A New Development (Director) at ALRP


As someone who is constitutionally opposed to change, it is hard for me to share the news that, after 18 years of service, our long-time Development Director, and my dear friend, Jim McBride is retiring at the end of the year. Together, we have helped to steer ALRP through some tough times, but you should know that Jim leaves the agency in the strongest financial position in its rich history.

As we send old Jim off to soak up the sun in Palm Springs with legions of retirees, we welcome a new generation of leadership with the addition of Adam-Michael Royston (A.M.), who joined ALRP’s staff as our new Development Director on October 1st, with plenty of time for a smooth transition from the old (Jim prefers “fabulous”) to the new.

From the heart,
Bill Hirsh, ALRP Executive Director

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Jim joined ALRP’s staff in 2003. Shortly thereafter ALRP entered into a period of crisis as we lost all of our federal Ryan White CARE Act funding in one nightmarish day. With Jim’s help, we restructured our Board and refocused our fundraising so that ALRP could weather any storm without having to slash services when we knew our clients needed them. Within a year, we had restored most of the lost funding and rehired most of the positions we had been forced to eliminate. Through it all, Jim was a driving force, and my closest partner; some have even referred to him as my work husband. I often share with folks that the average tenure of a development director with a nonprofit is 12 months. Surely Jim surpassed that average many moons ago.

As someone living with HIV for many years, Jim brought a passion and a commitment to this work that was fueled by his strong sense of community service. He marshalled all his considerable talents, his marketing background, his people skills, his smarts, and his compassion, into building ALRP into the most robust legal services organization serving people with HIV/AIDS in the country.

Before I let Jim say his goodbye, let me just share a little bit about A.M., and why I am so excited to work with him.

 

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Adam-Michael (A.M.) is excited to join ALRP, coming from a decade of experience securing critical funds for causes that change the world. Initially working as a private-sector consultant, A.M. was inspired to dedicate his career to non-profit work after volunteering weekly for the YMCA of D.C. A.M. has worked or lived in over 20 countries, mostly in Asia. He has raised more than 50 million dollars for programs focusing on youth development, women’s empowerment, clean water, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and IDPs/refugees. Having raised funds for many projects, he is most proud of leading the USAID proposal design for the construction of a new hospital on the Thai/Myanmar border, as it brought healthcare to half a million people.

A.M. has responded to numerous complex disasters and conflict settings including the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, 2015 Myanmar Floods, Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh, and State Building in Timor-Leste. A strong advocate for male sexual violence survivors, he testified before the U.N-Cambodian Tribunal seeking recognition for male survivors of the Khmer Rouge. A.M. also supports The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Northern California Chapter and is a board member of the What If? Foundation and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter. He is an alumnus of The George Washington University and recently received his Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential. Adam-Michael is currently enrolled in The University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Program for Social Impact Strategy.

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A Personal Goodbye to the ALRP Family

I want to thank everyone at ALRP for allowing me to make a difference in the world, and in the lives of other people living with HIV/AIDS. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve our clients all these years, to work with all the wonderful Board members, Panel attorneys and donors, and to work side-by-side with all the amazing, dedicated and big-hearted staff members, law clerks and volunteers. Together, we’ve helped thousands of people who had no where else to turn – it truly fills my heart.

I’m so proud we’ve been able to build up such a strong reserve fund to help ALRP and our clients through challenging times – the latest of which is this COVID-19 pandemic. And I’m so proud we made it through 2020 without having to tap into those reserves. What a great team effort!

I never dreamed I’d spend almost half my career surrounded by attorneys. I’m assuming it helped me work off some bad karma from another lifetime, or something. But seriously – what kept me at ALRP for 18 years was watching my ALRP staff colleagues and Panel attorneys in action, in pursuit of social justice, one person with HIV at a time. It has many times brought me to tears.

I want to acknowledge my husband, John, who enabled me to take a big pay cut to become the ALRP Development Director, just so I could find meaning in my work – and who sat alone these past five years for a week or more each month with our cat Tigger while I traveled to San Francisco for work. Thank you, John.

I want to thank Thompson – Bill’s real husband – for putting up with Bill putting up with me, his Development Diva, for 18 years – even allowing me to stay in their home during my San Francisco work trips. Remember Thompson, my guest room was right below your bedroom – I know everything!

And of course, I want to thank Bill Hirsh. The best boss a guy could have, and now a great friend. You are an inspiration, a leader with a heart of gold. I look forward to many more fun adventures together in the years to come…

Finally – to all of you, the ALRP family – friends, co-workers, donors, Board members, Panel attorneys, law clerks and volunteers. YOU are the heart of ALRP , because ALRP is in your hearts, as it is in mine, now and always.

Thank you, all of you, from the heart… Jim