CHARLOTTE, N.C.—As the Southeast’s third-largest LGBT Pride organization, Charlotte Pride is a living, breathing manifestation of the diversity and constant growth of the Carolinas’ LGBT community. The evolution of the organization means perpetual progress, but naturally there will be bumps in the road. One such hurdle came recently with the Sept. 1 resignation of Kimberly Melton, Charlotte Pride’s executive director.
Melton was hired as executive director in May of this year, making her tenure with the organization only five months long. She was the first to hold the position with Charlotte Pride, and it remains to be seen whether the organization will hire another full-time executive director.
“The board of directors will be undertaking a process to identify the most efficient staffing requirements needed to meet our programming objectives,” wrote Charlotte Pride media contact Matt Comer in a statement.
The board of directors faces this unforeseen event with optimism. However, according to Melton, the reason for her resignation was management conflicts with the board of Charlotte Pride.
“It’s very, very hard for a board to move from a managing board to a governing board,” Melton said in a recent interview. “They must let go of the details and move to an oversight goal, and that is very hard for any board.”
Despite these growing pains, Charlotte Pride is more invested than ever in the organization’s future. Its statement to qnotes maintained a dignified public face and focused on upcoming events while refraining from much comment on Melton herself:
“We wish her well in her future endeavors,” Comer wrote. “Charlotte Pride is encouraged as we look forward to our upcoming programs and activities.”
However brief her tenure with the organization, Melton is proud of the part she played with Charlotte Pride during her time as executive director. This year’s Charlotte Pride was the biggest yet. Attendance was estimated to have jumped ten percent from last year’s event, this year reaching 130,000 visitors over the course of the weekend and 3,500 individual marchers in the Sunday parade.
“After Pride, I felt that I had accomplished the main goals that I had set to achieve,” Melton said. “But it was with profound disappointment that I had come to the conclusion that the board was not ready to include the position of executive director within the organizational structure.”
Charlotte Pride refrained from comment on whether or not the organization was considering hiring another to fill the executive director position. As for Melton, she hopes to still be active in the local LGBT community.
“Our community is so diverse and just a wonderful community,” she told qnotes. “I’m still working out my next step.”