headshot of Chris Fair

The Frederick Center is proud to announce that Kris Fair has been hired as its first Executive Director in its ten-year history. The landmark decision comes at a time of unprecedented growth for the organization as it has expanded services, grown financially, and strengthened relationships.

Founded in 2012, The Frederick Center expanded programming from hosting a Youth Goup and small Frederick Pride picnic in 2012 to hosting nearly 500 program events in 2021 and preparing to host Frederick Pride on October 3, that is anticipated to draw over 10,000 attendees. The previously all-volunteer-led organization now underwrites an array of support programs, including Youth Group, Youth Group Jr., Young Adult Group, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Support Group, TransFamilies, TransPartners, TransTeens, Bisexual Social Networking, Healing Pride, and Recovering Pride.

This growth has proven challenging for the organization, which relied on volunteers to support programming. Recognizing the organization’s resources, the board of directors voted unanimously to hire the first full-time staff member. “We cannot be happier to announce our Executive Director and even more excited that Kris Fair has accepted our offer for the position,” commented board chair Richard Stonebraker. “Kris is such a recognizable face in Frederick and has the vision and energy to move The Frederick Center into a successful future.”

Fair brings over twenty years of social justice work to The Frederick Center, including a six-year stint on the board of directors and four years as board chair. In addition to a deep understanding of legislative and governmental processes, his resumé includes working and volunteering for numerous non-profit and for-profit organizations. Fair has been honored with the Community Foundation of Frederick County’s Wertheimer Award, The Human Relations Commission’s Lord Nickens Public Service Award, and Hood College’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Award. He has been named the Frederick County Democratic Party volunteer of the year and was featured in Frederick Magazine’s 2016 People to Watch.

Board Vice-Chair Amilynn Adams said, “Kris’s record on supporting LGBTQ+ people is unparalleled in our community. He is a tireless advocate and a determined steward of our organization. Frederick and our LGBTQ+ community will greatly benefit from his experience, talent, and endeavors.” Kate MacShane, M.Ed, LCSW-C, psychotherapist and clinical director of the Maryland Center for Gender & Intimacy and facilitator of The Frederick Center’s TransFamily support group adds, “I’m thrilled that the Frederick Center will finally have a full-time Executive Director to lead the expansion of TFC’s offerings. The LGBT2QIA+ members of our community need and deserve more safe spaces, affirming services, and support. I can’t wait to see what’s next for TFC under Kris’s leadership.”

Fair is optimistic about the future. “This is going to be an incredible period of growth and discovery for The Frederick Center. I am truly honored to be selected by the board of directors as their first Executive Director. I go into the position understanding the many complexities we are going to face as an organization and look forward to working with our LGBTQ+ family to build a community center that reflects and respects the beautiful diversity of our region.”

The Frederick Center’s Mission: The Frederick Center exists to support and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people and our families so we thrive, accepted and affirmed, in the broader Frederick community.