Beginning next month, Ron Lucente, 47, will replace former board president D. Mark Mitchell, who held the position for five years.
Lucente, a Philadelphia resident, grew up in Bradford Park, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh. He attended Penn State University as an advertising and marketing major and later received his master’s in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Lucente currently works as director of program management at Aetna, Inc. He became involved with DVLF in 2005 and said he was immediately impressed with all the agency did for the LGBT community.
“I like the whole concept and premise of our mission and the fact that we give everybody, regardless of your income level, the ability to contribute in a way that would carry on in perpetuity even when you are gone,” Lucente said. “You can rest assured that when you bequest a gift, it will be in capable hands and go to those who are truly in need.”
Lucente has served in many capacities at DVLF, including as co-chair and chair of Heroes, the organization’s annual fundraising event. He has served as co-chair of TOY, DVLF’s annual holiday fundraiser, since 2010. Lucente has served as the vice president of DVLF’s board since 2011.
He said his diverse leadership experience at the agency will make for a smooth transition to president.
“It is a leadership role and I will be directing people and trying to fulfill what our common goals are as a board. Even as a chair, you are in a leadership position and it was a natural progression and it allows me to become more involved.”
Lucente already has plans in mind for the organization, and said he will be concentrating on enhancing DVLF’s visibility in the community.
“In 2014, we hope to focus on having people understand what DVLF is and what our mission is and how it benefits the community and telling that story effectively,” he said. “I want it to be when you walk up to anyone in the community and mention DVLF, they know exactly what it is. One of our challenges is that we are not like Mazzoni Center; you can see direct results with them, but people still aren’t sure what we do.”
Lucente cited the annual grants DVLF disperses to various LGBT organizations as a programmatic aspect he hopes to emphasize during the brand-building process.
In addition to branching out to new audiences, Lucente said the agency plans to re-affirm its connection to current and previous donors.
“I want to engage past donors and cultivate new donors to build a consistent donor database,” he said. “We want our donors to be excited and engaged with the mission of the organization, which will propel us into the future.”
In addition to Lucente, Wayne Knaub was elected as vice president, Michael Grosberg as treasurer, Lauren Conrad as secretary and Fernando Gonzalez as the fifth member.
For more information, visit www.dvlf.org.