Pride Center of Vermont Appoints Mike Bensel as Executive Director
Burlington, VT. Pride Center of Vermont is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Bensel as Executive Director effective August 1, 2018.
Mike needs no introduction to friends and supporters of the Pride Center of Vermont. As a student at the University of Vermont in 1999, Mike collaborated with one other UVM student to lead a series of focus groups which established the need for an LGBTQ center in Vermont. These focus groups led to the formation of what is known today as the Pride Center of Vermont. As a founding board member, Mike spent 5 years serving on the Board of Directors. During his tenure, he was instrumental in securing funding to both hire the first Executive Director and rent the organization's first physical space.
Mike began his career in the non-profit sector at the Humane Society of Chittenden County and then as an Americorps* VISTA , working with with Outright Vermont and the Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC). He worked as a Victim Advocate at SafeSpace from 2002 to 2004, prior to SafeSpace becoming a Pride Center of Vermont program. After spending a few years in Florida, Mike found his way back to Vermont where he spent some time working outside of non-profits. Thankfully, Mike just couldn't stay away. We were lucky to have him rejoin the center in 2011, first as Health and Wellness Coordinator and then as Director of Health and Wellness Programs.
"It is an immense honor to take on this new role, and together with the dedicated staff and board, contribute to the indispensable work of the Pride Center of Vermont. With your help, I plan to lead this organization in a way that celebrates the history of this vital institution and moves us forward into a sustainable future. I want to hear from you, the community, how the center can best support the LGBTQ+ communities of Vermont. Please give me a call, invite me out for coffee, or stop by for a visit. My door is always open. " - Mike Bensel, Executive Director
"Mike's passion for this work has spanned decades. He has been a consistent and grounding force for the center through some very tumultuous and uncertain times and his dedication to the LGBTQ+ community in Vermont is unwavering. His energy and enthusiasm inspire me and I can't wait to see what is in store for Pride Center of Vermont under Mike's leadership." - Erin Sue Carroll, Board Co-Chair