Chief of Staff, Kim Simes, takes the helm of a new department dedicated to improving internal systems and employee experience
New York, NY – As Family Equality embarks on a new chapter, the organization announces the creation of a People + Culture department, which reflects a renewed focus on building, nurturing and sustaining a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. The department will encompass four areas—the Office of DEIB, Radical Work/Life Transformation, People Operations, and The Culture Club—to be led by our Chief of Staff, People + Culture, Kim Simes.
Simes has been an essential member of the Family Equality team. Simes started her work with the organization as the Midwest Regional Manager in 2012, then Director of Regional Programming, and more recently held the position of Director of Special Events before moving onto the leadership team as Chief of Staff in 2021.
Prior to dedicating her time and talents to our families, Simes spent nearly a decade working in higher education, led a statewide nonprofit coalition and membership agency, dedicated to providing support and complimenting the work of Wisconsin sexual assault service provider (SASP) agencies, and also worked in long-term care. She completed her education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, earning a BA in Speech – Organizational Communication and a Master’s Degree in Counseling.
“In the year that I have spent at Family Equality, I have worked hand-in-hand with Kim,” says Stacey Stevenson, CEO. “In this work, I have been so moved by her dedication to this team. We cannot effectively serve our families externally if we do not support and strengthen our team internally, and there’s no one better suited to lead this work than Kim.”
“The creation of this new department illustrates our commitment to ensuring that staff are supported and can thrive,” says Simes. “The culture we’re building among staff + board members will directly impact the families we serve, the partners with whom we work and the advancement of our mission. I consider it an honor to be able to lead this work alongside so many talented people.”
“Culture at its best creates connection, shared values, and the space to show up authentically,” says Alexis Kantor, Board Co-Chair of Family Equality. “Culture creates a sense of belonging while celebrating the unique dimensions of difference and lived experiences of the entire team. Family Equality’s culture fuels the work, brings our strategy to life, and fosters a deeper connection to the communities we serve. This important power requires continuous work, evolution, learning and care. Kim Simes will bring incredible leadership and cultural stewardship to this new role. With her leadership, I have no doubt that the strength and health of our culture will drive greater impact, advance our mission, and create sustainable change for the LGBTQ+ community.”
The Department of People + Culture will be focused on improving the employee journey and shaping organizational processes and procedures. A Director of HR and People Operations will soon be hired to round out the team. The creation of this new department reflects an organization-wide effort to embed sustainable diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into the everyday experiences of our staff, Board, and families.
About Family Equality
Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.
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