The Board of Directors of Lambda Literary announces that Executive Director Tony Valenzuela will step down in June of 2018, bringing his successful nine-year tenure to a close.
Under Mr. Valenzuela's extraordinary leadership, Lambda Literary has become highly regarded for its educational and cultural programs, and as a steward and ambassador for LGBTQ literature worldwide.
As Lambda Literary celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018, it is also a fitting time to celebrate the accomplishments of Mr. Valenzuela. During his tenure he led the expansion of programs including LGBTQ Writers in Schools and Lambda LitFest Los Angeles, and brought greater visibility, diversity, and success to the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, and the
Lambda Literary Review.
Since becoming executive director in 2009, Mr. Valenzuela has expanded the organization's budget fivefold, building a strong, diverse revenue stream of foundation, government, and corporate grants, individual donations, fees, advertising, and event revenue. Most of all, he has worked successfully with the Board of Directors to secure immense goodwill for Lambda Literary as the premier organization supporting LGBTQ readers and writers everywhere.
Dorothy Allison, author of the bestseller Bastard Out of Carolina, winner of the first Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction in 1988, says, "For almost a decade Tony Valenzuela has been leading Lambda Literary in doing something vital for all the struggling writers in our community. His energy and focus have been wonderful to behold."
"Lambda Literary has had a champion in Tony Valenzuela for the last nine years," said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm (D-Queens). "It has been a pleasure to work with him to establish the LGBTQ Writers in Schools program in NYC public schools. By bringing LGBTQ authors and literature into classrooms, Tony has helped connect students with positive LGBTQ role models and stories-something that will benefit these young people their entire lives."
John D'Amico, councilmember and former mayor of West Hollywood, which has been home to Lambda Literary's book club and sponsor of Litfest LA, declares, "Lambda Literary is an important part of the City of West Hollywood's commitment to the literary arts and the LGBTQ community. Working with Lambda Literary and Tony Valenzuela has opened further the view into who we are and helped the city and the residents earn the honor of being strong supporters of LGBTQ writers."
"There is no question that Lambda Literary commands the respect and passion among its membership and the greater community because of the creativity and innovation of this director," says Amy Scholder, president of the Board. "Tony's visionary leadership has attracted many of us to this organization, to which we now feel an enduring commitment."
Tony Valenzuela will serve as Executive Director of Lambda Literary until the end of June 2018. The Board has begun planning for this important leadership transition and will launch a comprehensive national search for his successor in January.