Equality Ohio Announces Appointment of New Executive Director

Equality Ohio Announces Appointment of New Executive Director
Experienced Cleveland Leader to Lead Statewide LGBT Rights Organization

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CONTACT:   Mike Castle, Equality Ohio Board President
Cell: 937-672-3951

Columbus, Ohio – The Equality Ohio Board of Directors announced today the selection of Sue Doerfer as the organization’s new Executive Director. Ms. Doerfer was chosen following an extensive national search. She comes to Equality Ohio after serving five years as Executive Director of the Cleveland LGBT Center.  Her experience and involvement with the work of Equality Ohio goes back to the organization’s creation on April 22, 2005 where she was a member of the group of 65 individuals who formed Equality Ohio.

“We are thrilled to have Sue joining Equality Ohio as our second Executive Director,” said Equality Ohio Education Fund Board President Jeff Smith. “Sue brings commitment, community awareness, bridge building, and political savvy to her life’s work as an activist. Her years of executive nonprofit leadership experience, success working on local, state and national political and legislative campaigns, commitment to Equality Ohio’s vision and mission, and her knowledge of the political and social landscapes in which LGBT Ohioans live and work make her an ideal leader for us. Her statewide presence and track record of success will allow her to hit the ground running.”

Ms. Doerfer’s work as the Executive Director of the Cleveland LGBT Center included the development of services focused on outreach to homeless youth in Cuyahoga County and the creation of new and innovative methods for raising funds to support the Center’s vital work.  She oversaw an increase of the Center’s budget by 30% during her tenure, as well as the development of an LGBT-focused community health service center.  Over the past five years, Doerfer has collaborated with Cleveland City Council and other community leaders on    developing a Domestic Partnership Registry, adding Gender Identity to legal nondiscrimination protections, and creating Ohio’s first City-sponsored LGBT Heritage Day.

Prior to her work with the Cleveland LGBT Center, Ms. Doerfer served as the Clinical Director of Services for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and as Director of Social Services for Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark, NJ.  Doerfer has a Bachelors Degree in psychology/sociology from St. Ambrose University and a Masters of Social Work from California State University.  Her volunteer work includes longtime involvement with Cleveland Stonewall Democrats and Cleveland Pride.  For the past three years, Sue has served on the Board of Directors for CenterLink: The National Association for LGBT Community Centers.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead Equality Ohio as the new Executive Director,” said Doerfer.  “The work that has been done since the organization’s founding four and a half years ago has provided concrete outcomes that have moved Ohio forward.  It is exciting for me to join such a strong and well-respected organization and I look forward to shaping its future with my ideas, leadership, energy and passion for LGBT equality.”

“With vision, energy and a collaborative spirit, Sue will work tirelessly towards the advancement of equality, respect and acceptance of LGBT people in Ohio,” said Equality Ohio Board President Rev. Mike Castle of Dayton. “She has a strong team in Kim Welter, Erin Upchurch and Michele Hopkins, committed boards of directors, engaged coalition partners across the state, and a broad-based membership to support her in our mission.”

Ms. Doerfer will start with the organization in January and will divide her time between Cleveland and the organization’s home office in Columbus. The boards are now beginning to plan a series of events to be held in Ms. Doerfer’s first few months to provide numerous opportunities for the LGBT and allied community across the state to meet and get to know her. Please check www.equalityohio.org for event information as it is published.

Equality Ohio envisions an Ohio where everyone feels at home, living in families and communities where equality, diversity, and inclusiveness are universally valued and where government protects all people and responds to their needs regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.