Leaders from The Source LGBT+ Center receive innovative leadership award

The James Irvine Foundation today announced the recipients of its 2024 Leadership Awards, honoring leaders and their organizations for their efforts in addressing critical issues impacting Californians.

Brian Poth, Executive Director and Nick Vargas, Director of Development and Strategy of The Source LGBT+ Center in Visalia, California are two of the nine leaders who were selected as recipients of the 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. In just 7 years, Poth and Vargas have led The Source in becoming the largest LGBTQ+ Center between Los Angeles and Sacramento, serving over 24,000 individuals in 2023.

The grant, in the amount of $350,000, will be used to grow and implement new services through The Source while ensuring that every LGBTQ+ individual in the area has access to the support and services they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

This year’s Award recipients are an impressive group of innovators working on a wide range of challenges including teacher preparation, youth justice, college access and completion, and ensuring the health and safety of Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, refugee, and immigrant populations.

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s focus is California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided more than $2.6 billion in grants to organizations throughout California. The Foundation ended 2023 with $3.1 billion in assets and provided $180.3 million in grants. For more, please visit www.irvine.org.

The Source LGBT+ Center in Visalia will be celebrating the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award on March 14, 2024, beginning at 4:00pm with a press conference followed by a reception at their campus located at 109 NW 2nd Ave, Visalia CA, 93292.

More background on Brian Poth and Nick Vargas: Poth and Vargas grew up in Tulare County but moved away to attend college. Neither had plans to come back to The Valley. Poth, an established professional actor in Los Angeles, and Vargas, a topproducing financial professional in San Francisco, enjoyed the LGBTQ+ resources and access to safe spaces that large cities provided. Yet, unfortunate circumstances brought them back to Visalia in 2015. They met through mutual friends and the idea for The Source was formed as a byproduct of their friendship. For additional information please visit: TheSourcelgbt.org/news

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  1. A well deserved recognition for The Source LGBT+ Center. Brian and Nick have worked hard to create a much-needed resource center in Tulare County. Along with Board of Directors, volunteers, allies, supporters, and government and private agencies, life-saving work is ongoing due to their efforts. Kudos!

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