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August 12, 2011

Jan Cline leaves LGBT Center helm

 He returns to Virginia food bank

Cleveland--After 16 months, Cleveland LGBT Center executive director Jan Cline is stepping down to return to the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia.

His last day is August 12.

The center’s board of directors was unable to reach consensus on an interim replacement for Cline at their meeting on August 9. They will meet again on August 15, said board president Bob Sferra.

Sferra added that, after speaking with the employees before the board meeting, “The staff seems to be in control of the scheduled hours. They feel as though they’re fine steering the ship until the middle of next week.”

Cline was first in the organization’s development department in the 1990s, before eventually rising to the position of associate director. He took the reins on an interim basis when former director Linda Malicki left in 2002.

He then went on to head an LGBT youth leadership development group, Outright Maine, before working in public relations and grant writing for the Food Bank in Norfolk, Va. He also spent a year and a half working for the Gordon Square Arts District after returning to Cleveland.

Two major factors played a role in his decision to return to Virginia: First, that is where his family lives, and second, the volunteer director position there greatly appealed to him after he revamped the volunteer program at the Cleveland LGBT Center during his 16-month tenure at the helm.

Cline also discussed his passion for dealing with hunger, a topic that often goes ignored in one of the wealthiest nations on earth.

“It’s going to be an awesome opportunity. I have a growing interest in feeding hungry people,” he said. “It’s a growing concern, something I’m very passionate about.”

“There is enough food in this country to feed people, it’s just a matter of getting it form where it’s being held or wasted to the people who need it,” he concluded.

Cline assumed the mantle of executive director in late March, 2010, less than four months after Sue Doerfer ended her tenure for a stint leading Equality Ohio.

During his time at the Center, Cline initiated changes in the structure of the staff, in part necessitated by the loss of a $30,000 grant that was not renewed after 2009. He also started a strategic planning process to examine the direction of the organization moving forward.

Sferra expressed regret that Cline will not be there to see those efforts come to fruition.

“The main thing that comes to my mind is, we’re disappointed that Jan won’t be able to see through any of the initiatives or the strategic planning that he has been so involved with for the last 16 months,” the board president said.

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