The 7 Rivers LGBT Resource Center in La Crosse has “regrouped” from financial troubles last year and hired a new executive director.
Jackson Jantzen will become part-time director effective Monday, replacing Rosanne St. Sauver, who had been full time until her hours were cut in a budget crunch last summer, said Cindy Killion, president of the organization’s board of directors.
“We re-grouped with a new vision and mission statement,” Killion said. “We also got a new board, with three men, two of whom are gay, which is good because people said it was just a lesbian organization.”
The nonprofit center at 309 Pearl St. is regarded as one of the most prominent gay resource centers in western Wisconsin. Donations and grants fund its annual budget of $47,000, Killion said.
“We received an $18,000 grant from the La Crosse Community Foundation that put us in a better position to move forward,” she said.
The goal is to make the executive director position full time again, partly through fundraising Jantzen will be responsible for, she said.
Jantzen is a 41-year-old marketing outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse who moved to the city in 2011.
“One of my first stops was at the center to get a sense of the community’s support,” he said. “I was amazed and pleasantly surprised at the size and outreach. That spoke highly of the community’s concerns.
“Primarily, I hope to continue outreach efforts and continue to educate and work for the populations in need of services,” Jantzen said.
Killion said, “My personal goal is to convince the city to offer domestic partnership benefits like the county does.”
The county policy, created in 2007, offers leave and benefits to some union members in same-sex or opposite-sex partnerships living in the same household if they register that status with the county, said Bob Taunt, the county’s personnel director.
The LGBT center, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, serves about 15 people a week, Killion said.
Its programs include a GALAXY support group for youths, an adult support group and an Elder Network for older members of the LGBT community. It also provides a library with LGBT materials, directories of area resources and presentations to area organizations through its speakers bureau.