. As long as I was there I had purpose, meaning, love and the most important thing in life FUN. Yes it can be hard and stressful working in a nonprofit organization which has high demand and turn over. Take it from me who is coming out of his 2nd year of reigning and operating as the owner and leader of one of the last two affiliates that the Center Has. And as Val and I talked before I joined this group our vision we made possible by what I feel made us the ONLY affiliate that FULLY respects, supports and raises money for most of the past and present Pride Center programs. As well as attend (all) but most event to show that. If the time comes which I don’t think it will but if it does I don’t know how I will be able to address the situation because like I said and have always said through anything I have done and with any group or organization that I have worked for and or done things for First and Foremost my heart always has, does, and always will lie with the Utah Pride Center and their best interests are mine. K I really am done for now but as I said in a previous blurb about the circle meeting tomorrow I will be dressed as will a couple of my peeps to not only as what I think and feel is the best affiliate the center has ever had but to show continual support of our center, community and yes the one who brought us and put us where we are and have been for years the wonderful, talented and passionate Executive Director Valerie Lara bee. See you all tomorrow night oh yeah watch out cause no one like to piss off Ivonna. I also have ideas I would like to bring up about sage and Charles’ reinstament if he so chooses but I need to talk to him as well as Valerie and the staff first before I put my thoughts out there.

  22. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I know dominique we are alot alike in that manner. If we have something to say you better believe we will be their to say it. No worries your fine.

  23. Dominique Storni
    November 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Ivonna Ivonna .. I tried to muddle through it. (PLEASE fix paragraphs).

    You lost me in the first 3 sentences, though. I casted no stones. I did investigative research and made declarations based upon factual data. Belittling me with bible bollocks is just ridiculous.

    Walking in their shoes, in this matter, is moot, Ivonna. The vast majority of the community, especially those who have been in the trenches for 10-20 years, have lost faith and confidence in not only the ED, but the Board as well.

    I submit that is this clique who refuses to attempt to walk in the shoes of those they are supposed to be serving.

    Passion is good. Defending one's friends is also good. If one takes passion and defensiveness out of the equation, however, rather than being stuck in one's myopic viewpoint; one may see this from a community perspective.

    For these reasons, taking the high road and resigning is what would best serve the community. ED… AND the Board.

  24. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    For eaxh our own. But I still liove ya

  25. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    For I will be the first to respect ones opinions (may call bullshit but nonetheless because I expect other to do the same for me.

  26. Joni Weiss
    November 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you Dominique. I too signed the letter. There were 35 of us who signed, as former staff or board members and community leaders/volunteers. The intent of the group of us who helped write and sign the letter is not to point fingers, or to publicly shame Valerie or anyone else.

    I was going to write more, but I would rather not do so here. I encourage each of you to consider the facts that Ms. Storny has presented, as well as the recent revelations of financial mistakes at the Utah Pride Center. Reach out to John Netto, Valerie, and/or any board member past or present. Do your research and decide for yourself.

    Is this the community center that this community needs? If so, it will withstand these storms and survive. If not, let's make it better, together.

  27. Eric-Preston Hamren
    November 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Is there somewhere we can go to read the letter that was sent in?

  28. Maryann Martindale
    November 13, 2013 at 2:39 am

    Is the letter available anywhere?

  29. Dominique Storni
    November 13, 2013 at 6:02 am

    I think it may go public soon. I'm not the one in control.

  30. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I guess that I must just be deaf dumb and blind but so far nothing that has been said or showed shows any criminal activity or reason to let her go. As far as her pay in any other employment it is illegal to release that information so let me ask you this why don’t we go after every single rich person, politician, president or any other government official then for making that amount of money.

