The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade has announced the hiring of a new executive director, Kathy Andersen, to advance the organization’s mission to improve the lives of women and girls, with a critical focus on advocacy to create positive change throughout Miami-Dade County and beyond.
Additionally, effective Jan. 1, the board of directors elected a new slate of leaders to guide the direction of the organization as it enters its 25th anniversary year and works to expand its impact in its key areas of focus: freedom from violence, leadership, economic security and women’s health.
Andersen has helped leaders, organizations, and communities transform visions into realities for almost 20 years. Most recently, she worked with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global organization, and collaborates with Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org and OptionB.org to help people overcome challenges and live inspired lives.
Andersen is an experienced non-profit and for-profit executive. Her record of local success includes being the founding executive director of the Global Institute for Community Health and Development at the University of Miami, and growing one of Miami’s best-loved non-profits into a national model as COO of Shake-A-Leg Miami.
Her leadership and community development work has extended to India, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico. Kathy holds a master’s degree from Harvard University, and is an award-winning author.
“When women are strong, our country is strong, ” Andersen said.
She is committed to expanding the leadership role of The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade as the organization embarks on its 25th year and an election year.
“At this ‘dawning of a new day,’ The Women’s Fund Miami-
Dade is more committed than ever to raising the voices of all women and girls to affect positive change. As the seventh largest county in the country, we can add strength to a national and international movement.”
In 2018, the organization will undertake key initiatives affecting workplace gender equity and sexual harassment, women’s leadership and economic security, human trafficking and exploitation, freedom from violence, and more. The organization also will continue its Equal Pay Miami-Dade campaign launched in 2017, partner on the 2018 Women’s Rally, and undertake a See Her Vote 2018 campaign. To affect the greatest impact, the organization will expand its collaborations and seek engagement from all sectors of the community.
In addition to Andersen’s hiring, the board voted in a new slate of leaders that includes the following:
Johnette Hardiman will become board chair. Hardiman is assistant state attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit and a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.
Laura Guitar will serve as vice chair. Guitar is executive vice president of rbb Communications and leads the agency’s issues and crisis management division.
Janet Kyle Altman will become immediate past chair and convene a council of advisors to help lead the organization into its next 25 years. Altman is principal and marketing director of Kaufman Rossin.
“We’re excited to enter 2018 with exceptional leadership that will ensure The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade will lead the way for women and girls, and address the critical issues of our time,” Hardiman said. “We will relentlessly continue the work that five visionary women started 25 years ago, and mobilize a movement that will ensure a future where women and girls thrive with equality and limitless opportunity.”
In 2017, The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade advanced its mission through the following activities:
• Launching Equal Pay Miami-Dade in partnership with Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women to enact legislation that requires both the government and its contractors to pay equally. Municipalities have passed equal pay resolutions, businesses signed up to support equal pay, non-profits have agreed to partner on the effort, and volunteers have been recruited.
• Creating the “See Her Vote” campaign to encourage all voting-eligible women to engage and vote on issues affecting women and girls.
• Providing a forum for collaboration among organizations working to combat violence against women in our community, in collaboration with Miami Rising.
• Expanding the Girls Coalition to strengthen community capacity to serve girls by fostering advocacy, collaboration, and education among community partners to help girls realize their full potential.