Laughing Gull Foundation Announces New Leadership

Laughing Gull Foundation Announces New Leadership


Hez Norton will join the Laughing Gull Foundation in October as Interim Executive Director for two years.


Dear Friends of LGF,

I am writing to tell you about an exciting new phase of organizational growth and leadership here at the Laughing Gull Foundation. As of October, Hez Norton will join LGF as Interim Executive Director for two years, and my role will shift to Board President.

We have big plans for LGF’s future. We intend to increase the scope and impact of our work considerably. In developing these plans, it has become clear that our team requires more capacity from both board and staff. With Hez stepping into the Interim ED position, I will be able to focus exclusively on board level work, and will partner with Hez to lead LGF’s expansion.

In my capacity as Board President, I will remain very involved in LGF’s work, concentrating more on long-term strategy, investments, and funder organizing. I have loved serving as President, CEO, and Program Officer as we have gotten LGF off the ground, and am equally as excited to focus my role as LGF grows. We know that a healthy transition after a founding CEO, especially one who is also family and board, is best accomplished with an Interim Executive Director before bringing on the next long-term ED.

The LGF Board is thrilled that Hez will play this critical role in our next chapter. We have known Hez for many years, and can’t imagine anyone better suited to join our team at this moment. Hez is a trusted, thoughtful, and experienced leader; a deep listener with a tool kit of skills and perspectives based on twenty years in the non-profit and philanthropic fields. Hez brings to LGF a background of living and organizing in the South, leading non-profits, coaching executives and boards, and managing executive transitions. Hez’s career began right here in LGF’s hometown of Durham, North Carolina, organizing the first statewide LGBTQ youth network. Coming full circle, Hez is moved by LGF’s determination to be “Committed to Justice. Rooted in the South,” and is eager to help guide our next steps.

Through this chapter of transition and growth, LGF will maintain our current funding priorities. We are more committed than ever to supporting and promoting the critical work of LGF’s grantees. This additional staff capacity will enhance our support for higher education opportunities in prisons, and for the LGBTQ community in the South.

For the time being, there are no changes in roles or contacts at LGF. I will continue in my current roles through our October board meeting, ably assisted by our Administrative and Communications Coordinator, Karen Carlton. We will be back in touch in November to provide more details on new LGF staff and consultant roles, and resulting contact directions and information.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of our work. I know you will join me in welcoming Hez onto the LGF team this fall.

In solidarity,

Meg Coward,
President & CEO
Laughing Gull Foundation