Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse Nightclub and founder of the onePULSE Foundation, is no longer with the non-profit.

Poma served as executive director of the group since its launch after the 2016 shootings but was succeeded by a new director, Deborah Bowie, in May 2022. Poma was still affiliated with the non-profit albeit with the designation of “Keeper of the Story,” which was really just a fancy title for her ongoing figurehead/fundraising work.

That move was part of a strategic plan for the organization to be better positioned to move its memorial and museum plans forward from the interim memorial that currently sits on the property. Plans that also include purchasing the former nightclub from Poma, so it is owned by the non-profit for the foreseeable future.

But now it appears that Poma has completely stepped down from the organization.

“Pulse nightclub represents everything about my brother’s life and my life with and without him, and my deep love of the LGBTQIA+ community. Pulse has been such a big part of my life and I am grateful to the LGBTQIA+ community for their support of my work at the Foundation, which I created so the world does not forget what happened on June 12, 2016. Pulse will always be my family. I will continue to advocate for LGBTQIA+ issues which are more important than ever. We will not let hate win.”


OnePULSE Foundation released the following statement, “The Foundation is grateful to Barbara for her many contributions, and commitment to onePULSE, and for being a lifetime advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community.


At the time of the shootings, the City of Orlando offered Poma $2 million to purchase the property and turn it into a public memorial site, which she refused, in order to spearhead her own efforts. Efforts that she was paid an estimated $100,000 a year to oversee. Since that time, development in the SoDo District has continued to intensify and the property was designated a national memorial site by the U.S. House of Representatives.

June 12 will mark the seventh anniversary of the shooting where 49 people were killed and 53 others were injured at the Pulse Nightclub. Updates on the progress of the new museum and memorial are expected to be shared during the annual Pulse Remembrance Week that month.

The museum and memorial were expected to open in 2022 but that date was pushed back to 2026.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. That whole thing smells fishy. Millions upon millions of dollars raised and what have they done? Their overhead alone could house, clothe and feed hundreds of people.