Wertheimer previously served as associate executive director of the nonprofit for four years.
A walk around the Embracing Our Differences exhibit with Sarah Wertheimer in April was meant to be a quick overview of the artwork on display — background knowledge for a story about the exhibit.
It turned into over an hour of discussion about what she’s most passionate about: celebrating diversity through art.
“These kids are so hungry to be able to express themselves, and this an opportunity,” Wertheimer said of the exhibit artists. “(Otherwise) They often feel like they’re not allowed to be themselves”
Wertheimer was just named executive director after serving as associate executive director of the nonprofit since 2014. The position was previously held by Michael Shelton, who announced his retirement in February.
“It’s an honor to have been chosen for this role,” Wertheimer said in a release. “I’ve dedicated my life to building community partnerships, promoting acceptance and finding innovative ways to empower people to live better lives while respecting differences. I’m honored to participate with a community of people who share these values.”
Her new role will require Wertheimer to oversee the various programs and policies of Embracing Our Differences, along with managing general administration, fundraising, community relations and the strategic plan of the organization.
Wertheimer has worked in the philanthropic field since 2011, previously serving as director of development at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and as development coordinator at Children First.
“(Her) winning personality, strong work ethic, passion for hands-on projects and longstanding commitment to community involvement make her perfect to lead this organization,” said Dennis McGillicuddy, the nonprofit’s co-founder and board chair, in the same release. “Sarah flourished under Michael’s mentorship. We’re confident she will carry on his remarkable legacy and bring EOD to the next transformative level.”