Growing LGBTQ+ non-profit expands leadership to help further its mission
Now celebrating 10 years since its founding in 2011 as a gay workout group, The OUT Foundation has been able to successfully navigate the difficulties many non-profits faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By forging new partnerships with major brands like PUMA, No Bull, Garnier, and more, we’ve been able to strengthen the foundation as it heads into its second decade of service,” said Will Lanier, Founder of The OUT Foundation. “It’s truly hard to believe that what I started as a way to meet other queer folx to CrossFit with in New York City 10 years ago has grown into an international organization changing thousands of lives each year. And I know that the addition of Chloie and Leora in their new leadership roles means the work we’ve been able to accomplish so far is just the beginning.”
Currently the President of The OUT Foundation’s Board of Directors, in her new role as CEO, Chloie’s vision for growth includes expanding how the organization can grow its community harm reduction efforts, specifically in HIV education and prevention not just for queer men but for Transwomxn who are too often overlooked and underrepresented when it comes to sexual health and prevention. She will also be working with the new COO to develop and implement a new micro-grant project to help offset the financial costs associated with gender-affirming surgery and care.
“I’ve served as Board President for the past two years and have personally grown as the organization has grown, and I am beyond excited for my new role as CEO. I also want to welcome Leora to the organization as I know she will be a valuable partner in helping advance our mission,” said Chloie Jönsson. “We all owe a big thank you to our outgoing Executive Director, Eddie Plata, for everything he has done for the organization. We wouldn’t be where we are today without his tireless efforts, and we wish him the absolute best as he moves on to new things.”
Eddie Plata joined the organization in 2017 and was instrumental in the inception of The OUT Foundation as a recognized 501(c)(3). Eddie will be departing the foundation to pursue another opportunity in philanthropy, and will be joining the Board of Directors at The OUT Foundation to remain connected as a volunteer and advisor to help steer the organization.
“I want to thank our community of donors who have helped create and sustain the programs that we have today. From our beginnings as an LGBTQ+ fitness community, we are now a nationally recognized organization that impacts thousands of lives through our fitness, health, and wellness programs,” said Eddie Plata. “It has been a privilege to lead and work alongside this incredible team in surpassing our fundraising and programmatic goals, reaching new heights in advocacy and education, and, more importantly, positioning ourselves to serve even more people.”
Previously serving as Executive Director at Steve’s Club (now Forging Youth Resilience), incoming COO Leora Hafri is personally and professionally dedicated to helping create access to safe, supportive, and inclusive fitness spaces for all, and will continue this work in support of the LGBTQ+ community by providing opportunities to improve physical and mental strength and wellbeing through fitness.
“I’m looking forward to joining The OUT Foundation and helping to build off of what Will, Chloie, Eddie, and the team have created,” said Leora Hafri. “It’s an exciting time to join the organization with Chloie coming in as CEO, and I’m eager to help implement our plans for growth and expansion.”
Learn more about The OUT Foundation, its programs, and how to get involved at www.iamout.org.
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