Wyrick is the first woman to serve as executive director of group
The National Stonewall Democrats board announced July 7 that Jo Wyrick has been named executive director of the organization.
Wyrick, who has been deputy director for Stonewall for the past year and a half, replaces former executive director Eric Stern. Buck Massey of Dallas, a member of the board, said Stern, who is a cancer survivor, resigned in March for health reasons.
Wyrick is the first woman to serve as executive director of Stonewall, a national organization for GLBT Democrats. She has been interim director for the three months since Stern’s resignation.
Massey said Wyrick was chosen to lead the organization after “an exhaustive nationwide search.” He said the board had about 100 applicats for the job, and that Wyrick was “the candidate we felt filled all the qualifications and met all the requirements.”
He said the selection committee recommended Wyrick to the board after interviewing five candidates. Her appointment takes effect immediately, Massey said.
“Stonewall is a true grassroots organization that works from the bottom up instead of from the top down. So we needed somebody that was very good at field work, and Jo is really good at field work,” Massey said.
She served previously as executive director of Equality North Carolina and was southern regional field director for the Human Rights Campaign.
Massey said as executive director of Equality North Carolina, Wyrick had more than tripled that organization’s budget. And as deputy director for Stonewall, she headed up the organization’s largest national fundraising event, the Capital of Champions held in Washington.
As deputy director, Wyrick was Stonewall’s chief financial officer and oversaw the expansion of the organization’s field and development activities. During her tenure as deputy director, Stonewall had the most growth in its history and now has more than 90 local chapters, including several new college chapters and new chapters abroad.
“The electoral success of our local chapters now allows our national organization to press Democratic leaders to further support our families through pro-active policy,” Wyrick said in a written statement.
She said that as executive director, she intends to invest additional resources and organizational time in growing infrastructure within GLBT communities not associated with traditional Democratic strongholds.
“There are few national organizations willing to place serious resources in states like South Carolina and South Dakota,” Wyrick said. “However, we are finding partners within Democratic and GLBT groups who understand that a long-range vision of equality must include a substantial investment within these communities. Winning political victories a decade from now means seeding new efforts today.”
For more information, go online to www.nationalstonewalldemocrats.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 14, 2006.