The Frederick Center, a nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ rights in the community, announced Tuesday it has hired its inaugural executive director.
Kris Fair will take the helm of the center as its first full-time employee since the organization’s founding in 2012. In a news release, officials with the previously volunteer-run center called his hiring a “landmark decision,” saying it came “at a time of unprecedented growth for the organization.”
Fair is a longtime LGBTQ advocate who “brings over twenty years of social justice work to The Frederick Center, including a six-year stint on the board of directors and four years as board chair,” according to the release.
“This is going to be an incredible period of growth and discovery for The Frederick Center,” Fair said in the release. “I go into the position understanding the many complexities we are going to face as an organization and look forward to working with our LGBTQ+ family to build a community center that reflects and respects the beautiful diversity of our region.”
Fair has been honored with the Community Foundation of Frederick County’s Wertheimer Award, the Human Relations Commission’s Lord Nickens Public Service Award and Hood College’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Award, according to the release.
When The Frederick Center first opened in 2012, it hosted one youth group and a Pride Month picnic. Now, it’s preparing to host the annual Frederick Pride festival in October, which it said is set to gather 10,000 attendees and runs at least 10 separate support programs, officials said.
“This growth has proven challenging for the organization, which relied on volunteers to support programming,” the news release said. “Recognizing the organization’s resources, the board of directors voted unanimously to hire the first full-time staff member.”