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Spotlight on Board Chair Murray Thomas

Murray Thomas joined the OutFront Board of Directors in 2009 as a member of the finance committee. He quickly became the Treasurer of the Board and then was elected the Chair in 2011. In the past, he has served on the boards of Minnesota AIDS Project and District 202. He sees his niche as working with non-profits to strengthen their business practices and build financial infrastructure in order to help deliver on mission. “It’s cliché, but if there’s no money, there’s no mission,” Murray claims with a laugh. “On the flip slide, you can’t let the ‘business’ squeeze the passion out of the operation, which is the reason an organization like OutFront exists!”


Murray Photo
OutFront Minnesota Board Chair Murray Thomas (right) with his partner Stephen Davis

Murray grew up in Detroit and came out in 1974, just five years after Stonewall. He remembers marching in Detroit’s first Gay Pride Parade: There were just 17 people. He moved to Minnesota in 1984 and has worked in health care finance for most of his career. He has been with Allina Health System for 29 years and is currently a Vice President for Finance. Although Murray doesn’t feel he has personally experienced significant discrimination at work or in life, he recognizes that many LGBT people do. For that reason, he became involved with LGBT issues more than a decade ago. He wants to make a contribution to the community and give something back.

As the leader of the Board, Murray sees his job as “paying attention to business so the staff can maximize their energy around the mission. They are very talented and dedicated. I also have tremendous respect and appreciation for Monica [Meyer, OutFront’s Executive Director]. She knows how to keep the staff engaged and is very good at developing leaders. The past two years have been exciting and challenging. The results of the election were miraculous!”

When asked his opinion about what is happening at the Capitol, Murray replies “We may achieve legal equality with marriage for same-sex couples this session, but we won’t see the end of discrimination. OutFront’s mission is much broader than marriage. We are starting our strategic planning process now and we are talking about how we think about ourselves and what the needs of the LGBT community will be as we move forward.”

OutFront Minnesota's Board of Directors helps to oversee the organization’s political, financial, and human capacity — maximizing all of these resources for the benefit of the LGBT community across the state.

Click here to see a list of current board members.


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