The Los Angeles LGBT Center, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ organization, has chosen Joe Hollendoner of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation as the successor to CEO Lorri L. Jean.
Jean had announced in September that she will retire in July 2022, when she will have been at the center for 25 years. Hollendoner will join the organization as executive director July 6 and work with Jean until her retirement a year later, when he will become CEO.
“It is an honor of a lifetime to be selected to lead the Los Angeles LGBT Center following such an iconic leader as Lorri Jean,” Hollendoner said in a press release from the center. “I look forward to working with the center’s board, staff, and partners to ensure that the center not only continues to be a trusted provider of care to the communities it currently serves but that we deepen our work to address the racial disparities and systemic racism that prohibits all members of the LGBTQ+ community from thriving. I also remain committed to maintaining and expanding the center’s role as a national and global LGBTQ+ movement leader.”
The center, founded in 1969, now has nearly 800 employees and offers medical and mental health services, legal services, housing, advocacy programs, and services tailored to the needs of specific populations within the LGBTQ+ community, such as seniors, youth, and transgender people. It has multiple locations in the Los Angeles area, including Hollywood, Leimert Park, Boyle Heights, Koreatown, and West Hollywood. It is larger than 95 percent of all nonprofit organizations in the U.S. Jean served as the center’s executive director from 1993 to 1999 and returned as CEO in 2003.
The selection of Hollendoner came after a four-month search by Koya Partners that sought candidates from government, business, and a wide range of nonprofit organizations. “The center’s board of directors is thrilled that Joe will soon be joining us on his way to becoming the organization’s new CEO,” board cochair Susan Feniger said in the release. “His commitment to the LGBTQ community, experience as an organizational leader, proven track record on and passion for racial and economic justice, and his vision for the future is exactly what the center wants and needs.”
Hollendoner has been CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation since 2016. His tenure there included the adoption of a five-year strategic plan in 2019 that prioritized the expansion of health and social services and established racial justice as a fundamental principle to guide the organization’s growth. During his time at the foundation, he has grown revenue by 84 percent and significantly increased corporate and private donations.
Before joining the foundation, Hollendoner was chief of staff and first deputy commissioner at the Chicago Department of Public Health, the nation’s third largest health department. Before that he held several positions at Chicago-based Howard Brown Health, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ+ health organization, and ultimately became its vice president and chief program officer. While at Howard Brown, he was one of the founders of Broadway Youth Center, a comprehensive health and social services center for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, and for this he was named a community health leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2010. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“I am delighted that the board selected Joe,” Jean said. “He has been an extraordinary leader at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, with whom we partner on the AIDS/LifeCycle. I’ve seen him in action and watched him grow the foundation and infuse his progressive values throughout its work. I respect him, I like him, and there is zero doubt in my mind that Joe will become a successful and powerful leader of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.”