LGBT center

Spectrum LGBT Center and Marin AIDS Project to Merge

 Spectrum LGBT Center (Spectrum) and Marin AIDS Project (MAP) to Merge Under a Single Umbrella Organization, while Retaining Separate Programs and Services

The Boards of Directors of Spectrum LGBT Center (Spectrum) and Marin AIDS Project (MAP) have announced that the two longstanding Marin County human services agencies will merge under a common non-profit umbrella organization while maintaining their separate programs and services.

“Spectrum will remain Spectrum, and MAP will remain MAP,” said MAP’s Executive Director Jennifer Malone, “but by combining at the organizational level we will streamline administrative costs, enhance the services of both agencies and leverage our programmatic impact in the community”.

Malone further notes that community input is being sought as the new organization proceeds with the merger process.

Malone explains that the merger is the culmination of leadership discussions held during the second half of 2014 that focused on ways the organizations could increase their impact and results through a shared organizational structure.

In the new structure, Spectrum, MAP, and Irwin Street Counseling, MAP’s counseling program that serves the entire LGBTQ community, will maintain separate programs, services, and networks of supporters.

Spectrum’s programs for LGBTQ youth and older adults will continue and MAP will also continue its full array of programs and services as the organizations work in collaboration to support and enhance each other.

In addition to the merger, Spectrum is announcing a leadership change. Paula Pilecki has retired from her 16-year tenure as Spectrum’s Executive Director.

She will continue to offer consultation and support through the transition and a Spectrum program manager will be hired in the near future. Ms. Pilecki will be honored for her years of leadership and achievement at a retirement party in March.

Jennifer Malone, Executive Director of Marin AIDS Project since 2004, will serve as Executive Director of the merged organization. The members of the boards of Spectrum and MAP will come together to form the board of the new organization which has yet to be named.

According to Malone, the merger can be seen as a reunion. Spectrum and MAP were each born from the vision of their shared founder, the Rev. Janie Spahr. In 1982 Rev. Spahr launched the Ministry of Light, the first non-judgmental support services for LGBT people in Marin County which was later renamed Spectrum LGBT Center.

In 1984, in response to the emerging AIDS epidemic in Marin County, she spearheaded the creation of the Marin AIDS Support Network which grew to become the Marin AIDS Project.

At MAP’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in October, Rev. Spahr spoke, saying while much has changed since the early 1980s, much remains the same and “the work is not done”! Malone says it is with this knowledge that the merged organization dedicates itself to serving the Marin community.