The board also addresses criticisms of its emeritus members.
Last week we reported that Fernando Lopez Jr. was poised to take over executive director duties at San Diego Pride after the sudden resignation of Eric Heinritz hired last May.
The Pride office has confirmed Fernando's appointment today with San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Lopez just returned from Creating Change in Washington D.C.
San Diego Pride released an open letter this morning in which they say adieu to Heinritz, but welcome Fernando with open arms.
They also address recent criticisms of their emeritus members, saying, they are valued members of Pride with no voting rights and will remain in their roles as advisors.
Here is that open letter:
To our community,
We want to begin by affirming that all of us at San Diego LGBT Pride are steadfast in our commitment to our long-standing mission and vision – to foster pride, equality, and respect for all LGBT communities locally, nationally, and globally.
This has been our guiding principle since our inception and why we have worked continuously to unite and empower the LGBT community not just in San Diego, but around the world.
Each of us on the Board of Directors recognize the space San Diego Pride has and continues to occupy within our community, but now it’s time to grow. With growth comes change and we want to share some of those changes with you.
First, we are saddened to announce the departure of Eric Heinritz, our current executive director.
Eric dutifully served both this organization and our community well, and we are extremely grateful for the sacrifices and time he has dedicated to us. We wish Eric nothing but the best wherever he goes in the future.
Effective Monday, February 5, Fernando Lopez, our current director of operations, will assume the role and responsibilities of executive director.
Fernando’s commitment to San Diego Pride and our community is without question. Coupled with his knowledge and extensive history at San Diego Pride, we are all excited to see what he will accomplish as we move forward.
While this news has already been speculated in the media, we know these are important changes for our organization and community and that is why we wanted to address it directly.
In addition, we want to make very clear that our emeriti to the Board are a valued resource to our Board of Directors, but do not have voting rights. We believe their portrayal in recent media reports are tremendously unfair and distasteful, and they will continue on in their role as advisors to the Board.
With all of this in mind, it’s more important than ever that we begin to move forward together.
Our current national climate demands unity and that is exactly what we must promote and practice. San Diego Pride will continue to envision and strive for a world free of prejudice and bias, and we hope you will stand with us.
Sincerely and with pride,
The San Diego LGBT Pride Board of Directors
We here at San Diego Gay and Lesbian News and all of Hale Media wish Fernando the best of luck in his new role.