Message from Our Executive Director


Ann-MadsenAs I approach my first anniversary at The Centre for Women, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. It has been a whirlwind of activity, a time of significant change and discovery.

I have learned that The Centre for Women, now affectionately known as The Centre, is as relevant today as when it first opened its doors in 1978. Looking back on the conversations I have had this year, I have been struck by the enormity of challenges facing so many women today -- caregivers for aging parents; single moms struggling to help their children reach their potential; women of all ages making transitions in their lives; older women experiencing new realities; younger women seeking advice to fill the gaps in their personal and professional lives.

Women of every age, every circumstance of life and every income level gather here. The Centre is a place where women find support and inspiration from their peers. They learn from the experiences of others. They engage in meaningful conversations. And, they discover the best of what life has to offer. Whether they come to learn new skills, to network, to be part of a community of caring individuals or to seek the counsel of others, they find what they are looking for here at The Centre.

One of my first priorities has been to develop a roadmap for the future of The Centre, building upon a foundation of excellence established over the past 35 years. As we deal with the daily ebb and flow of funding in the nonprofit world, we have worked to create a sustainable plan to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Together, with our Board, staff and community partners, we have begun to chart our course with renewed enthusiasm for our vision: to help women and families in Hillsborough County to succeed both personally and professionally.

We plan to achieve that vision by staying true to our mission, strengthening our core programs and developing innovative new programs.

One of those programs is a new arts & literacy initiative called artZone at The Centre for Girls. And, thanks to support from funders and generous donors, we have launched “The 500 Girls Mural Project” which celebrates the accomplishment of 17 Florida Women and aligns with the Viva Florida 500 celebration. The mural is being created through numerous workshops in the Hillsborough Community.

The Centre for Girls Art Director Polly Allen describes it well: “One person can create waves of positive change. These waves turn into movements, and the women we celebrate through this mural project have contributed to major moves in the State of Florida. Taking a cue from the 17 pioneering Florida women depicted on the mural, the girls creating the art will create positive change for the future!”

Together we are working to make positive change throughout all of our programs. Heartfelt thanks to our generous donors and volunteers who make our mission possible.


 Ann Madsen