Elevating Women in Nonprofits for Women's History Month

Posted on 03/03/2021 @ 07:48 AM

In honor of Women’s History Month, Plus Three is delighted to highlight four women doing exceptional work for their nonprofit organizations. We elevate them not only to recognize their tireless work, but to call attention to the innumerable contributions women have made to making the world a better and more equitable place for all.

Alejandra Y. Castillo
formerly at YWCA USA

Alejandra Castillo, the former CEO of YWCA USA, had a big job. YWCA USA serves 2.3 million women and girls nationwide, with a network of over 200 associations. Castillo oversaw it all.

Before assuming an executive leadership role at YWCA, Castillo held senior leadership positions in two previous presidential administrations. In 2014, Castillo was appointed by the Obama Administration to act as the national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, becoming the first Hispanic American woman to lead that agency. During her tenure there, Castillo helped secure financing and capital worth over $19 billion and helped create or retain over 33,000 jobs.

Castillo’s job at YWCA USA was no small task. For 162, YWCA USA has been there for women and girls and their families. The storied institution has helped millions of women live lives of relative safety and economic security. Their mission is fourfold: to eliminate racism, to empower women, to stand up for social justice, and to help families strengthen their communities.

Melanie Campbell
at National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Melanie Campbell is the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). She is a veteran coalition builder and a hugely successful campaign leader — having headed multimillion dollar civic engagement, voter empowerment, and issue-based campaigns. Her work at the NCBCP is essential. And so impressive.

Campbell has been at the NCBCP for over 25 years. She’s advised presidents, congresspeople, corporate, labor, and nonprofit executives, philanthropists, faith leaders, and more — in short, she is a guide.

A good thing, too, because the NCBCP’s work is essential. The NCBCP cultivates institutional base-building capacity and intergenerational leadership models at the local, state, and national levels. In other words, it believes that educating, motivating, organizing, and mobilizing Black communities is the key to full participation in a barrier-free democratic process. Using technology, educational programming, and civic leadership training, the NCBCP expands, strengthens, and empowers Black communities across the nation.

Bonnie Reiter-Lehrer
at Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Bonnie Reiter-Lehrer is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation (GMJF), one of our oldest clients and dearest friends. With over 37 years of experience in the communications, advertising, and marketing fields, Reiter-Lehrer serves the Jewish community of Miami and abroad with passion and diligence.

At GMJF, Reiter-Lehrer oversees the production of videos, short films, and documentaries, as well as innumerable successful local, national, and international events and marketing initiatives. GMJF has been serving the needs of the Jewish people in Miami, in Israel, and around the world for over 80 years. It mobilizes human and financial resources to those in need, and helps unify the Jewish community, domestic and abroad.

Reiter-Lehrer’s work at GMJF and elsewhere has been recognized with a Public Relations Society of America Bronze Anvil award and a Florida Press Association Award, and she has been an American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year Finalist. Her life’s work is dedicated to building and serving the Jewish community and ensuring a strong and vibrant Jewish future.

Sindy Benavides

Sindy Benavides
at League of United Latin American Citizens

Sindy Benavides is the CEO of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). A Honduran-American immigrant, Benavides devotes her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women, and immigrants are given the same opportunities that she received.

As the head of the country’s oldest Hispanic civil rights organization, Benavides has a job of historic importance. LULAC seeks to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health, and civil rights of Hispanic United States citizens. Boasting approximately 132,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC is a powerhouse of change. Leading such an organization is deeply impressive.

Before her current position, Benavides was the COO and National Director for Civic Engagement and Community Mobilization for LULAC, the Vice President of Field and Political Operations for Voto Latino, and the Northern Virginia Political Director for the 2012 Kaine for Virginia senatorial campaign. She has been named a top 20 Latina Women of Excellence, selected for a Hispanics in Philanthropy Next Generation Philanthropy Fellowship program, and serves on numerous civic boards, tireless serving her community and others.