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St. Pete Pride director departs after five years with LGBTQ event

The executive director of St. Pete Pride, Eric Skains, stepped down this month after five years leading the organization that runs the largest LGBTQ celebration in Florida. [Courtesy of St. Pete Pride]

The executive director of St. Pete Pride, Eric Skains, stepped down this month after five years leading the organization that runs the largest LGBTQ celebration in Florida. [Courtesy of St. Pete Pride]

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Pete Pride executive director Eric Skains resigned this month after five years leading the organization that runs the largest LGBTQ celebration in Florida. Skains said he will return home to Texas.

ST. PETE PRIDE 2017: Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

"St. Pete will forever be a chapter in my life that I am extremely proud of," Skains said in a statement. "I've met great people, built amazing connections, and fell in love with a town that's extremely diverse."

Skains said that under his tenure the St. Pete Pride celebration has become internationally recognized as a top Pride event and has more than doubled in size, with an operational budget now close to $500,000. Revenue since 2013 has also grown from $24,000 to nearly $110,000.

"We are grateful for the strong foundation he has built, the respect he has gained the organization, and the battles he has overcome for us," St. Pete Pride board president Scion Crowder said in a statement.

The St. Pete Pride board of directors will now conduct a national search for a new executive director. Skains said in a letter that development director Luke Blankenship will step into the role of interim director after spending four years with the organization.

St. Pete Pride director departs after five years with LGBTQ event 08/30/17 [Last modified: Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:59pm]
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