Member News and Kudos
Leaves Rochester Gay Alliance as Executive Director
Accepts Position as Leader of Statewide Georgia Gay &
Director Chuck Bowen has resigned from The Gay Alliance of
the Genesee Valley to accept the position of Executive Director
with Georgia Equality and Foundation.
are saddened to see Chuck leave us, said Emily Jones,
President of the Gay Alliance Board of Directors. Under
his leadership, the Gay Alliance has grown to a professionally
managed, well-known organization. The experience and skills
he brought to Rochester, along with those he gained as GAGV
Executive Director, will create the foundation for his success
in the Georgia lgbt community.
has served as Executive Director of the Gay Alliance since
March of 2003. During his term, the agency increased its funding,
added an anti-violence project and opened a new youth center.
persons in Georgia are at an important crossroads in their
fight for equality, said Bowen. I hope to be a
part of accelerating the change, he said.
Equality is the political advocacy voice of Georgias
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens and their
allies. Founded in Atlanta in 1995, it has grown into a statewide
organization and is known nationally as one of the leaders
among state and local lgbt groups.
Gay Alliance is delighted that Mr. Bowen has agreed to lead
the GAGV through the celebration of its first Corporate Equality
Luncheon on November 6, 2004, said Jones. We also
look forward to working with him in his new capacity as the
Executive Director of Georgia Equality.
Equality Announces New Executive Director - Charles G. "Chuck"
Bowen to Lead Statewide Organization
Georgia Equality, the state's largest education and advocacy
organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
Georgians, announces the appointment today of Charles G. "Chuck"
Bowen as the group's new Executive Director.
native of South Carolina, where he worked as a lobbyist at
the state capitol and as a business owner, Mr. Bowen most
recently served as Executive Director of the Gay Alliance
of Genesee Valley (GAGV), a non-profit agency serving the
LGBT community in Rochester, NY.
are thrilled to have someone of Chuck's experience, talent
and reputation to lead Georgia Equality," says Sharon
Semmens, Chair of Georgia Equality's Board of Directors and
current acting Executive Director. "Chuck has a unique
set of skills that will be put to work to make Georgia Equality
an even stronger voice for equality not only in Georgia, but
also throughout the southeast and across the nation."
As Executive Director of GAGV, Bowen substantially increased
the agencys budget, brought on new staff, and expanded
programs that served the community. He forged strong ties
with Fortune 500 companies to support the GAGV's efforts and
worked with many national, state, and local organizations
to raise the groups profile and, most importantly, put
LGBT issues on the front burner of the local media.
first order of business will be to prepare for the 2005 Legislative
Session that opens in January. With a proposed constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage, civil unions and domestic
partner benefits slated for the November 2nd ballot, Georgia
Equality anticipates a renewed zeal in extremists attempts
to attack gay and lesbian families in the 2005 session. These
include proposed legislation to ban gay adoption or domestic
partner benefits, and to challenge the validity of any legal
documents drawn up by same-sex partners.
Equality cites Bowens involvement in the Rochester-based
Interfaith Advocates as evidence of his ability to address
religious-based anti-gay bias. While in Rochester, Bowen was
able to motivate the group, which includes leaders from all
faiths, to speak out against the campaigns of misinformation
from religious extremists.
"Chuck's lobbying skills will help stop bills that hurt
LGBT Georgians from becoming law and, even more importantly,
promote the passage of good laws, says Semmens. His
ability to build bridges across party, gender, and racial
divides will unite the LGBT community and ensure that its
voice is heard in the corridors of power. And his experience
in business and successfully leading a non-profit agency will
help Georgia Equality grow stronger for the future.
is an exciting time to be working in our battle for equality,
says Bowen. Our success in Georgia will hinge on our
ability to build and strengthen partnerships within all areas
of the community. This is the task which energizes me the
most about my new position.
will move to Atlanta in October and begin work shortly thereafter.
Georgia Equality has been without a full-time executive director
since April 30, 2004, when Allen Thornell departed for another
job. Georgia Equality conducted a nationwide search for Thornell's
Equality, Inc. is the advocacy voice of Georgias lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens and their allies.
Visit the Georgia Equality website at www.georgiaequality.org.