Manchester Pride has appointed the former Leader of Aberdeen City Council, John Stewart, as the charity’s new Chief Executive.
A regular visitor to Manchester and an experienced community leader, Stewart, 39, will run one of Europe’s most successful celebrations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender life as preparations begin for 2012’s ten-day festival which will be held between 17th – 27th August.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Manchester Pride at an important time in its development as a fundraising festival”, commented Stewart. “As well as being a remarkable milestone, the fantastic 21st anniversary event raised over £105,000 for LGBT charities. Initially, the new team and I will focus on delivering a successful 2012 festival but we will also have an eye on Manchester Pride’s future development in order to significantly increase our charitable donations.”
Until he stands down from his current role in Spring, Stewart will split his time between his native Scotland and Manchester before joining Manchester Pride full time as its Chief Executive in April.
As Chief Executive, Stewart will lead a team of three employees including Deputy Chief Executive, Darren Adams who joined in 2008, alongside Event Manager Kieran Bussoopun, and Michael Lever, Deputy Event Manager who will take full responsibility for the event management aspect of the festival.
The decision to bring the Event Manager roles in-house is a cost effective solution to ensure the continued provision of the event management services, following the departure of Sarah Rowland of Nine Lives Event Management and Jon Drape from Ear to the Ground from Manchester Pride after 10 years to pursue other projects.
Bussoopun, joins Manchester Pride from Lincolnshire County Council, where he worked as Events Team Co-ordinator, while Lever joins Pride from Manchester’s Edge Street Events.
Commenting on the appointment, Vicken Couligian, Chair of Manchester Pride, said: “John has a fantastic track record in community leadership through his role at Aberdeen City Council. He brings a wealth of experience in management, finance and delivering complex projects in a political environment. Manchester has one of the only profitable Pride events in Europe with every penny raised going to worthy causes. We are confident that John is absolutely the right person to build on Manchester Pride’s legacy and create a bright future for this important LGBT festival.”
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I’d like to thank the team led by Jackie Crozier who leaves us in February, plus Sarah Rowland and Jon Drape for their fantastic contribution to Manchester Pride. I also wish John, Darren, Kieran and Michael every success in creating a festival to be remembered in 2012 and beyond.”
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For more information, please contact John Stewart, 07581 564969.
Notes to Editors
Manchester Pride 2012 will take place between 17th and 27th August, beginning with Pride Fringe followed by the Big Weekend, including the world famous parade, and culminating in the HIV Candlelight vigil. Tickets will go on sale in May 2012.
John Stewart is available for media interviews via Manchester Pride’s press office.