Sarah Wertheimer, Executive Director

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Sarah Wertheimer

Sarah oversees the creation and implementation of all programming and fiscal planning which has grown to impact more than 260,000 adults and children annually. She is also responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of Embracing Our Differences' fundraising and community relations campaigns. Sarah oversees the organization's program growth and manages and implements the long-term sustainability goals. Sarah has spent the past eight years working in the local non-profit community. She has served as director of development at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, development coordinator at Children First and currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southwest Florida. Sarah was born and raised in Sarasota and is extremely passionate about exposing our community to the concepts of diversity and inclusion and helping create a world where individuality is celebrated. Sarah was recently chosen to participate in Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII and was selected by SRQ Magazine as one of Sarasota's "30 Under 30."

Brenna Wilhm, Director of Operations

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Brenna Wilhm

Brenna serves as the director of operations and is responsible for overseeing all of the Embracing Our Differences Education Initiatives and financial accounting. Having been exposed to the arts from a very young age, Brenna believes in the importance of the fine arts as an integral component in the development of every child. Brenna has spent the last 10 years in Sarasota specializing in sales & marketing and working for a private family foundation. Brenna studied violin at Oberlin College and has her Bachelor of Arts in Education. As a parent and an active member in our community, she values the Embracing Our Differences vision of creating a world that embraces diversity, respects differences and actively rejects hatred and prejudice.

*This position is funded, in part, through a generous grant from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

Dr. Bernadette Bennett, Director of Curriculum & School Liaison

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Dr. Bernadette Bennett

Bernadette Bennett, Ed.D. is a member of the Curriculum & Instruction Department of Sarasota County Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s in curriculum and instruction and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on disciplinary literacy and staff development. She taught social studies at the middle school level and then elevated her craft by becoming the District Social Studies Specialist. In this role, Bernadette’s major responsibilities include coordinating grades 9-12 curriculum initiatives, identifying and fulfilling staff development needs, supporting staff and schools as they implement standards based instruction with a focus on individualized instruction and developing curriculum resources. She also serves as liaison between EOD and the Sarasota County School Board bridging educational and community partnerships.

Board of Directors


Dennis McGillicuddy
Chair

Graci McGillicuddy
Vice-Chair

Richard Bergman
Secretary/Treasurer

Larry Lev
Member

John Weber
Member

Sarah Wertheimer
Member

Chief Judge Charles E. Williams
Member

Kaley Wisner
STAR Student

Ambassador Circle

Diane Cohen, Chair
Genie Aberson
Marvin Albert
John Annis
Pat Baer
Don Bernstein
Karen Bernstein
Sonda Biller
Sheila Birnbaum
Fred Bloom, M.D.
Carol Camiener
Aundria Castleberry
Lee-En Chung
Geri & Leonard Drexler
Alice Cotman
Meredith Ernst
Kristofer Geddie
Arlene Greene
Teri A Hansen
Dr. Larry Haspel
Kathie Kaplan
Roxie Jerde
Nikki Logan-Curran
Joan Lowery
Leslie Malkin
Brian Mariash
Joy Moravitz
Gila Meriwether
Marilyn Naiditch
Ursula Nixon
Nick Owens
Anand Pallegar
Linda Poteat-Brown
Alfred Rose
Linda Rosenbluth
Jane & Paul Rosenstein
Tobi Schneider
Nancy Roucher
Janet Smalley
Clare Segall
Nancy Shapiro
Jeremy Shelby
Delia Smith
Dr. Joni Steinberg
Charlie Ann Syprett
Gloria Tracy
Janet Udell
Dr. Tammy Walsh
Judy Weinstein
Kaitlin Yelle
*In Memoriam: Carroll Buchanan & Carol Poteat-Buchanan

Education Committee

Dr. Bernadette Bennett, Chair
Brittany Braniger
Christine Braun
Angela Hartvigsen
Julie Hebert
Carol LaVallee
Jennifer Mainey
Nancy Roucher

Quotation Selection Committee

Aundria Castleberry
Diane Cohen
Toby Deutsch
Arlene Greene
Kathie Kaplan
Linda Lipson
Nikki Logan-Curran
Joan Lowery
Jane & Paul Rosenstein
Nancy Shapiro
Bryna Tevlowitz
Patti Wertheimer

Art Teacher Retreat Committee

Dr. Bernadette Bennett
Angela Hartvigsen
Julie Hebert
Jess Nagy
Nancy Roucher
Dr. Tammy Walsh
Diane Zorn