In 2008, Exodus moved from a modest office that they leased for $2000+ a month to the building above at 190 N Westmonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, Florida, which they purchased at the height of the real estate market bubble for over $1.1 million. Exodus has an estimated eleven employees working in this two-story office complex, assuming they haven’t quitely let anyone else go. Presumably this also houses the oft referenced phone that allegedly receives 400,000 calls a year (roughly 45 calls an hour 24/7/365) from people begging to hear about “freedom from homosexuality.”
Unlike NARTH, Focus on the Family, et al, Exodus seems reluctant to let their neighbors know who they are as the only sign marking the building bears the rather nondescript name of the non-profit they created at the time of the purchase, The Worthen Legacy Group (TWLG). Frank Worthen could be considered one of the founding father’s of the ex-gay movement and was the founder of the infamous Love In Action ex-gay conversion facility.
The Worthen Legacy Group’s 2008 form 990 lists Don Schmierer and his wife as directors, and is actually the only public document we could find which lists Exodus’ new address (though it finally seems to be appearing in searches). When asked in 2008, Exodus President Alan Chambers refused to provide the location of the new building and all their literature lists their PO Box. The mission of TWLG is:
To operate for the benefit of, to perform the functions of, or to carry out the purpose of Exodus International North America, Inc.
According to the tax document above, TWLG is a 501(c)(2) Title Holding Company. While we are not tax experts, the literature indicates that these are used primarily to shield the assets of a 501(c)(3) from liability. It is possible Exodus was simply following the prudent advice of their tax attorney, or they may consider a future claim of harm by a client a real possibility. Perhaps others can make more sense of this and comment below.
His position as director of TWLG may partially explain why Exodus was so intent on shielding Schmierer from blame or consequence for his participation in the Uganda “Anti-Homosexuality Conference” of 2009. Additionally, Schmierer’s LinkedIn profile still has him working as program officer at Fieldstead & Company. According to their website, “Fieldstead is a private company that manages the assets of the Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. family.” Could this be one of Exodus’ funding sources?
The sign does say that space is available — anyone need to lease office space?