“The Gayest Class Ever”


From L to R: Kate Lyon, General Counsel at EcoTech, Inc.; Cody Ritz, Owner and Head Designer at CLenz Designs and Merchant Services Representative at NCMIC; Kristin Griffith, Young Women’s Resource Center Executive Director; Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, One Iowa Executive Director

Yesterday (May 19), One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel graduated from the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s 2017 Community Leadership Program class. The class included 49 central Iowa leaders, and Daniel was one of four openly gay or lesbian class members. Four openly gay or lesbian members is the most LGBTQ class members the Community Leadership Program (CLP) has ever had. This makes the 2017 class, in the class members’ words,  “the gayest class ever”. They welcome other CLP classes who believe they have more LGBTQ class members to challenge them for that title.

“I was honored to be selected for the 2017 CLP class,” Daniel said. “This program helped me reflect on my lived experiences as an openly gay cisgender man and how those experiences have impacted my leadership philosophy and career. I was able to be vulnerable, share these experiences, and receive support and affirmation from my fellow classmates. I was humbled to be one of four openly gay or lesbian class members, and knowing that these incredible individuals are and will continue to be leaders within central Iowa is an amazing feeling. I look forward to working with this legion of leaders in greater Des Moines.”

While this year’s class did not include any LGBTQ people of color or transgender folks, One Iowa commends the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute for adding the Equity and Inclusion committee to their board and including these gay and lesbian leaders in this year’s class. It is vitally important for marginalized groups like the LGBTQ community to be represented in leadership programs to not only put a face and voice to the community, but show younger individuals who are part of those groups that community leadership is possible for them.

We look forward to seeing what “the gayest class ever” accomplishes in the future. Congratulations, CLP class of 2017!