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Changes at Marriage Equality RI

Best wishes to Jenn -- a forceful advocate -- with her departure from MERI:

Executive Director Jenn Steinfeld will be leaving the organization on August 1, 2008. Steinfeld has been involved with MERI since its inception as the Campaign for Marriage Equality in 2003, having served as a co-chair prior to becoming Executive Director in December 2006.  During that time, MERI has grown substantially and achieved many of its goals while transforming from an ad-hoc campaign to a strategically-minded organization.  The number of sponsors of equal marriage rights in the General Assembly has more than tripled (11 in 2003, 36 in 2008).  MERI has raised nearly $750,000 to support efforts to obtain equal marriage rights and has also built a mailing list of 5000 Rhode Islanders who support full marriage equality for same-sex couples.  “And now, with the conclusion of this legislative session and the seating of the new Board of Directors, I feel great about leaving the organization strong and ready to face the future,” Steinfeld said.

Steinfeld has accepted a position as Deputy Development Director at the Cody Foundation's Exchange City and plans to return to school to pursue a degree in education. MERI is conducting an extensive search for a replacement and will be assisted by an interim administrator during the search process.

Rich Hite, Board member, thanked Steinfeld for her work seeking equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people. “Jenn has contributed greatly to MERI’s achievements and we would not have accomplished as much without her,” Hite said. “We now look forward to the next stage in MERI’s growth and development.”

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