Allan Gould is the interim director of the AIDS Outreach Center, which is hosting its 16th annual AIDS Walk Tarrant County. With a bachelor’s in communication/design, he served as creative director for the Radio Shack Corp. He has worked with Lone Star Ride FightingAIDS, the Fort Worth Opera, the Jubilee Theatre and John Peter Smith Hospital .
1 As associate executive director of Resource Development, how have you affected the AIDS Outreach Center’s fundraising and community involvement programs?
With a background in the corporate world I could help plan a more comprehensive approach to development with a business perspective by concentrating more on partnerships and community involvement, not just donations. AOC has been able to successfully bridge gaps between government funding and actual costs of programs and services. As a result, AOC has been able to both project future client service needs and stay ahead of projected program cycles.
2 What kind of services does AIDS Outreach Center provide and how can one get involved?
Most people are amazed at the depth and breadth of programs and services offered. The center provides HIV prevention, community outreach, medical case management, a nutrition center, mental health and psychosocial support, peer advocacy, emergency assistance, medical insurance continuation, legal services, transportation, community education, information and referral sources and youth services for teens and children.
3 How does serving in an executive position compare to serving in an advisory role?
In an advisory role you guide and give information from a professional viewpoint. You’ve the luxury of being very open and up-front. In the executive role, one must above all, listen intently and carefully, with both your mind and heart ,to those advisors, your board, staff and even volunteers. At that point, it becomes the more difficult job. Ultimately, you’ll have to give direction to all those points of view and concerns in a way that hopefully gives clarity, purpose and meaning to the agency mission.
4 How does one get involved in the AIDS Walk, and how does the walk impact the community?
The AIDS Walk has become a powerful focusing vehicle to bring awareness and education about HIV/AIDS to the community. Through a network of community volunteers, corporate partners and social organizations we’re able to reach countless individuals. We welcome all to come out and participate. Interested individuals and walk teams can register through our Web site, www.aoc.org or at www.firstgiving.com/aocwalk.
5 Do you have any advice for those aspiring to break into the marketing/communications field?
Keep an open mind, be willing and able to change your perspective and always listen.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 28, 2008