Out Alliance announces new Communications Director and updated Executive Director term

(ROCHESTER, NY – October 24, 2018) This morning the Out Alliance announced two staff updates to community members: the hire of a new Communications Director and an update on Interim Executive Director Jeff Myers’ term with the organization.

Current Communications Director Rowan Collins will step down from his position in November to pursue new endeavors and will be succeeded by Tamara Leigh. Collins originated the position in November of 2017 after nearly three years as the Education Coordinator for the Alliance’s nationally-recognized LGBTQ Academy.

“My seven years at the Alliance, first as a volunteer member of the Speakers Bureau, then intern, then Education Coordinator, and now Communications Director, has meant the world to me and helped shape me both as a young professional and a human being. It’s been an honor and a privilege to work for my community and I remain dedicated to true justice and liberation for all people,” said Collins.

Leigh has most recently worked as a professional development specialist and program coordinator at the City of Rochester. She is the CEO of Roc Candy Media, radio host on WAYO 104.3FM, and a Black Pride organizer. The Out Alliance is excited to welcome her to the organization. She begins the post November 1 and will share time with Collins to effectively transition the office.

Leigh will be responsible for all communications channels for the Out Alliance, including social media, press relations, internal communications, and the Empty Closet – one of the oldest continuously published LGBTQ+ publications in the country.

Additionally, the Alliance announced that The Board of Directors has an update regarding Alliance leadership. On our journey from a small agency to a mid-sized one, our crucial community programming and staff needs have outpaced our revenue. As a result, we are forced to examine how best to meet the many needs of our community while ensuring that this agency continues to thrive.

As such, the Alliance has suspended the CEO search for the time being, until conditions are more conducive to successfully restructure agency leadership and bring on a CEO.

In the meantime, Jeff Myers, by whose work and passion for our community and mission the Board is ever impressed, will assume the mantle of Out Alliance Executive Director. He is dedicated to working with the Board to get the agency to a place where it can support and cultivate the success of the first Out Alliance CEO. At that time, Jeff will transition into the role of Chief Operations Officer – doing the work that he is most passionate about: growing programming and community connections. The Board gratefully acknowledges the incredible leadership provided by Jeff during this time of change and growth and is happy to have him in a position of leadership which will inspire our future successes.


The Out Alliance was founded on the campus of the University of Rochester as a student organization in 1971, in 1973 it incorporated as a 501c3 not-for-profit and became a community organization. The Out Alliance mission is to be Champions for LGBTQ Life and Culture, and they envision a future where LGBTQ people of all ages are free to be fully participating citizens, living lives in which they are safe, stable and fully respected.

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