Being Alive’s President Carla Ford made the announcement after action by the Board. The selection was precipitated by the untimely and tragic death of Executive Director Garry Bowie due to COVID-19 in April. The Board was able to maintain operations along with a dedicated staff who had also been affected by the illness. Bowie had previously worked with the Board to develop an executive transition plan, which is a hallmark of a stable organizational structure. Having previously been affiliated with Third Sector Company, the most experienced interim nonprofit executive placement firm in the western US and Canada, Bowie had recommended that Being Alive engage that firm in the event of a future need for transition services.
Haupert has been affiliated with Third Sector Company since 2004, after a long tenure as Executive Director of Los Angeles Shanti Foundation. He has since served as interim executive for many SoCal nonprofits of all sizes and was named “Interim of the Year” by the firm. Prior to his work at LA Shanti, Haupert was Executive Director of Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs and Chicago House and Social Service Agency. He has been involved in activism on behalf of all populations affected by HIV since the start of the HIV pandemic and in 1983 formed a group that started the first statewide AIDS service organization in Wisconsin. While with LA Shanti, Haupert worked with Being Alive to provide essential services to those living and succumbing to the virus.
In announcing the appointment, Ms. Ford said, “we are grateful to have been able to maintain the important services of Being Alive in the face of the new pandemic that tragically claimed our leader. It was a satisfying coincidence that an experienced local interim executive was available who had been a partner in Being Alive’s mission for decades. The Board remains fully engaged in Being Alive’s future in service to the most vulnerable communities affected by HIV disease.”
Haupert noted, “I have long admired Being Alive, that sprang out of our activist community at the same time as LA Shanti, and filled important service gaps in the governmentally administered service array in LA. It is an honor to work among the dedicated professionals at Being Alive who put their all into their daily work, particularly during this new pandemic. I look forward to building on Garry’s strong foundation to continue serving our diverse client population in the most efficient and needed ways.”
Recognition events to honor Garry Bowie’s life will be announced by his husband, Jeff Wacha, in the future; and Being Alive will be announcing new initiatives in his name.