Updated: Paul DeGeorge steps down as Executive Director of HPA
Paul DeGeorge has announced that he will be stepping down as Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance. DeGeorge, who is also known throughout the fandom for his wizard rock band Harry and the Potters is co-founder of the HPA and has served the organization for over ten years. He played an integral role in the shaping of the non-profit organization, which has seen great success under his leadership. Such successes include the growth of the organization to over 300 active chapters across the globe, the implementation of the weekend-long fan activist training program (The Granger Leadership Academy), and campaigns that have made significant strides toward net neutrality as well as gender, economic, and educational equality.
DeGeorge, who has always expressed his pride in and passion for the HPA, explains his departure, saying,
Why would I leave this amazing job? It’s a great question to ask and one I’ve wrestled with for quite some time. The truth is, I don’t have a spectacularly great answer for it, at least not in the conventional sense. I’m not leaving this job for another. Instead, I’m leaving because I’m curious to see what happens. It’s a challenge to myself to keep pushing forward, to keep learning, to keep experimenting and to keep creating. It’s a personal decision to embrace that next adventure.
DeGeorge will, however, remain involved in the HPA as a member of the Board of Directors.
Replacing DeGeorge as Executive Director will be Matthew Maggiacomo, who has been a longtime board member of the HPA. Maggiacomo most recently served as the Chapters Director for the organization during which time the HPA saw unprecedented growth in their chapters program. Many Potter fans will also be familiar with Maggiacomo’s wizard rock band, the Whomping Willows.
In his announcement, DeGeorge attributed much of the organization’s recent success to Maggiacomo:
All of this has happened under Matt’s leadership, and I can’t wait to see what he does at the helm of the entire organization.
The always witty HPA Communications Director, Lauren Bird, also showed her support for Maggiacomo in an article she titled “Harry Potter Alliance Commits to Environmental Issues, Hires Tree,” playing on Maggiacomo’s involvement with the Whomping Willows.
In her article, Bird describes Maggiacomo’s work in recent years, saying,
Maggiacomo has spent the last nine years serving as the human host body of the Whomping Willow, allowing the wizarding world’s most famous tree to maintain a career as a touring musician. Over that time, Maggiacomo has become deeply in tune with the inner emotional lives of trees.
DeGeorge is also quoted in the article, discussing the potential thought process behind Maggiacomo’s promotion:
We’ve had a human at the helm for a long time now,” said DeGeorge. “Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Would Isengard have fallen if Merry and Pippin hadn’t recruited the help of the [E]nts?”
Bird does put all joking aside for a brief moment in the article to honor the work of her longtime colleague, DeGeorge:
Maggiacomo succeeds outgoing Executive Director Paul DeGeorge, whose legacy with the organization includes highly successful campaigns on net neutrality, economic inequality, literacy, and human rights. During his tenure, DeGeorge captained significant internal growth by doubling the size of the HPA’s staff and creating the organization’s first strategic plan. He also helped develop the HPA’s new Granger Leadership Academy and significantly expanded the organization’s line of trend-setting wizard apparel.
We here at MuggleNet can’t wait to see what Matt and the HPA accomplish over the coming years or what DeGeorge is going to get up to next!
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