As YouthPride struggles with a financial crisis that could force the LGBT youth agency to close, its volunteer board is not meeting on a regular basis and two board members listed on the organization's website say they are no longer involved.
In response to an emailed interview request, YouthPride Board President Jordan Myers wrote today the board has not met regularly because he is more focused "on the financial aspect of our organization than in holding to a meeting schedule."
Myers had previously declined interview requests, directing questions to YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul. In today’s email, he again declined to speak with GA Voice by telephone.
Myers posted on his personal Facebook page on Dec. 9 that YouthPride needed to raise $25,000 in one week. That was after McPhaul said in an interview that he wished the agency had $50,000. On Dec. 16, McPhaul said YouthPride needed to raise $40,000 by Dec. 31 or be forced to close in 60 days.
In an interview Jan. 12, McPhaul said YouthPride has raised only about half of that goal, approximately $20,000, but remains open without a new fundraising deadline.
"We don't have a specific date in mind, but we are closing in on one," McPhaul said yesterday. "There's going to come a stopping point for sure."
In today’s email, Myers said he is focusing time on the needs of McPhaul and the youth clients rather than holding a regular meeting schedule.
"During our financial struggle, I have focused more on the financial aspect of our organization than in holding to a meeting schedule. I found it more prudent to be responsive to Terence and the youth. There is only so much time that anyone has, and I allotted mine in that regard," Myers said in the email.
Myers was also asked via email who currently serves on the board. The YouthPride website lists Myers, Vice President Frances-Ann Moran, Jamie Ensley, Randy New, Seth Woodard Persily, Marlys Bergstrom, Sarah Berlin, Gabriel Haggray and Theresa Willis.
When McPhaul was asked about the YouthPride board members, he said they were listed on the organization's website. When told that Moran told the GA Voice she had moved to North Carolina, he said that didn't mean she was not on the board. But when it was pointed out to him that Moran said herself she is not on the board, McPhaul said board questions needed to be directed to Myers.
Ensley also said in an interview yesterday he stepped down from the board when his term expired in 2010. Randy New confirmed today he is still on the board. Over the last two days, the GA Voice reached out to all other board members except Willis, for whom contact information could not immediately be found, but they have yet to respond.
Told via email that the GA Voice wanted to know the current YouthPride board members, Myers did not provide a list.
"Due to attrition over the last year or so, the list of board members shown on the website is not up-to-date. It's just not something that I've thought to maintain. Terence [McPhaul] isn't always copied on communications among the board, so it fits that he doesn't have the latest updates," Myers said.
Myers also criticized the media coverage of YouthPride's financial woes.
"I don't feel that the online media outlets have been helpful during our struggle, as their coverage, while fact-based, carries a dubious tone. Instead of making a plea, most reports read as though [they are] making an indictment. I hope that this information serves you well, I am facing deadlines at work and will not be calling you," Myers said in his email.