The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert has announced their new CEO and executive director, and it happens to be a familiar face.
Driving the news: Mike Thompson, who led the group from 2014 to 2021, will return to The Center to lead the organization into the future.
Context: Thompson oversaw the growth of The Center from a smaller, less well-known group working out of an office above a smoke shop in 2014, to a flagship organization whose services span the Coachella Valley.
- He helped usher the organization through the pandemic, increased the donor base, and aided in the opening of The Center Coachella.
Background: Before coming to the Coachella Valley originally, Thompson worked in Los Angeles as the chief operating officer and acting president for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
- Thompson said he was proud to bring his experience leading such a large organization to this region. “Palm Springs deserved a flagship community center,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of creating something really special.”
What they’re saying: Even though he’s had the job before, Thompson still wants to make listening and learning his first priority. “I don’t want to come in with any assumptions about what needs to happen,” he said. “For a community center to be vibrant, it has to respond to the needs of a community.”