The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Board of Directors announced Joe Hollendoner, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation, will become the Center’s next leader. Hollendoner will assume the role of executive director on July 6 and work with Center CEO Lorri L. Jean prior to succeeding her as CEO upon Jean’s retirement in July 2022.
“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. 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,” said Hollendoner. “I also remain committed to maintaining and expanding the Center’s role as a national and global LGBTQ+ movement leader.”
Hollendoner’s selection capped a four-month national search completed by Koya Partners that sought candidates from government, business, and a wide range of non-profit 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,” said Susan Feniger, co-chair of the Center’s Board of Directors. “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 led San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) since 2016. During his tenure, he spearheaded the adoption of a new 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 nearly five years at SFAF, he has grown revenue by 84 percent and significantly increased corporate and private donations to support the organization’s life-saving services.
“While we are saddened to see Joe leave San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Bay Area, I can think of no better person to lead the Los Angeles LGBT Center into its bright future,” said Maureen Watson, board chair of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “The Center and SFAF have a special partnership and I know Joe will work to ensure it continues to flourish. I am also confident that SFAF will continue the trajectory that Joe has put it on through his work developing our strategic plan and building a strong board and leadership team.”
Prior to taking the leadership role at SFAF, Hollendoner was chief of staff and first deputy commissioner at the Chicago Department of Public Health, the nation’s third largest health department. From 2001 to 2012, he served in several roles at Howard Brown Health, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ health organization, and ultimately became its vice president and chief program officer. Among his many achievements while he was at Howard Brown, Hollendoner was one of the founders of Broadway Youth Center (BYC), a comprehensive health and social services center for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. In recognition for this leadership in the creation of the BYC, he was named a Community Health Leader by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2010.
Hollendoner has been part of the LGBTQ movement since coming out as gay at the age of 16. With nearly 25 years of movement leadership, he has proven himself to be a trusted collaborator and ally to all members of the LGBTQ community.
Phill Wilson, longtime AIDS activist and founder of the Black AIDS Institute, praised the Board’s selection of Hollendoner.
“We are living in uncertain and unprecedented times,” said Wilson. “From our federal government to our local LGBTQI Institutions, change is everywhere we turn. At times like this leadership matters. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is a vitally important organization for our community, and it is also large and very complex. Joe is one of the few people in the country with the skills, experience, and passion required to lead this organization into the future. Joe is a friend and colleague who I trust. I am confident, with our support, he will be the kind of leader the Center and we need at a time like this.”
During the one-year transition period, Hollendoner will work alongside Jean, who is one of the longest-tenured leaders in the LGBTQ movement.
“I am delighted that the board selected Joe,” said Jean. “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.”
Jean initially served as the Center’s executive director from 1993 to 1999. She returned as CEO in 2003. She announced last September that she would be stepping down in July 2022. Hollendoner will transition to the CEO role at that time.
Hollendoner has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Community Leaders Respond to the Announcement of Joe Hollendoner as Center’s Next Leader
“Joe clearly understands this moment and has a clear vision for the Center’s future and for that of our community. His commitment to dismantling systemic racism is in his bones and he will lead with this commitment as the Center’s new CEO.” – David Bailey, Board of Directors Co-Chair, Los Angeles LGBT Center
“The Board could not have picked a better leader to continue Lorri’s legacy of excellence in LGBT programming and advocacy. Joe pioneered his nonprofit career at Howard Brown, developing our LGBT youth drop-in center. He went on to work for me at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) as vice president, funding nearly 100 organizations for an array of essential services. A charismatic and servant leader, Joe will position the Center for continued growth and influence galvanizing support for LGBT equality locally and nationally.” – David Ernesto Munar, President & CEO, Howard Brown Health; Board Member, Black AIDS Institute
“Joe’s leadership at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation stands out for his significant contributions to our City’s efforts to end the HIV epidemic and for building strong and meaningful partnerships with other community-based organizations. San Francisco Community Health Center (formerly API Wellness) is among them. Over the past five years, we have collaborated on numerous projects that are focused on the most marginalized communities impacted by HIV. I am grateful to Joe for his vision, his tenacity, and all of our good work together.” – Lance Toma, Executive Director, San Francisco Community Health Center; Board Member, CenterLink
“Joe came to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in the midst of a crisis in leadership, with staff morale at a low ebb. His swift personal engagement in assessment, active listening, and decisive action turned the tide at the AIDS Foundation at a critical time. His leadership energized the organization, propelling it to successfully complete and implement a five-year strategic plan grounded in commitments to health equity and racial justice that have respected and elevated staff, put our clients first, and honored our diverse communities. It is remarkable that so much has changed for the better at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation under Joe’s empathetic and visionary leadership. We are all better for the time we have spent in service with each other. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him.” – Ernest Hopkins, Sr. Strategist & Advisor, San Francisco AIDS Foundation; Board Member, National AIDS Housing Coalition
“I was thrilled to hear the news of Joe being tapped to succeed our beloved Lorri Jean as the new CEO of the LA LGBT Center. Joe is a trusted, committed, and wicked smart leader and strategist. But more than that he is an uncommonly decent, kind and open-hearted human who is an ally to LBTQ women. The Center and our entire community will benefit from Joe’s leadership.” – Kate Kendell, Former Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights Center
“Joe Hollendoner is an exceptional leader and a wonderful activist for the LGBTQ community. Joe’s high level of expertise, healthy self-confidence, and excellent leadership skills combine to make him the very best person as the new CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Joe, and I have the utmost confidence that he will champion the transgender and non-binary communities in his new role.” – Toni Newman, Interim Executive Director, LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ Youth; Former Executive Director, St. James Infirmary
“Under Joe Hollendoner’s able leadership at SFAF, we have seen new HIV infections continue to decline. Services for people living with HIV have been expanded and strengthened and better reach those populations at greatest risk. Joe is a trusted and effective advocate who understands that our fight against HIV and AIDS requires us to be on the frontline of the struggle to dismantle systemic racism. While I am sad to see Joe move on, I celebrate his contributions to our city over the past five years and wish him well.” – Cleve Jones, Co-Founder, San Francisco AIDS Foundation
“Joe Hollendoner, MSW, is the rarest of professionals in that he simultaneously leads with a compelling vision; manages with an acumen that motivates all around him to excellence and wakes daily with a laser-like focus on the wellbeing and advancement of the people being served and those serving alongside him. The Board of the Los Angeles LGBT Center has made a brilliant selection for its next CEO.” – Douglas Brooks, MSW, Former Director, Office of National AIDS Policy, The White House; Board Member, San Francisco AIDS Foundation; Vice President, Advancing Black Equity and Community Engagement Gilead Sciences
“I am thrilled the Los Angeles LGBT Center has chosen Joe Hollendoner as their new CEO. Joe’s hiring builds on the extraordinary leadership Lorri Jean has provided over the years and greatly contributes to the consequential services the Center provides to the community. Bringing to bear Joe’s strategic mind, collaborative spirit, and thoughtful, steady hand is a clear example of the Center’s understanding of an organization meeting the moment. San Francisco’s loss is Los Angeles’ gain.” – Brett Andrews, CEO, PRC