Gary Costa, former executive assistant to John O’Connor, has been appointed as the Interim Executive Director for The LGBT Community Center of the Desert, while the Board of Directors conducts a nation-wide search for a permanent Executive Director, The Center announced yesterday. O’Connor resigned several weeks ago to become the Director of Equality California in Los Angeles
“I have full confidence in Gary Costa to carry on the mission of the organization and our continued incredible success” stated Board Chairman Randy Lowe.
Costa joined The Center in early 2012 as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. In that role, he supported a major expansion of programs and services that had been underway at The Center for the last year. He has been responsible for coordinating the various developments and fundraising activities at the center including grant writing and special events.
Costa has a wealth of experience in working with not-for-profit and LGBT organizations, beginning in 1987 as the Program Director at The Center OC and as Executive Director of Being Alive, Los Angeles. Prior to coming to The Center, he was the Resource Coordinator for the Coachella Valley Autism Society and prior to that, worked for 10 years as Associate Director at Dartmouth College, where he worked on their $1.5 billion capital campaign and coordinated major gifts and pledges for the entire Western Region.
Over the years, he has served on at least a dozen non-profit boards and County and State Commissions and was elected Co-Chair of the LA County HIV Planning Commission in 1996.
Costa has been a part-time resident of Palm Springs since 2004 – dividing his time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas where he maintains a second home with his partner Stephen and Alton, their 1-year-old terrier mix recently rescued from a local shelter. They returned full-time to Palm Springs in 2010.