RALEIGH — The LGBT Center of Raleigh has hired its first executive director. Board vice-chair Bobby Hilburn will step down from that role and assume his new position as director on May 1.

According to a news release, Hilburn will oversee the Center’s daily operations, work with area leaders and non-profits and secure funding from supporters, businesses, foundations and individuals.

“I am very excited to help the Board move forward in its goal of serving the LGBT community, its friends and allies”, Hilburn said in the release. “Our future looks bright, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Hilburn is a North Carolina native, a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and currently resides in the capital city. The Center notes he will leave the financial planning practice he established at Ameriprise Financial in order to serve in his new role at the organization.

“The Board of Trustees is very excited to take this major step in fulfilling its mission of service to the community, and we know Bobby will be a valuable asset in leading the way,” the Center’s release stated.

Hilburn’s position will be full-time and officially starts May 1. Starting May 10, the Center will hold weekday office hours from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Weekend hours will be flexible. Hilburn told qnotes one out of his many anticipated tasks will be coordinating volunteers and supporters who can staff the Center for expanded hours and services. He also said he’ll work to reach out to local churches who are welcoming and affirming, corporations with an already-demonstrated commitment to LGBT causes and new relationships with businesses and organizations.

“What we need to do is start from the inside and work our way out,” he said in a short interview via telephone on April 15. “Working those personal connections is something I’ll work hard on.”

In February, the Center moved into its first physical location. At the time, the organization said the space was intended to be temporary as they grew and expanded to larger space in the future. Earlier, the Center and the long-established Triangle Community Works announced a strategic working relationships. The two organizations currently share the same office space and offer joint programming. A possible merger of the two organizations remains on the table.

The LGBT Center of Raleigh will host its official grand opening on May 7. Stay tuned for more details.

The Center and Triangle Community Works are located at 316 W. Cabarrus St. in downtown Raleigh.

For more information, visit lgbtcenterofraleigh.com, call 919-832-4484 or email lgbtcenterofraleigh@gmail.com.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.