Finding Virtual Gala Success

Finding Virtual Gala Success

August 14, 2020


“Have a plan. Be flexible with that plan; it will change. And then follow it regularly.” – Rick Byrd

In this episode of The Beacon Podcast, Lighthouse Counsel Senior Consultant David Snow discusses how Executive Director Rick Byrd successfully executed a virtual gala with the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter of JDRF. Rick shares:

  • About JDRF and its fundraising activities.
  • The factors that led JDRF to switch to a virtual gala instead of cancelling.
  • JDRF’s preparation and execution of the virtual event; and 
  • The keys for a successful virtual gala.

About our guest

Rick Byrd is a nonprofit executive with over twenty years of management and development experience. Rick started his career with the YMCA of Greater Houston serving in a variety of positions, including executive director, district executive director and  vice president of development/executive director of the YMCA of Greater Houston Endowment Foundation. Over the last three years, Rick has served as executive director of the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter of JDRF, leading efforts in community engagement, fundraising and awareness of type one diabetes and JDRF-funded research. During his tenure, Rick has been recognized for his fundraising achievements, as well as leadership capabilities. Rick also has a proven track-record of organizational revenue growth, board and volunteer development, strategic planning, and positive community relations. 

Rick currently serves on the Board of the Houston Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where he acted as Treasurer from 2017 – 2019. He is a founding member of the Wilchester Neighborhood Men’s Club, a 501(c)3, non-profit, which supports youth development, education and “neighbors in need”. Rick is married to Susan and they have two children, Alexander (17) and Elizabeth (13). In addition to being involved in his children’s various activities, he enjoys fly fishing, mountain biking, tennis, and spending time in Colorado.

Learn more about JDRF