For the first time after the death of its cherished founder, CAMP Rehoboth has a new executive director.

Founding Executive Director Steve Elkins passed away in March 2018 after a battle with lymphoma. Elkins’ husband and co-founder, Murray Archibald, has since served as interim director.

With Archibald’s assistance, CAMP Rehoboth completed a comprehensive study that helped identify the qualities of an ideal executive director candidate which led to the selection of David Mariner.

Mariner comes to CAMP Rehoboth from Washington, D.C., where he has served as executive director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community since 2008. He’ll finish there at the end of September and officially start at CAMP Oct. 7.

CAMP (Creating a More Positive) Rehoboth is self-described as a nonprofit “dedicated to creating a positive environment inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities in Rehoboth Beach and its related communities.”

The DC Center operates much like CAMP, advocating for the LGBTQ community and promoting health and wellness, arts and culture and more.

“David’s success leading and growing the DC Center will serve the organization well at this pivotal time in CAMP Rehoboth’s history,” said Chris Beagle, president of the CAMP Board of Directors. 

Mariner already has a few ideas about what he’d like to work on at CAMP Rehoboth.

“I was kind of struck by the article that came out recently that showed LGBTQ older adults are at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s or dementia, in part related to the isolation they experience. As we age we’re less likely to grow old with a partner … or have children. So some of the social networks that are built in for seniors don’t really exist for LGBTQ adults,” he said. “Creating that network of support is really important for me.”

Mariner also serves as a board member of the nonprofit Empowering the Transgender Community in the Washington, D.C. area.

“I’ve been hearing about the experiences of the transgender community in Rehoboth, so I’m really interested in learning about that as well,” Mariner said. “I’m really looking forward to joining the Rehoboth crew.”