About the Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County
Create personal, social and professional growth opportunities for women and provide strategies for living that strengthen them, their families and their communities.
- To be the dynamic leader in supporting, recognizing and celebrating the contributions of women
- To anticipate and address the changing issues facing women in our community
- To be a strategic partner in strengthening the quality of life and economic vitality of our community
The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County is a community-based 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) not-for-profit agency that has provided women (and men) with life skills training, career planning and educational scholarships in Sarasota County for over 35 years. We assist thousands of women in creating independent lifestyles by identifying problems, locating appropriate resources and creating a plan to aid in solving their problems. The women who come through our doors are from all walks of life and every socio-economic background throughout Sarasota County (and beyond). We serve a diverse population from women with Ph.D.s to women seeking their G.E.D.s, from women investing in real estate to women in need of housing, from women preparing for retirement to women worrying about their next paycheck — no issue is too great or too small.
The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County was founded in 1979 by a coalition of 19 women’s organizations, including the American Association of University Women. We have provided employment services and our flagship Challenge course to the community since our inception. In 1999, our offices grew as we merged with the Women’s Support and Enrichment Center to become The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County.
Every day, our staff and volunteers encounter women who remark on the inspiring lectures, helpful resources and expansive social network the WRCSC provides. Often, they hear, “You helped me get this job,” and, “The Women’s Resource Center saved my life.”
Women’s Resource Centers of Manatee and Sarasota Talking Merger
For more than 25 years, both the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee and the Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County have independently provided programming that help women reach their full potential.
Their shared vision became the catalyst that brought them together earlier this year to explore the additional opportunities that could empower women if they merged.
With The Patterson Foundation providing facilitation expertise, the WRC Board of Directors and executive leadership of both organizations have spent more than 500 hours talking the idea over with stakeholders, donors, community leaders, and area community foundations including Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation and Selby Foundation.
“The response from our initial discussions was overwhelmingly in favor of merging,” said Betsy Steiner, facilitator for The Patterson Foundation.
Over the past several months, board members and senior staff visited offices to conduct site visits, operations analysis and staff introductions.
“After a thoughtful and thorough assessment, the Board of Directors of both organizations unanimously approved moving forward with merger negotiations,” said Ashley Brown. Brown has served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee County for the past thirteen years.
The merger is on track to take place mid-fall. Both boards unanimously appointed Brown to lead both organizations during the months leading up to the merger and to assume the role of CEO of the newly-formed regional entity. The current boards will become a unified Board of Directors.