PFLAG NATIONAL HEAD JODY HUCKABY TO STEP DOWN FOLLOWING 12 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP SERVING AMERICA’S LGBTQ AND ALLY COMMUNITIES
“He leaves a monumental legacy that makes the entire PFLAG family very proud…”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Jean Hodges, Chair of the PFLAG National Board of Directors, announced that Executive Director Jody Huckaby will depart the helm of the organization in December after serving in this role since January 2005.
“Jody Huckaby has offered game-changing leadership to position PFLAG as our nation’s unique and unified voice of families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). He leaves a monumental legacy that makes the entire PFLAG family very proud,” said Hodges.
Hodges announced that Elizabeth Kohm, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed interim Executive Director. Kohm joined PFLAG in 2011 with an executive background in partnerships, social advocacy and field operations. The Board of Directors expressed high confidence that Kohm will provide strong leadership during the transition.
Hodges cited significant milestones under Huckaby’s leadership: “Some may forget the challenges we faced in 2004, when every statewide anti-LGBT ballot measure was carried as some fanned the climate of bigotry and ignorance. Jody started then and there to help PFLAG find and amplify our unique family and ally voice to create LGBTQ-inclusive communities of support, education and advocacy. We did this through our own 400 vital chapters, along with the training and resources carried out in corporate workplaces each year through PFLAG’s Straight for EqualityTM diversity and inclusion program.”
Hodges continued, “Twelve years later, we find ourselves in a post-election environment where we are reminded that PFLAG’s family and ally voice is essential in the battles we face for ourselves, for our families, and for the futures of LGBTQ youth everywhere. We must continue to be strong to educate, heal, and inspire communities across our nation. While the LGBTQ equality movement has witnessed tremendous success in the past few years and pro-equality attitudes have evolved substantially. PFLAG knows that there is much work to be done to ensure PFLAG’s values of dignity, respect, and equal rights for all. It is an appropriate time to assess our unique role in the movement for LGTBQ equality.” She added that the Board of Directors is conducting a comprehensive strategic review that it expects to finish in early 2017.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, added: “The lives of millions of LGBTQ people and their families have been improved because of Jody’s 12 years of work and leadership at the helm of PFLAG. I have been inspired by Jody’s solid integrity and vision for our families and our country. Whether through our federal policy work together, standing side by side in marches and rallies for marriage and non-discrimination, or speaking out on the full range of issues affecting LGBTQ people and their families, the National LGBTQ Task Force and I have been honored to work with Jody.”
Joni Watke Stacy, an Omaha attorney and PFLAG chapter leader, hailed Huckaby: “We first came to PFLAG Omaha in 2008 as our child began her transition facing a difficult and emotional school year for all of us. It was in this toxic climate that we first met Jody Huckaby and heard his family’s moving story. It was exactly what my husband I needed most at the time – the stories that bind us together and strengthen us. Jody read about our daughter in the local Sunday paper, and called us to make sure we knew that we had PFLAG’s full support. Jody has been a special member of our family ever since.”
Huckaby expressed his own heartfelt feelings toward PFLAG in announcing this decision:
“This is a very different organization today than it was when my journey began. PFLAG’s vision and mission are more critical than ever before. While my plans for departure were developing months ago, the 2016 election results are a sober reminder that PFLAG is uniquely positioned to be the leading organization that can create safe spaces for healing, education, unity and hope. PFLAG can build upon its 43-year history to leverage new opportunities for growth and expansion. Twelve years of working closely with and helping to build today’s PFLAG Board of Directors assures me that PFLAG’s future is in good hands.”
Huckaby continued, “We talk a lot at PFLAG about being family—it’s been a hallmark for how we describe our experiences working within the national LGBTQ family and ally organization. The staff with whom I have had the privilege to work with over the last 12 years is intelligent, passionate and fearless in their resolve to create lasting change that permeates culture.”
Huckaby then concluded: “The 2016 election is a clear indicator that PFLAG’s work is far from over. Now, more than ever, this is the time for people to make an investment in PFLAG to strengthen its indispensable role.”