Abby Maisonave, the chapter President of PFLAG Jersey Shore for the past nine years, has chosen to step down from her role. Abby’s passion and dedication to the organization, and to fighting for equality have made this an exceptionally difficult, but necessary decision in order to advance in her full-time career. William Placek, a member of the board and coordinator of fundraising and community outreach for our chapter, will be stepping into the role of Interim President. Elections for all board positions will be held soon after the new year.

Abby sent a heartfelt letter to all those who supported her and the chapter, which is posted below.

Dear Fellow PFLAGers and Supporters:

Many of you know my story. I came to PFLAG Jersey Shore in 2004 when my child came out, seeking support from other parents who may have gone through the same emotions and thoughts I was. What I found was a place of welcoming people, who were there for me during the time I needed it. I looked forward to the meetings and continued until such time I could give back, to parents coming for the first time who were where I was. Several years later, I stepped into the position of President of the chapter, a “job” I took on wholeheartedly, with wonderful board members and facilitators by my side, and our chapter flourished and grew. Over the years, our chapter has been a part of dozens and dozens of events, speaking engagements, educational programs and training seminars. We have been the recipient of several awards, selected as a community connection with Wells Fargo twice, and ranked number one in PFLAG chapter donations on Give Out Day for the past four years. I could not be more proud of our chapter.

Four years ago, I was offered and accepted the position of North Atlantic Regional Director for PFLAG National, covering all PFLAG chapters in NJ, NY and PA. That position has enabled me to learn about PFLAG from the inside out and help other chapters to get up and running or assist along their way. I’ve met so many wonderful people as a part of that position.

I have been offered, and accepted, a new position at my workplace, one which will take up much more time than I have now (which is very little!). Since 2004, I have immersed myself in PFLAG, first for myself and then for others, helping families, individuals and organizations for the past 10+ years. There are many emails, phone calls, engagements, meetings, conferences, etc, on a regular basis that take up a good deal of my time.

After much thought and consideration, I have elected to step down as President of PFLAG Jersey Shore and Regional Director, effective 09/30/17. This was not an easy decision to make, as I love the organization and the people I come in contact with each month, especially those of you that I have known for many years. As my available time will be limited between my job and my family, and I will not be able to dedicate and/or engage myself fully as I always have, I feel this is the best decision for myself and the chapter. I now need “me” time.

William Placek will be stepping in as Interim President. William has been with our chapter for almost five years now as coordinator of fundraising and outreach and facilitator, and has done, and is continuing to do, outstanding work for our chapter. He will be wonderful in this new position. All other board members and facilitators whom you’ve gotten to know over the years will be continuing with the chapter, as well as some new members to our “staff”.

As with any changes in an organization, there is apt to be changes within and externally of the organization. One of the first changes is our new website! If you haven’t taken a look lately, please do – it’s beautiful! We will be regularly updating it and adding information, so if you have any resources or information you’d like to share, please send it to info@pflagjerseyshore.org, which is also our new email address (please add that to your contacts or check your spam folder!). Our jspflag@gmail.com is going to be phased out. If you would like to reach a board member or facilitator directly, they can be reached by their first name, dot, last name@pflagjerseyshore.org

I want to thank you all for allowing me to be the chapter’s president for all these years. PFLAG will always be a part of my heart and life, as I am a PFLAG Mom. 🙂 Although I am stepping out of the presidency position, I will not be disappearing from the chapter completely. Please feel free to reach out to me at anytime. It has been an honor getting to know all of you and your families and I do hope that you will keep in touch, via email or Facebook. I look forward to seeing the direction that the chapter will go, as now, more than ever, PFLAG is needed and we are here for you and your families!

My best to all of you.

In PFLAG solidarity,
Abby

Dear Fellow PFLAGers & Supporters