October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012
Frank Oldham Resigns as
President and CEO of NAPWA

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Monday and I hope you have a very safe and great weekend. It was another very busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Lately, I have noticed a lot of people have either been laid off from or resigned for multiple HIV organizations which what Dab the AIDS Bear Project does joint projects to help advocate for and protect our community. I just received more news of such this weekend.

NAPWA announces leadership changes as President and CEO Frank J. Oldham, Jr. prepares to resign.

Today the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) announces that President and CEO Frank Oldham, Jr. will resign, effective December 31, 2012.

"Leading NAPWA has been a tremendous honor and a deeply rewarding experience," Oldham said, "and I have loved this opportunity to advocate for the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV today. As an openly gay, openly HIV-positive African American man who has lived with HIV for almost 25 years, I am grateful to serve my HIV-positive brothers and sisters and all Americans affected by HIV. Over the last six years, NAPWA has played a key national role in building partnerships between government, the HIV community, industry, academia, and all stakeholders in the campaign to end an epidemic we now know can be ended. I leave NAPWA with a sense of accomplishment, gratitude for many friendships, hope for the future - and excitement at moving on to the next stage of my life."

The NAPWA Board of Trustees accepts Frank's decision with gratitude for his unfaltering leadership and is keenly aware that his dedication and service to the mission of NAPWA are going to be hard to match.

Since he joined NAPWA's staff in January 2006, Frank has brought tremendous vitality to the organization. Under his leadership, NAPWA has strengthened its crucial role in both programs and policy - establishing NAPWA as a national authority advocating for the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States - and forged new partnerships with key allies including HealthHIV.

In addition to continuing and deepening our signature programs - AIDSWatch, National HIV Testing Day, and CDC-funded Capacity Building Assistance - NAPWA founded National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD) in 2008 to underscore the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on gay and bisexual men. We also extended our reach into direct services, with peer health care navigation support programs (Consumer Advocacy Project, HealthCONNECT), Prevention with Positives for African American men who have sex with men (MSM) by African American MSM (the Bayard Rustin Project), and training programs (Common Threads, now organizationally independent) for HIV-positive African American men and women who want to raise HIV awareness and fight stigma in their communities by standing up and telling their stories.

NAPWA's annual Staying Alive conferences have responded to dramatic improvements in HIV medicine by evolving under Frank's direction into the National Healthy Living Summit, premiered this April in Dallas-Fort Worth and tentatively scheduled for August 2013 in Denver, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Denver Principles and the founding of NAPWA to make them a reality. Communications have been revitalized, with a new website (www.napwa.org) and partnerships with PozMatch.com, Arts & Understanding magazine, and TheBody.com to extend the reach of NAPWA's Positive Voice newsletter. We have increased our social media presence through Facebook and Twitter, cross-posting content daily to broaden the scope of our online messaging. Frank's commitment and vision have been instrumental to six years of success for NAPWA and our allies on many fronts.

The NAPWA Board of Trustees is committed to finding a new leader that will lead the organization into a new chapter as we recognize 30 years of service to the HIV/AIDS community and who will continue the tremendous gains made in the last six years under the leadership of Frank Oldham, Jr.

"Moving forward, there is much work to be done," said NAPWA Board Chair Tyler Andrew TerMeer. "As with every major life transition, there is an opportunity for evolution and growth, and we truly believe 2013 - our 30th anniversary year - will be a phenomenal year for NAPWA. On behalf of the NAPWA Board of Trustees, its membership from coast to coast, and the 1.2 million people living with HIV in America, we are proud to thank Frank for his 6 years of dedication and service to the mission of NAPWA. He leaves NAPWA a stronger and more effective organization."

Founded in 1983, NAPWA is the largest and oldest advocacy organization for PLWHA, and the most trusted voice in the HIV/AIDS community advocating for the lives and dignity of all people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, especially the more than 1.2 million Americans living with it today. To learn more, visit www.napwa.org.

Having worked closely with Frank for several years, I am sorry to see him leave and look forward to who will be leading NAPWA into the future.

Hope you have a beary safe and great start to your week.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab