Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nick Ray Named Wingspan Development Director

Wingspan is delighted to welcome Nick Ray as the new Director of Development. While Nick has relocated from New York for this job, his relationship with Wingspan goes back more than a decade. In an earlier spell in Tucson, he served on Wingspan's Board of Directors and was the founder (and chair for 4 years) of the annual benefit dinner, growing it from an initial attendance of 225 to 640 in its 4th year.

Before coming to Wingspan, Nick worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Policy Institute. During his three years with the Policy Institute, he researched right wing efforts to deploy homophobia to win support from African Americans, and also authored an impactful study on the epidemic of homelessness among LGBT youth. This second project garnered widespread media coverage and has been used by staff at Wingspan and other community centers, forming the foundation of trainings with homeless youth service providers across the country.

Nick leveraged this research in a number of ways to raise funds from individual donors and foundations. The homeless youth report was also instrumental in helping advocates of the homeless secure an additional $10.5 million of federal funding this year. Nick is excited to be joining a dynamic team of staff, volunteers and directors who are all motivated by the challenge of continuing Wingspan's great programming across southern Arizona.

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