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In response to that, he convinced several of us, including me, that if he was forced out, the funders he’d brought in would leave too, meaning the organization would need to lay off the majority of its staff.

This seemed plausible — he’d personally cultivated wealthy donors and had personal relationships with them, while no one else on staff had much contact with them.

What followed were months of turmoil for the organization.

I’ve spent the last near-decade trying to understand why I stayed as long as I did and why I didn’t push harder for him to be removed not just from a position of power, but from any job there at all.

I don’t think I could have changed the outcome — it became pretty clear that he and the board were committed to keeping him there — but it would have been the right thing to do.

The man at the center of this is also very eager to threaten to sue people who talk about this situation.

But with it coming up again now (and, to be up-front, a reporter asking me about it), I want to be straightforward about what happened, and I want you as readers to know that I didn’t get it right then but I’ve been trying to get it right ever since.

This time, he agreed he would stop, and naively, I thought maybe I’d somehow finally gotten through to him.

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