New Executive Director of Gay & Lesbian Center Bakersfield


September 14, 2016

Contact: Jan Hefner, | 661-301-4218
Jose M Granados, | 661-477-3374

The Board of Directors of the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield is proud and pleased to announce that it has hired Ms. Jan Hefner as its first ever Executive Director.

This hiring marks a milestone for the Center, as it represents a transition from an all-volunteer-run nonprofit to one with the fiscal and organizational maturity to begin employing paid staff. In fact, Ms. Hefner’s experience with grant writing has been instrumental in procuring important funding that has made it possible for the Center to grow to its current level of sustainability.

Ms. Hefner brings with her 37 years of experience in business and nonprofit management and volunteering.

In 1991, she was instrumental in obtaining the first Ryan White funding in Kern County to care for people with HIV/AIDS. Because of her efforts, as well as for her strong advocacy on behalf of Bakersfield’s LGBTQ community, Ms. Hefner was presented with the 2015 Wendy Wayne Award for Exemplary Ethical Behavior by California State University Bakersfield’s Kegley Institute of Ethics. The Wendy Wayne Award honors those who demonstrate strong personal values as well as commitment to serving our community’s most vulnerable.

Most recently, Ms. Hefner was the Director of Community Wellness Programs at Dignity Health Hospitals in Bakersfield. She is a former board member and the immediate past president of the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Her new assignment begins Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

“The Center is fortunate to have someone with Jan's experience and abilities as Executive Director,” said Allen Belluomini, the Center’s Current Board President. “She has been instrumental in the Center's success, both as a volunteer and a past board member. I know that she will do great work for the Center in her new capacity.”

For her part, Ms. Hefner said, “I'm honored and proud to accept this position. I look forward to continuing and expanding the services planted and nurtured by the Center's dedicated board and volunteers over the last five years.”

Since its opening in November of 2011, the Center has documented close to 5,000 visits by community members. It mission states that: "The Center is an easy access hub providing a safe, supportive space and services to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. The Center also serves as a bridge to the greater Bakersfield community."

We are confident in Ms. Hefner’s commitment to the Center’s mission, and trust her role as Executive Director will only enhance the delivery of the Center’s services to the local LGBTQ community.

The Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield is located at 902 18th Street in Downtown Bakersfield. All are welcome. For information about the center's hours, programs and activities (including karaoke and movie nights, business networking events, educational meetings, advocacy work and more) call 661-843-7995 or visit