Sacramento LGBT Community Center hires executive director

Donald Bentz, a longtime advocate for marriage and gender rights, has been hired as executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.

He assumes his new duties Wednesday.

Most recently, Bentz served as the executive director of the Equality Hawaii family of organizations that helped foster marriage equality and civil unions. He has also served in executive and development positions with the Life Foundation, the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa AIDS Network, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Indio Daily News/Desert Sun newspapers.

“We are confident that Don has the vision, skill and experience to lead and to work with the board to fully realize our collective vision of a center built for, and providing service to, the entire LGBTQ community,” said center board President David Heitstuman, who has served as interim executive director for the past 11 months.

Bentz has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California, and he earned an undergraduate degree in magazine journalism from the University of South Florida.

The center’s search committee evaluated more than 80 candidates from across the nation during over months, officials said.