By Anita Rodgers
We have exciting news.
Basic Rights Oregon’s board of directors is pleased to announce a new executive leadership team, as beloved leader Jeana Frazzini bids us farewell after 16 impressive years on the staff and the board.
We are excited to announce that current Co-Executive Director Nancy Haque will remain in her role and be joined by Amy Herzfeld on the executive team. Amy has been our movement building director for the last two years, where she has led on building organizational partnerships, developing a new Fair Workplace Project to improve workplace experiences for transgender Oregonians and building power through our Political Action Committee, Equality PAC.
We are going to miss Jeana.
She is a monumental figure within the LGBTQ movement, recognized in Oregon as the person who brought love back to marriage. It was also under her leadership that Basic Rights Oregon changed its mission and programs to include racial and transgender justice, long before many of its peers. We will miss her passion, political acumen and heart.
And we’re incredibly excited with our new team.
We considered doing a national search to fill Jeana’s role, however, we felt we had the ideal experience, skill set and values in house with Amy and she complements Nancy extremely well. Amy has extensive fundraising, political and racial justice experience. Her experiences working in the largely rural state of Idaho also is a huge plus for us in light of our statewide work. We have great confidence Nancy and Amy will maintain our cutting edge approach to LGBTQ equality.
More about Jeana. We’re so honored for Jeana’s years of service. She has been a part of Basic Rights Oregon since she joined the board in 2000 when Roey Thorpe was executive director. In 2005, she joined the staff first as the legislative director, then development director. She was named executive director in December 2007.
Jeana fearlessly led us through the marriage movement and played a role in all of our statewide policy victories: the Oregon Equality Act (2007) and the Oregon Family Fairness Act (2007), Oregon Safe Schools Act (2009), marriage equality (2014), transgender inclusion in the state’s Medicaid program (2014) and a ban on youth conversion therapy (2015). Her last day at Basic Rights Oregon will be July 20. She plans to take time off to prepare for her September wedding to her long-time partner, Collin McFadyen.
We have great confidence in Nancy and Amy.
Raised in Boise, ID, Amy served as the executive director of Idaho Human Rights Education Center from 2005-2011, where she was responsible for all aspects of fundraising and the programmatic direction of the social justice non-profit. From 2011-13, she served as the Oregon state director for Working America, overseeing the field, political and member programs for the AFL-CIO affiliated program.
Nancy joined the staff in April of 2015 as Co-Executive Director after more than 18 years of professional experience, including seven years as the Building Political Power Director at Western States Center, where she led a voter organizing training and empowerment project and managed leadership development programs. She also spent eight years working on economic justice issues, including stints with the Portland and national Jobs with Justice and with AFL-CIO. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Evergreen State College and a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Their leadership is particularly important now as Basic Rights Oregon celebrates its 20th anniversary. While Oregon is regarded as one of the most LGBTQ friendly states in the country, many community members continue to struggle for acceptance. Basic Rights Oregon is in the second-year of a five-year strategic plan prioritizing policy and advocacy programs that will improve the lives of transgender Oregonians, LGBTQ youth, LGBTQ people of color and LGBTQ people living in small towns and rural communities.
In the middle of July, we will host a celebration to bid farewell to Jeana and introduce you to Nancy and Amy. Look for news later in the month.
If you’d like to send your well wishes to Jeana, or congratulations to Amy, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support.
Anita Rodgers is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors.