Board also elects new leadership as first full-time staffer comes on to assist in continued strategic and sustainable growth plans, signature annual events and other community programming
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Pride, a local non-profit organization which creates programs and activities to enrich, empower, strengthen and make visible the unique lives and experiences of LGBTQ people in Charlotte and the Carolinas, has announced the hiring of its first executive director, Kimberly Melton. The new hire comes as Charlotte Pride continues its strategic and sustainable growth as the leading organization in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas.
Kimberly is a native Charlottean and has a long history of working with the LGBTQ community. In the 1980s, she was on the board of Queen City Friends and WOW, the first organized lesbian organizations in Charlotte. She created Lambda Connections, an organization which brought together lesbian and gay businesses so the LGBTQ community could be more aware of their services. During the 1990s, she helped in the creation of Time Out Youth, One Voice Chorus and OutCharlotte. In 1994, she was on the team that for the first time brought the statewide North Carolina Pride March to Charlotte. She was honored to march as an honorary grand marshal in the 2013 Charlotte Pride Parade, the first Pride march held in Charlotte in nearly two decades.
Because of her service to the community she has received the YWCA Presidents Award and the Don King Service Award. In 2015, she was honored with Charlotte Pride’s Stonewall Award, which honors dedicated commitment to and support of Charlotte Pride or past Pride organizations and events in Charlotte.
Kimberly has a background in marketing and management, and she is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Project Manager. She is the current president of Metropolitan Business and Professional Women (MBPW) and has professional experience as a non-profit executive director and as a project manager for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and Urban Land Institute. Her extensive experience as an event planner will also prove valuable for the organization.
“We are excited to have Kimberly onboard,” said Charlotte Pride Board of Directors President Craig Hopkins. “With the breadth and depth of her experience, she will be able to make our annual signature event, the festival and parade, an even bigger success and assist us as we move forward with more year-round programs including Charlotte Trans Pride, Charlotte Latin Pride, the GayCharlotte Film Festival and other educational and cultural events to empower, enrich and strengthen the LGBTQ community.”
Kimberly’s hire marks the first time the organization has brought on a full-time staff member. Charlotte Pride has been managed by an all-volunteer board and committees overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization since its founding in 2000. Countless volunteers have dedicated hours of talent and experience to make Charlotte Pride the successful organization it is today. Kimberly’s leadership will build on the talents of these volunteers and assist the organization as it continues several longterm, strategic and sustainable growth objectives.
“I am so excited to join Charlotte Pride” Kimberly said. “As executive director, I want to help further the positive impact Charlotte Pride has on the LGBTQ community and the community as a whole. I was born and raised here and my family is here. I believe that a Charlotte that respects diversity is a better Charlotte for us all.”
In addition to Kimberly’s hire, the Charlotte Pride Board of Directors also elected new board officers to serve the organization. President Craig Hopkins joins Vice President Daniel Valdez, Secretary Abdul Green and Treasurer Richard Grimstad in shepherding the organization’s leadership. Other board members include Marc Alexander, Nan Bangs, Matt Comer, Kacey Grantham, Gwen Pearson and Jeff Sampson.
Charlotte Pride will host a meet-and-greet social with new Executive Director Kimberly Melton and members of the board of directors, among whom are several new additions. Community members are invited to join us for an opportunity to meet and converse with Kimberly and members of the board of directors. The meet-and-greet event will on Sunday, June 12, 2-4p.m. at the Charlotte Pride office, 1900 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205.
Charlotte Pride currently hosts a variety of programs and activities, including Charlotte Trans Pride and Charlotte Latin Pride, the GayCharlotte Film Festival and its signature fundraising event, the annual Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade. In 2015, the two-day festival and parade attracted over 120,000 visitors and generated $11.9 million in total economic impact from out-of-town visitors. This year’s festival and parade is slated for Aug. 20-21 in Uptown Charlotte.
For more information on the meet-and-greet social, as well as this year’s festival and parade and other upcoming activities, visit charlottepride.org.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE PRIDE: Charlotte Pride is the leader in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas. We present and collaborate on programs, projects, and activities, including the annual Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, Trans Pride, Latin Pride, and the GayCharlotte Film Festival, among others. Since its founding in 2000, Charlotte Pride has expanded its year-round programming and partnerships to better connect community members with its mission, vision, and values. It is one of the largest LGBTQ Pride organization in the American Southeast.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2016
Media Contact: Matt Comer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-625-6449