Inside Out searches for new executive director

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Shawna Kemppainen

Shawna Kemppainen

Executive Director Shawna Kemppainen will be leaving Inside Out Youth Services, a nonprofit focused on advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender teenagers in the Springs.

Kemppainen will be taking another role for at-risk youth, but no announcement has been made about her new position. She worked at Inside Out for three years.

The board of directors will launch a search for the new executive director, led by board treasurer Amy Dinofrio, vice president of human resources and internal operations at Pikes Peak United Way. The search will include opinions of Inside Out’s youth and volunteers, as well as external stakeholders. The job announcement will be posted soon at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and is available at the Inside Out website.

Eric Pizana, program manager at Inside Out, will lead the internal programs and volunteer work during the transition and continue as staff leader for the Pikes Peak Safe @ School Coalition’s advocacy efforts. Jami Everett, board president, will provide day-to-day management of Inside Out, handling budget and staff supervision.

Kemppainen is credited with helping grow the nonprofit’s programs while balancing the need to maintain financial reserves.

“During her tenure, the organization’s ‘out’ work in the community came into sharp focus,” Everett said. “We launched a new safe schools coalition to combat bias-based harassment against students, reaching more than 400 local educators and 330 youth. And with expansion of program hours, some 1,000 youth found safe space in our downtown Colorado Springs center.”

Kemppainen will also volunteer as an active member of the Pikes Peak Safe @ School Coalition, Everett said.

“We hold deep gratitude for Shawna’s service to empower and advocate on behalf of LGBTIQ youth, and for her passion to engage people in our work over the past three years,” Everett said. “She grew Inside Out’s impact and sustainability, and deepened the viability of our collaborations.”