The Trevor Project is excited to announce our new Chair of the Board, Michael Norton! Meredith Kadlec will be filling the role of Chair Emeritus. Brian Dorsey and Dr. Lara Embry will serve as Vice-Chairs of the Board, Phil Armstrong will serve as Treasurer, Christian Dowell as Secretary, and Joel Flatow as Member at Large. We are also proud to welcome three new members to the Board: Brian Irving, Stacy Smithers, and Brian Winterfeldt.
We spoke to Michael to learn more about why Trevor matters to him, and what he hopes to help accomplish in the year to come.
1. How long have you been involved with The Trevor Project?
I got to know Trevor in 2009 when I led a pro bono branding and development workshop for their team. Through the process I realized that, although I had done this very thing for many notable brands, I had never applied my experience to something that mattered as much as The Trevor Project’s work. At the completion of my work, I was honored with an invitation to join the board in 2010.
2. What inspired you to serve on Trevor’s Board of Directors?
Our board, staff, volunteers and donors are all passionate and dedicated supporters of our mission and vision. But it is the founders’ story – their selfless determination to bring help to LGBTQ youth in crisis – that made me want to focus all of my free time and energy on Trevor. When given the opportunity to contribute to the growth and evolution of the work that they started, I knew immediately that it would be the most important and most rewarding work I would probably ever do.
3. As the new Chair, what are you looking forward to helping Trevor accomplish next year?
First and foremost, I want to build on the work of previous boards and staff, which have created this vital organization and developed expert programs over the past 16 years. It is my job to make sure that the next Board of Directors inherits an organization that is on-point and in-sync with our world; that our budgets increase so we can expand our services; and that our innovative programs make Trevor a recognized authority in the field of LGBTQ youth mental health. But there is one message I think is critical: every year there will always be young people turning 13, 14, and 15 who feel scared, confused, and alone. While the social context and issues may evolve over time, the work Trevor does will always be an essential and valuable resource for these youth who ask us for help.
4. If someone asked you what made The Trevor Project so special, what would you say?
It is quite simple: we are the only organization that does what we do for the LGBTQ community. We save lives – and there's nothing more special than life. I always say, we not only save young lives, we change the trajectory of lives. When LGBTQ youth in crisis feel the compassion of a Lifeline counselor, and learn of Trevor’s supportive spirit, they stand a much better chance of realizing their dreams. Our NextGen and Ambassador groups are also great examples of the determination and optimism that drive our supporters forward. There is no doubt in my mind – the incredible energy of The Trevor Project is unstoppable.