Honoring Women who are Leading the Way in Central Florida
Beth Smith | Athena Emerging Leader
Beth Smith, corporate manager of community relations at Orlando Health, has always had a passion for helping people, and working for non-profit organizations has helped satisfy that passion. Prior to her role in corporate contributions, she started in fundraising and said that work helped her see the potential of partnerships with organizations through many different lenses. “All of the organizations I’ve worked for have all had a healthcare piece to them, but working for Orlando Health has proven to be amazing being able to really make a difference in our community,” Smith says.
The company is a $2.6 billion, not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization includes Orlando Health Physician Group and Physician Associates, two of the largest multi-specialty practices in Central Florida; the UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health with locations in downtown Orlando, Lake Mary, Ocoee, and Clermont; ownership in an outpatient surgery center; and eight, wholly-owned or affiliated hospitals.
“Being in corporate contributions is very exciting. No day is the same. The Community Relations team works hard to ensure that the efforts of our corporate giving strategically align to the goals
of Orlando Health to create a visible
return on investment in our community,” Smith said.
Other components to the Orlando Health family of facilities are the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies and the Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families. According to the organization’s website: “Steadfast commitment from distinguished philanthropists and the thousands of families and organizations in the region has allowed these entities to offer world class healthcare to the Central Florida community.”
When asked about any competitive edge that being a helps brings to her profession, Smith said, “The competitive edge I bring to my profession is my knowledge, my experience, my drive, my honesty, and my insight – all of which have really nothing to do with being a woman. I have had mentors all throughout my life, starting with my parents.
Their constant encouragement always
gave me the confidence to do and be anything I dreamed.”
Smith says she leans in to help empower and mentor other women with something readily accessible to any working person: honesty. “We tend to compare ourselves to those around us without really knowing struggles or conflicts they are really experiencing. By being honest with women around me about the struggles I am going through, such as, missing my son’s bedtime because of a work event or a board meeting, I hope it helps them see that not everyone’s life or job is perfect. We all are sacrificing things we love and enjoy – just doing it with a smile on our faces.”
Smith knows the flexibility required to be a working mom, and a working student. She graduated from UCF in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration from UCF, while she juggles a career, kids and family life. None of it seems to slow
Smith quotes a favorite line from an astute observer of the human condition, William Shakespeare: “‘Though she be but little, she is fierce’ has always stuck with me. My mother gave me this quote nicely framed as a painting recently when I was going through some rough personal times. It meant a lot to me. We are now decorating our baby girl’s room around the painting. I hope she will also grow up knowing how fierce she can be.”