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|Atlanta Pride ED steps down to take job with the Health Initiative|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|January 25, 2012 10:21|
Atlanta Pride Executive Director James Parker Sheffield is stepping down after more than a decade with the largest Pride fest in the Southeast, organization officials announced today. An interim manager will be named until an open search for a new executive director gets underway.
Sheffield is leaving the Atlanta Pride top spot to take a job as Director of Organizational Development a the Health Initiative where he will be working closely with the Health Initiative's longtime executive director Linda Ellis.
“It was not an easy decision, as I am emotionally invested in the Atlanta Pride Committee," Sheffield said today in a statement announcing the news. Sheffield began working for Atlanta Pride in 2000 and took over the helms at the executive director after the 2009 fest.
"I believe that my skill set is ideal for the Health Initiative’s expansion work. My interest in LGBT health has grown with my involvement in the Pride Community Health Expo, partnerships with Grady and Kaiser, and my own personal experiences related to healthcare as a trans man. The Health Initiative’s movement toward reaching a more broad community excites me and I want to play a role in this new level of outreach.”
Atlanta Pride Committee board chair Glen Paul Freedman praise Sheffield's work with the largest Pride festival in the Southeast.
“James has served this organization well in his decade-plus tenure with Pride. The last two of which have been at the helm as Executive Director.” Freedman said. “While we are saddened that he will be leaving us, we are excited for him in his new endeavor and wish him well."
The Health Initiative and Atlanta Pride have had a close relationship over the years, Freedman said. And the move for Sheffield may be a huge step professionally, it's not one physically — the Health Initiative and Atlanta Pride have offices inside the Phillip Rush Center.
“The Health Initiative has been an important partner of Atlanta Pride’s for many years. While we will miss him, we are very happy that Shef [Sheffield] is going to be continuing as a leader in Atlanta’s LGBTQ community, and supporting our friends," Freedman said. “Because both Pride and the Health Initiative have office space in the Rush Center, he is just moving across the hall, so we will still see him frequently.”
Top photo: James Parker Sheffield at Atlanta City Hall (file)
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