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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 1, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 44
Seattle Pride names Krystal Marx as organization's first executive director
Section One
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Seattle Pride names Krystal Marx as organization's first executive director

Burien City Councilmember to lead expanding organization and growing Pride celebration

As Seattle Pride has evolved into a year-round advocacy organization, and the Seattle Pride Parade - which it produces - has grown to become one of the largest in the country, the board of directors of Seattle Out & Proud (commonly known as 'Seattle Pride') has selected Krystal Marx as its first executive director.

As executive director, Marx becomes the not-for-profit organization's first paid staff position in its 14-year history, as well as throughout the 46 years of the Seattle Pride Parade. In recent years Seattle Pride's work has grown into a year-round effort - working to create unity, honor diversity and achieve equal human rights for Seattle's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

In her new role, Marx will be responsible for advancing Seattle Pride's mission, expanding community relationships, and providing oversight support for the organization's signature events - Seattle Pride Parade and Volunteer Park Pride Festival - which combined attract more than 400,000 each year. She will also work with Seattle Pride's volunteer board to steward the organization's grants and sponsorships in support of community-based LGBTQIA+ organizations, to promote awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues, and to advocate for equal human rights for all.

Seattle Pride has an annual budget of approximately $1.1 million, and relies on support from its hundreds of valued sponsors, community partners and volunteers.

As with other LGBTQIA+ Pride organizations nationally, Seattle Pride's significant growth - combined with the increasing complexities of producing large-scale public events - has exceeded volunteerism alone. Pride organizations in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and Portland all employ a year-round executive director, among other staff positions.

Marx will report directly to the Seattle Pride board, led by newly elected board president Alex Ruble, an AWS technical recruiter at Amazon.

She currently serves as a Burien city councilmember, for which she serves on the King County Board of Health and the Regional Law Safety & Justice Committee, and has held previous leadership roles with the Washington State Democrats, NAMI Washington, and She Should Run as a contracted program facilitator.

Marx, who identifies as bisexual, and her husband - a U.S. Army combat veteran - reside in Burien with their blended family of two boys and two girls. In her spare time she enjoys painting, experiencing local festivals with her family, writing her first fantasy novel set in Seattle, and volunteering as the 2019 vice chair of the King County Young Democrats and as co-founder of Washington Initiative.

In support of Krystal Marx selection as Seattle Pride's first executive director, local LGBTQ community leaders issued the following statements:

'Seattle Pride is fortunate to have a leader like Krystal Marx as our first executive director. Her leadership skills, executive experience and community connections will provide us with the operational excellence we need moving forward as we continue our efforts to create unity, honor diversity, and achieve equal human rights for all.' - Alex Ruble, Board President, Seattle Out & Proud/Seattle Pride

'Krystal has been a fantastic community leader, speaking out for the needs of queer people across the region and most especially as a strong voice for the bi community. I and everyone at GSBA are excited to see her take the helm of one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the country, and look forward to continuing our long and close partnership with Seattle Out & Proud.' - Matt Landers, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, GSBA

'Through her actions and words, Krystal shows what it is to be a champion for people and strong communities. Krystal is a thoughtful, creative leader with the ability to see and act on opportunities to do better. I've seen this demonstrated time and time again on issues that come before the King County Board of Health, where we both serve as members - whether the topic is preventing gun violence, environmental health, or food safety. A member of the LGBTQ community, a colleague, and someone who has celebrated years of Seattle Pride, I am thrilled that she will bring these skills as the first ever executive director of Seattle Out & Proud/Seattle Pride, and I am looking forward to working with Krystal in this new capacity.' - Joe McDermott, King County Councilmember

'Seattle Out & Proud is lucky to have Krystal at its helm. In working alongside her, Krystal has proved herself a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact she will make in her new role.' - Dave Upthegrove, King County Councilmember

Courtesy of Seattle Out & Proud

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