An LGBTQ-focused nonprofit has elected its first transgender board president.
Ellie Webster took the role for the Grand Rapids Pride Center last month, taking the place of Mike Hemmingsen, who retired from the board after six years in the president role.
Webster has been a board member since April 2016 and was the VP since Nov. 2017.
The board elected Webster to the new role on Nov. 12, and it will select a new VP at a later date.
Board terms are two years, and there are seven people on the board.
Webster works as an IT systems engineer for Grand Rapids Controls Co.
In the role, Webster said she plans to strengthen Grand Rapids Pride Center’s partnerships, build more inclusive spaces, expand support services and increase awareness throughout the state.
“Ellie has shown her dedication to the Grand Rapids Pride Center and the entire LGBTQ community over the last two years through her involvement with our annual Pride Festival, our transgender-centric programming and our partnerships across the state,” Hemmingsen said.
“We are confident in her leadership and ability to inspire change in our community.”
Grand Rapids Pride Center
Sanctioned in 1988 as the Lesbian Gay Community Network, the Grand Rapids Pride Center works to empower West Michigan’s LGBTQ community through support services and by creating awareness.
The nonprofit hosts the annual Grand Rapids Pride Festival, as well as several support groups, community education and sensitivity trainings and leadership and volunteer opportunities.