Ann W. Madsen


ann_blkdress_webIt isn’t easy being the little guy.  Or, in our case, being a small but mighty nonprofit helping women across Tampa Bay.

Yet, in the past several weeks, there have been so many uplifting moments, the kind of indelible experiences that make the Centre for Women such a unique place.

This month marks my fifth anniversary at The Centre for Women.  I am grateful that I arrived here when I did. It gave me a chance to really get to know our beloved founder, the incomparable Helen Gordon Davis. It provided me with a chance to understand her vision, to hear first-hand about our history and to appreciate her tenacity in championing important causes for women.

I am privileged to be able to lead change at a critical time in the life of this 40-year-old nonprofit. It has been a whirlwind.  I have learned so much about people, the good, the bad and the unanticipated. I have come to appreciate that the most important skill in today’s rapidly changing environment is the ability to adjust to change.  Indeed, a lot has changed here in the past five years.  It is not the same place it was when I first walked through the door. I am so proud of what our team has accomplished thanks to the support and guidance of many people in the community, people who really care.

This month I have added to my portfolio of unforgettable moments:

  • The voices of little girls at our Centre for Girls energetically singing their original song Empower as our effervescent director looked on with tears in her eyes.  The faces of parents beaming with pride.
  • The relief of knowing that the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County will help fund our Centre for Girls for the next five years. Whew!  What a difference that will make.
  • The laughter and enthusiasm of engaged volunteers planning our annual 26th Annual Gourmet Feastival.  They’re committed to making it can be the best ever!
  • The 626-plus supporters who signed a petition to Governor Scott to asking him to reject a hastily signed amendment that would terminate the Displaced Homemakers Trust Fund and impede our vital work to help vulnerable women.
  • The supporters who called and sent letters to the Governor’s office on our behalf as well as the dozens of phone calls we received from people who really care.
  • The WFLA team who captured the raw emotion of a real life displaced homemaker who had the courage to tell her story because she believes so passionately in the program.

As I look ahead to the next chapter at the Center for Women, I am excited about the unlimited possibilities ahead.  We have some exciting plans brewing for the next five years. Stay tuned.