    So it comes down to this ALL OF YOU WANT HER TO LEAVE so what….. So that we get someone who hasn't had their heart with the center for years now, someone who and this is where it gets confusing. ( when Dominique pointed out the salaries all I could see is yes I agree a ridiculous amount of money that they all make but it isn’t them that said the minimum and maximum rate now is it. Or is it? So if it isn’t then you want after basically saying she is dumb worthless and can’t do her job that she has done for 10 years now and you want to bring someone else in that won’t cost as much well NEWS FLASH PEOPLE that would mean that they aren’t experienced don’t know shit and would wreck us into the ground. We are too big now to throw any newbie in. So with that being said the only other option if she resigns would be to get someone qualified to take the position and REMEMBER EVERYONE WHAT CORPORATE JOHN TIOLD US IN THE LAST CIRCLE THAT VALERIE AND TINA TOOK A PAY CUT LAST YEAR. A PAY CUT. So either this is another one of his lies or the amount that they are making should be a lot more then. Hummm so that brings me back to you wanting to bring someone in who is qualified pay them more even though you all bitch at what they make and your all claiming we are not doing good. Well come on people think about it this new person I guarantee within a month because we are low on funds would run us into the ground no matter how good they are. So the way I see it is one of two things talk nicely and politely to Valerie because you would be amazed the outcome of the situation and how fast and hard she works to get your concerns addressed but when everyone is slandering, belittling her and calling for her resignation how would any of you fell at the time if you were in her shoes. Oh yeah that’s right NO ONE WANTS TO BE OBVIOUSLY otherwise I would have heard or seen something happen by now. You know in 8 years this is the 3 time that you antiest/haters have pulled this shit and treated her like shit during this time of year. Yeah that’s right people what time of year is it. Well its suppose to be giving thanks time so this is how all of you give thanks. No wonder our community id F***** up and needs help. I guess we still even in the 21st century haven’t gotten over our "IF I'm not happy and making what they are then I will do my damndest to make sure they suffer too. Well guess what you all lose in the end regardless because of the way you go about things and handle things. I know do not like that they get paid that much money when I for one (not saying I at one time didn’t turn down vals offer to have tinas job before megan got it but that’s not the point. The point is is that for 6 out of the past 8 years I as a volunteer(un paid staff member which I still currently am) worked my ass off did the work of many and put in more hours a week than any other past or current under this name or another name did. And I did it for free. Never once did I complain or bitch and moan (well ok not about the job, people, or place just about life like everyone else and was able to maintain humanity and giggles and laughter with in the office even on the darkest rainyest day. Ask anyone who has previously or still does work there and they will tell you I am speaking the truth. Why did I do this I did this because I care about my community well what was my community and they needed the help, growth, new programs, and had limit if any funds to do any of the above. So I as everyone with a heart in the right place would

  31. Ivonna Ivonna
    November 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

    do (Valerie) did gave them my all. My blood sweat and tears. And yes I was thanked time and time again by everyone in fact it was because of me the a volunteer/ unpaid staff member (because at this time I believe not even part time got a Christmas bonus or anything got one and I believe that started for a few years under Frans Presidency. You know I still get emails and calls and still train or help out the staff there at the center why because I was trained and taught by Valerie to if my heart really is where it is then to be a team player and that’s what we do. So it looks like I have been away from my post, and civic and community duties far too long that it is time that I come back full time again and once again give anywhere from 40-60 hours a week there. Which I dropped down about 2 years ago to giving 6-10 hours a month on site plus about 20-30 out in the community and at bingo as the Bingo rep for the Pride Center. so MAYBE IT IS I THAT SHOULD BE APPOLOGIZING FOR TAKING TIME AWAY FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS (WHICH IS ABOUT WHEN ALL THIS STARTED HAPPENING AND THINGS, PEOPLE, AND PROGRAMS SUFFERED. So with that I have requested nor I have actually urged and demanded that to both Val Tina that I effective immediately return to full time service and duties and it IS NOW THAT I urge THE BOARD, THE COMMUNITY, corporate JOHN AND ANY OTHERS THAT I HAVE MISSED TO PLEASE ALLOW Val TO DO SO AND bring me back in full swing so WE and yes I mean WE can clear this up. One last plea to you all involved PLEASSE TALK NICELY, LISTEN, RESPECT ONE ANOTHER THIS MEANS RESPECT VAL AS WELL AND LET US AS STAFF AND BOARD MEMBERS TRY TO FIX THIS MESS THAT HAS BEEN CREATED AND ALL THE CONCERNS THAT PEOPLE HAVE AND THE APPOLOGIES NEEDED FROM ALL OF US FOR NOT RETURNIO PHONE CALLS, RUDE COMMENTS AND THE TRYING TO PUSH EMPLOYEES AND BOARD MEMBERS OUT THE DOOR BEFORE YOU MAKE A FINAL DECISION. THEN IF BY THE END OF THE YEAR WE ARENT SHOWING IMPROVEMENT, HABVENT BEEN GIVING APPOLOGIES PUBLICLY, PERSONALLY, OR WHERE EVERY THEY APPLY AND THEN IF WE STILL HAVENT AS A TEAM BROUGHT VAL/US BACK UP THEN ADDRESS THIS ISSUE AGAIN AT THAT TIME. If we as a team can’t fix this then I along with some others feel since we know what goes on the best then no one can. And then indeed our community once again has been shattered but there are more people involved then just Val so stop pointing the finger at one and point it at all. Time and time again we have come together as a team and amazed everyone. This IS THE PROMISE IF YOU ALL AGREE TO ALLOW US TO DO THIS THAT I MYSELF WILL MAKE TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU AND YES IT CAN BE PUT IN WRITTING IF NEEDS BE BUT I WILL DAY IN AND DAY OUT FIGHT WITH EACH STAFF MEMBER AND HELP BUILD THEIR SELF ESTEEM AS WELL AS OUR COMMUNITIES ONCE AGAIN AND TARE DOWN THOSE WALLS PUT UP OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS AND GET THIS TEAM AND THIS COMMUNITY BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK. we HAVE DONE IT TWICE BEFORE AND WITH THE HELP OF VAL AND HER STAFF (EVEN THE THREE NEW ONES I HAVE NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO WORK WITH YET) I AM CONFIDENT THAT WE CAN DO IT AGAIN. btw ALL THREE TIME HAPPENED SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE 8 YEARS AND THE FIRST WE ONLY HAD THE FOUR OF US THE SEOND ONE WE HAD 6 OR 7 BUT NOW WE HAVE WHAT I BELIEVE 15 SO THERE SHOULD REALLY BE NO REASON WHY WE CANT DO THIS BUT IF WE ARENT GIVEN THIS CHANCE THEN FOR ALOT OF US WITH YOUR BANNING TOGETHER AND FORCING A BIG PART OF THE CENTER FOR THE PAST DECADE OUT WILL ONLY SNAP THE FOUNDATION WITH IN IT THE REST OF THE WAY. there WILL BE SAD EMOTIONS MAYBE SOME HAPPY BUT MOSTLY SAD AND WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THOSE OFFICES IN THE PAST SO WE ALL KNOW WHAT GETS DONE THEN. that RIGHT NOTHING. with OUT LOVE UNDERSTANDING HOPE AND A TEAM YOU ,ME, VAL, AND THIS ENTIRE COMMUNITY HAS NOTHING.

