Inside Out exec makes quick exit


Let's not mince words: It's been a lousy year for Inside Out Youth Services.

Early in the year, the LGBT youth nonprofit announced that Shawna Kemppainen, it's executive director of three years, would be leaving to lead Urban Peak. The shelter was already planning to move out of its longtime home in the basement of the Independent when its lease ran out.

Inside Out weathered those changes, leasing a new location and hiring Chris Robertson as its new executive director. But last month, the new offices were destroyed by an overnight fire, leaving the program homeless. Robertson said at the time that the nonprofit was moving to a temporary location and that he'd be working hard to find it a permanent home. But now Robertson has announced he'll vacate his position at the beginning of December.

Amy Dinofrio, Inside Out's board president, says Robertson has accepted a position at the Southern Colorado Aids Project. The board is looking for a replacement. Hopefully, they can find someone who is up for a challenge.

Friends of Inside Out-

As the President of the Board of Directors, I am writing to share news of some changes coming up in the leadership at Inside out Youth Services. Chris Robertson will be leaving the post of executive director at the beginning of December.

We hold deep gratitude for Chris's service to empower and advocate on behalf of LGBTIQ youth, and for his passion to engage people in our work! Even though it has been a tough battle for us recently Chris took the flag and led us! I am very proud of the successes he has accomplished in just a short time!

We all wish Chris well, and please join us in thanking him for the positive energy and excellence he provided as a leader!

Change always brings opportunity, and we are committed to getting the right next leader on board as a full-time Executive Director. I will be honest in stating I don't know what this search will look like just yet. I am meeting with some partners, and stakeholders, and I will update you as we move forward. Although advantageous, I would like to have a replacement picked by the first week in December.

Our search will be inclusive of the opinions of Inside Out's youth and volunteers, as well as external stakeholders.

Right now, I want to ask for your support for Chris, as he closes out his chapter here with us, and for Eric Pizana, Program Manager at Inside Out, who has led the internal programs and volunteer work and continue staff leadership for the Pikes Peak Safe @ School Coalition's advocacy efforts. Eric is extremely dedicated to the youth at Inside Out, and we are grateful for his leadership. You can reach Eric here: Without Eric's work and dedication to our mission, Inside/Out would not be where it is today!

Because of your support and advocacy for young LGBTIQ people, we are headed in the right strategic direction building more safety, acceptance and possibility for youth. Your support is so very appreciated.

If you need to reach me, please contact me at, or my cell 719-352-8674.

Thank you for all you do,


Amy Dinofrio
Board President
Inside Out Youth Services

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