Tampa Bay, FL, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 – St Pete Pride Executive Director Eric Skains announced his resignation this week in order to pursue new opportunities. He will remain with the organization through the end of August to support the organization through its transition.
“My five years at St Pete Pride have been extremely fulfilling and always challenging. Retooling and strengthening this organization tested me in ways I never expected,” Skains shared. “I have learned and grown enormously through this organization, and I am excited about my future journey. St. Pete will forever be a chapter in my life that I am extremely proud of. I’ve met great people, built amazing connections, and fell in love with a town that’s extremely diverse.”
During Skains’s tenure, St Pete Pride has become internationally recognized at one of the top Pride events to attend through various publications. Since 2013, sponsorship revenue has more than doubled, and Pride weekend revenue consisting of beverage sales, bleachers and merchandise has grown from $24,000 to almost $110,000.
Under Skains’s leadership, St Pete Pride created a new opportunity to assist in funding community organizations: The St Pete Pride Community Grants Program. Since 2014, this program has awarded an average of $10,000 per year to local organizations, in addition to the non-profit beverage program already established.
Scion Crowder, St Pete Pride Board President, said in response to Skains’ departure,” the Board is extremely thankful for the impact Eric has made, not only to the organization, but to the community and City of St. Petersburg, over the past 5 years. We are grateful for the strong foundation he has built, the respect he has gained the organization, and the battles he has overcome for us.”
Having developed a strong focus on the financial wellbeing of St Pete Pride, Skains has positioned the organization to be financially sound, building financial reserves that did not exist prior to 2013. These reserves enabled the organization to withstand additional security expenses following the Orlando shooting which occurred two weeks prior to the 2016 St Pete Pride event.
Skains was key in the transition of the organization’s Board of Directors moving from a working board to a governing board, created the organization’s first production committee that works year-round on the planning of St Pete Pride, worked with local officials to receive the region’s first LGBT Pride Month Proclamation from both Tampa and St Petersburg, and expanded the organization’s outreach to include voter registration drives and public awareness initiatives. Since 2013, St Pete Pride received numerous community award achievements such as “Best LGBT organization” from both Watermark Magazine and Creative Loafing readers. In 2017, the nonprofit organization received the highest rating of Platinum from GuideStar, showing the organization meets the highest level of accountability and transparency and is focused on measuring and sharing its progress and results.
Scion Crowder went on to conclude, “I can’t thank Eric enough for his time and commitment to this organization. We wish him much continued success in his next endeavors.”
St Pete Pride will do a national search for a new Executive Director and will name an interim Executive Director prior to Skains’ departure who will fulfill the role through the 2018 event.# # #
The purpose of St. Pete Pride is to promote unity, visibility, self-esteem and a positive image of and among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Tampa Bay and throughout the State of Florida by way of cultural and educational programs and activities.
Eric Skains, Executive Director