Pete Pride, Inc.
Announces New Executive Director
Luke Blankenship, New
Following an extensive nation-wide search, where over 60 résumés
were considered, Luke Blankenship has been named as the
Executive Director of St Pete Pride, Inc.
A Board appointed Hiring Committee started the process in January
with an open application period. Candidates meeting the criteria
were invited to submit a quality video introducing themselves
and answering predefined questions. The Hiring Committee, consisting
of past and current board members, selected applicants to advance
onto a community panel interview. This panel included pride grand
marshals, members of other prides, and organizational leaders
from around the Tampa Bay region. The community members along
with the Hiring Committee, representing a diverse group of race,
gender, and sexual identity, presented the St Pete Pride Board
of Directors with three candidates to interview and make the final
“This was one of the most important decisions the Organization
has made in a while. We wanted to ensure we exhausted all avenues
and resources to guarantee we were selecting the best candidate,”
said Scion Crowder, Board President.
Blankenship succeeded Eric Skains as Interim Executive Director,
during that period he increased corporate sponsorships by 57%
over 2017 and strengthened St Pete Pride’s community relationships.
As Executive Director, Luke plans to expand education, outreach,
and the community grants programs.
Blankenship brings a youthful voice and perspective to St Pete
Pride. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from
the University of South Florida. During his undergraduate work,
he held numerous positions within LGBT organizations, including
President of PRIDE Alliance, Certified Facilitator for GLSEN and
board member of the Diversity Chamber of Commerce.
Blankenship had this to say, “We have never been in a better position
as an organization. St Pete Pride hosts staple events each year
because of the support of its fantastic board members, dedicated
volunteers and elite community backing. We celebrate the diversity
and inclusion of all LGBTQ people and their allies. I can’t wait
to for June to be upon us so we can once again gather together
and unify to march for the advancement of the LGBTQ community
and have one heck of a time doing it."
St Pete Pride is Florida’s largest pride celebration hosting
over 250,000 people during Pride Weekend, the last weekend in
June. 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. stpetepride.com
Posted for St Pete Pride: J. Aller