Growing up as an Air Force brat on bases across the country, Robin Rose learned many of her leadership skills at a young age. As a child, she remembers taking charge among the other children during various picnics and social events held on the bases.
“I never aspired for leadership positions,” she says. “For me, it was about learning to assimilate and adapt quickly, and I think I gained a lot of those skills because of it. Leaders need to be able to see what’s coming and not be intimidated by change, and I think growing up in that environment prepared me for that.”
In August, Rose will put these skills to use as she takes over as the executive director of Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County.
Ending her career as CEO of Frameworks Inc., a non-profit youth-development organization in Tampa, Rose will replace interim Executive Director Kay Mathers, who took over the position one year ago while the board of directors began its search to fill the position permanently.
“I told them to take their time, and make sure we have the right candidate,” says Mathers. “The position requires you to give 100% of your professional life to the job, as well as a lot of your personal life, and you have to be able to embody the mission statement. Robin will have an easy time with that.”
Rose brings a background in non-profit and children’s work to the position, and, according to Susan Jones, president of the Girls Inc. Board of Directors, this experience made her a natural choice. After narrowing the search down to six candidates, Jones says she and the other board members saw Rose as the best fit for the organization.
“Her résumé and experience are what first drew our attention to her,” says Jones. “She’s a very effective communicator, and she believes strongly in the mission of Girls Inc. We also found her to have a great moral compass. She will certainly be a great leader and mentor for the girls.”
Rose says her passion has always been helping children — especially young girls. The proud mother of three adult daughters, she says it’s important that young girls have the tools they need to have a successful future. Because of this, she was excited to learn about the open position at Girls Inc.
“I want all kids to be loved,” she says. “I want to help them aspire to be whatever they want to be. It sounds cliché, but it really does take a village; kids need many positive role models in their lives.”
In her first six months as executive director, Rose hopes to spend some time becoming familiar with the existing programs and evaluating the organization to see how she can best further its mission. She currently lives in Nokomis, and she says she’s looking forward to getting to know Sarasota — and the girls in the organization.
“I’m excited to get to know these girls and learn what’s on their minds and in their hearts,” she says. “I want to build on the amazing work already taking place at Girls Inc. and do whatever I can for the betterment of our kids.”
Interim Executive Director Kay Mathers will return to her previous position as director of community relations, in which she oversees the organization’s 300 volunteers, plans special events and handles marketing and public relations, Aug. 5.
“The volunteers are the heart and soul of the building,” she says. “There are people every day who deserve my time and attention. One of my biggest efforts when I first started working here was to better get to know the volunteers and pair them with the girls. I’m looking forward to having more time to focus on that, again.”