Penfold leaves Utah AIDS Foundation to focus on mayoral race

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Utah AIDS Foundation executive director Stan Penfold announced in a message to followers that he will be leaving his post so that he can focus on his campaign for Salt Lake City Mayor.

It is with truly mixed emotions that I announce my departure from the Utah AIDS Foundation. I will be leaving later this spring to devote all of my time and energy running for Mayor of Salt Lake City.

I leave knowing the Foundation is in great hands, and it gives me comfort to know there are good people watching out for the organization. There is a succession plan in place, and our Board of Directors will be providing more details about the transition soon.

Over the past 25 years, the Utah AIDS Foundation has become home. From day one, the Foundation set out to be a place of safety, comfort, care and love. It is so important we remember the early days. There was so much sorrow and anger and compassion and love. And, it is important to acknowledge there has been so much progress.

The world of HIV/AIDS has changed drastically since I first became a volunteer, then joined the staff in the early 1990s. In those days, before HIV-specific meds, people came to the Utah AIDS Foundation to die. We were the last stage in end-of-life care. Today our services are focused on preventing HIV infection and on helping people live long, productive lives by connecting them to medical care, treatment options and support.

For the first time in the epidemic, the combination of people living with undetectable viral loads, and the availability of Pre Exposure Prophylactics (PrEP) prevention for those at risk for infection, has made an end to HIV transmission a real possibility. With complete access to the medical options we have today, we have the ability to stop HIV infections. We have the ability to drop the infection rate in Utah to zero. I can now say, for the first time, it is truly my belief that we now have the ability to stop HIV in my lifetime.

I am so proud of all the people at the Utah AIDS Foundation. The amazing families and volunteers, the staff and board, and especially all the incredible people I have met over the years living with HIV. They have shown me the best of what humans can be and do. And, I have great respect and admiration for the courage, commitment and love all have shown. I am such a better person for my time at the Utah AIDS Foundation. I will miss it all beyond measure.

UAF’s board of directors released a statement on his resignation.

The twelve members of the Utah AIDS Foundation’s Board of Trustees unanimously congratulate our longtime Executive Director Stan Penfold on his recent announcement that he will run for Mayor of Salt Lake City in the 2019 municipal elections.

We have come to know Stan well over the years and we’re excited about his decision to pursue this opportunity. Stan has skillfully guided the Foundation for 20 years as Executive Director, and for five years before that as Associate Director. For eight years, between 2009 and2017, Stan represented residents of District 3 (Avenues, capitol Hill, Guadalupe, Federal Heights, and Marmalade neighborhoods) on the Salt Lake City Council.

Stan is a rare individual who has dedicated his career to helping others, as leader of a statewide nonprofit organization and as an elected official in Utah’s largest city.

As Stan’s campaign gears up, he plans to step down as Executive Director in spring With a succession plan already in place, Trustees are confident the Foundation will continue running smoothly, providing health care, support, testing services, food and other resources to the many individuals and families living with, or at risk for HIV/AIDS the organization serves each month.

We wish Stan the best in his campaign and hope the residents of Salt Lake City see in Stan the vision and leadership qualities that have successfully sustained the Utah AIDS Foundation for a quarter-century.

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