Head of Gill Foundation to leave by the end of 2013

Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Tim Sweeney
  • The Gill Foundation
  • Tim Sweeney
The head of one of Colorado's most well-known philanthropic organizations will exit his post by the end of next year.

Tim Sweeney, president and CEO of the Gill Foundation (which is the parent organization of the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado) will depart at the end of 2013. The Gill Foundation is a big player in Colorado Springs, where it gives to gay-friendly media outlets, and sponsors many events and nonprofits. Through philanthropy and education, the Gill Foundation hopes to increase equality and acceptance of LGBT people.

The Gay and Lesbian Fund headquarters were located on the eastern edge of downtown Colorado Springs until recently, when the Denver-based Gill Foundation shut that office down and turned the building over to Rocky Mountain PBS.

According to staff, Sweeney's decision to leave is personal, and he plans to return to his home in San Francisco. Sweeney is keeping his commitment to Gill's board to provide a year of notice before leaving. The Gill Foundation released the following statement on his departure:

Denver — (September 14, 2012) — Gill Foundation Founder and Board Chair Tim Gill announced today that Tim Sweeney has informed the board he will end his term as president and CEO of the foundation before the end of 2013. The board will lead a search process to identify Sweeney’s replacement.

“Tim Sweeney’s excellent stewardship has placed the Gill Foundation in the strongest position in its history, and we’re grateful for his service to the foundation, the LGBT movement, and our home state of Colorado,” said Gill.

“Leading the Gill Foundation and working with Tim Gill has been a privilege,” said Sweeney. “I have been humbled by Tim’s generosity, and I am proud of what our staff and our board have accomplished together in the past five years. We were leaders in focusing resources on education and advocacy in the states to build national momentum for equality. We helped reimagine federal advocacy to ensure that agencies include LGBT concerns in administrative decisions. We increased the range and depth of non-gay ally organizations working to advance equality. In Colorado, we revitalized LGBT advocacy and helped build a national model for progressive infrastructure.”

“The foundation is positioned well to continue having a tremendous impact on the LGBT movement and on Colorado, and it’s the right time for me, personally, to return to my home in San Francisco and take on new challenges,” said Sweeney.

“Tim Sweeney is a true pioneer in the LGBT movement and not easy to replace,” said Gill. “From working with Harvey Milk in the ‘No on 6’ campaign, to leading organizations like Lambda Legal and Gay Men’s Health Crisis, to his service in philanthropy at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Gill Foundation, Tim’s 35 years of exemplary service in the movement has changed the lives of millions of Americans. We asked him to give us a year of transition when he decided to move on, and we appreciate that he has done that.”

“We’re confident that through this transition we will find the right person to lead the foundation into its next phase,” said Gill.

The Gill Foundation is one of the nation’s largest funders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights work. The foundation has invested more than $220 Million since inception in organizations and programs to achieve its mission of equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.

Gill Foundation founder Tim Gill also sent this message in regards to Sweeney:

Dear friend,

I’d like to share with you an announcement, which I have included below, regarding Tim Sweeney’s planned departure from his post as President and CEO of the Gill Foundation by the end of 2013.

Since creating the Gill Foundation in 1994, I’ve had the privilege to work with a number of outstanding leaders in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Tim Sweeney is not only one of the strongest leaders, but also one of the finest people, with whom I have worked.

We’re grateful for his exemplary service, and for his integrity and generosity in helping the foundation through a very deliberate and thoughtful process to identify his replacement.

Thank you, Tim!

Tim Gill, Founder and Chair
Gill Foundation

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