October 16th, 2008 5:33 pm | by Byron Beck News | Posted In: Politics

CAP Executive Director Updates: Jean Ann Van Krevelen Moves On, Michael Kaplan Moves Crowd

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The former Executive Director of Cascade AIDS Project, Jean Ann Van Krevelen (above right ) has been appointed to the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA).

Van Krevelen is now President of Escalation Business Consulting. And she also serves as an adviser to Lillian Shirley, Director of the Multnomah County Health Department; Lolenzo Poe, Senior Policy Advisory for Multnomah County Chair, Ted Wheeler; and the HIV/AIDS Directors' Consortium.

“What a tremendous honor it is to be appointed to PACHA. I look forward to sitting at the table with such strong HIV/AIDS leadership and working hard to make a change,” Van Krevelen said in a just released announcement.

Van Krevelen left Cascade AIDS Project in June to dedicate more time to caring for her niece and nephew who came into the care of her and her partner in January.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me to stay involved in a cause that is deeply meaningful, while still having time for my family,” said Van Krevelen.

In other CAP news, its brand new director Michael Kaplan, made quite an impact with his remarks at last Sunday's AIDS Walk . Kaplan (in photo above left, with grin) talked to walkers and non-walking pols about his own HIV status (something that's still seems fairly rare to talk about in Portland ) and how he has lived with the virus for sixteen years. He then invited others with HIV to join him at the front of the stage. It was a profound moment for everyone who was there.

On Monday I talked to Kaplan regarding Sunday's walk and here is what he had to say:

Willamette Week: How much did the walk raise?

Michael Kaplan : At last count, we were just about at $300,000 raised, and anticipate a few more pledges trickling in over the next two weeks.

Did you reach your goal?

Our goal was $350,000 - and frankly, [I'm] not sure yet how we deal with the shortfall. My first hope is we make up the difference elsewhere over the year rather than trim any type of services, but I know it is going to be a tough year for all of us in the non-profit community. The economy is still all over the place and people are rightfully concerned about their own security. That said, it's early in the year for us (Our fiscal year goes from July 1 through June 30th) and I'm confident with some extra effort, we can ensure sufficient resources to meet our program needs.

Did it goes as planned?
I had the luxury of coming in after the planning was well underway and simply served more as a participant and speaker—so as I watched it, it seemed flawless. I was amazed with our staff and the 250 volunteers who pulled this together. In the two weeks running up, since the time I got here, I just didn't see any hiccups in the process other than, of course, the economy taking a nose dive at the same we were doing the walk. That said - lets hope we've hit the bottom of the downturn on the economy and now focus on getting to where we need to be to ensure HIV prevention, care and support services are adequately funded.

How did you feel speaking in front of your new neighbors?
Up until the moment I stood up to speak, I was a pure and utter nervous wreck. In fact, I got up extra early to pace around the home that morning. No matter how many times I talk in front of groups, the first moment is always nervousness on how what I have to say will be received, later matched by excitment if I can see folks moving with me. So much was going through my head. Our staff had worked so hard for this event and I knew many folks had expectations for me as their new Executive Director. I just wanted to ensure I met their expectations. More than anything, I was nervous about whether to ask my positive brothers and sisters to join me up front. I just wasn't sure how that would fly, and whether I would be standing alone or surrounded. To then see the number of people who came forward, to see tears streaming down a fellow PLWH's cheek as he stepped forward, it moved me. At the end, the reception of my comments by colleagues, HIV-positive and negative, those in office and those from the community made me so glad to be a part of CAP and this community. It simply upped my commitment to ensure we keep on fighting for those of us living with HIV, for those affected, and for all at risk. With the kind of energy and commitment I saw, I know we can make a difference.
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