    One last thought and actually it isn’t a thought it is my turn to point my finger and the blame. Where the hell were all of you Board Members and community members during our chili cook off/bbq and bingo social night that we The Utah Cyber Sluts, the Utah Pride Center and of course Megan Rison worked our asses off for. Not one of you showed up not one of you. We had two people other than staff there that night plus an old board member that makes a point to still show up for everything. So with that being said who now isn’t really supporting their community center we all should be. Have any of you even signed up for the Wendover over night fun bus trip stay that Miguel, Spencer, Megan and I have worked our asses off for to bring in a couple thousand dollars of revenue for the center. Everything is already bought for taking care of other then the hotels when we get there. My mom as well as her employer Holiday Oil where we "The Utah Cyber Sluts" have contracted out our supplies for the past 2 years have been working hard on . And for those that don’t know or realize we Just had our 2nd fun bus of the year 3 weeks ago so they just barely stocked back up staff just took their vacations and got things back in order just to have me go into them and tell them guess what we are doing it again this time bigger and better. And then under Mine as well as John Goldens new organization the Rainbow Club starting up in Jan. to take over for the Utah Cyber Sluts will be doing it again but this time just a day trip on the 22nd of Feb.

  32. Elaine Ball
    November 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    All of the sudden, so many people who haven't cared one cent for what Utah Pride has been offering, how they've been growing & expanding, how much the leaders have been accomplishing . . . now all of a sudden we see two layoffs & pay cuts and think it's our right to criticize, condemn, and judge? Step up and take a positive stand for growth and progress, everyone, now! When the
    Our Community Center needs us most. Attend the board meetings, humbly acknowledging you were never there when everything seemed to be going well … When you could have offered you time & talents to improve & grow the Center!! Work to improve & grow it now, not to tear it down & apart!

  33. Dominique Storni
    November 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I think that the point you're missing, Elaine, is that so many of us have been pushed aside, that we just stayed away and held our peace. Things have escalated and spiraled to the point where too many of us can no longer turn a blind eye.

    Stepping up, speaking out, living authentically, calling out incorrect behavior. Is that not the very definition of Pride. Is that precisely what we have been trying to encourage for decades?

  34. Elaine Ball
    November 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Very fair, Dominique . . . I have never been personally 'pushed aside,' but rather have always found a safe haven, relevant programming, and burgeoning opportunities for growth at Utah Pride. My experiences clearly are not identical to every other person's . . . what makes us different is what can strengthen us! I'm glad that others have different experiences, and I hope to learn from them. Thank you for stepping up, speaking out, and living authentically. I hope we all can continue to do so without backbiting and bickering ourselves to pieces.

  35. Andy Dalrymple
    November 14, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Ivonna Ivonna – sin, stone, all that; remember many of us are not religious and that's just a cop out.

  36. Andy Dalrymple
    November 14, 2013 at 3:37 am

    You misunderstand. The center would not allow interaction and actively has ignored anyone from the early days of the stonewall center or various groups from volunteering.

    No, really. Its totally fucked up and the old guard grew tired of UPC's shit.

  37. Andy Dalrymple
    November 14, 2013 at 3:42 am

    @Ivonna, you may want to delete your posts and boil it down to one. They are "too long" to read.

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