President and CEO
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to driving regional change for the common good. The Foundation is committed to engaging the community in conversations and action that creates sustainable positive change and provides the funding to make those changes a reality.
Her journey into the nonprofit sector followed a career in investor relations, public relations and corporate communications. She worked for publicly traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange as well as private companies throughout the southeastern United States. Her corporate experience was in the automotive and engineering industries and she was sought out by innovators and entrepruneurs developing emerging technologies to create strategic communication plans.
Owen brings this focus on innovation to her work at the Southwest Foundation. In concert with a visionary board of trustees, Owen is guiding the Foundation in reimagining its role in the region. Under her leadership the Foundation has become laser-focused on regional issues affecting the quality of life in Southwest Florida, gathered hundreds of community leaders and stakeholders around these issues and has grown the Foundation's assets to become one of the largest funding organizations in the region. Notably, her work attracted national foundations such as Lumina Foundation to the region to provide funding and resources to the FutureMakers Coalition.
Owen shares her leadership at the national, state and regional level. She is Florida Delegate for the Vision 2020 initiative, serves as vice chair of Florida Philanthropic Network's Community Foundation leadership team and serves on the Healthy Lee Steering Committee.
A graduate of Florida Southern College and the University of South Florida, Sarah holds bachelors and masters degrees in education as well as certifications in environmental engineering from University of Florida's Training, Research and Education for Environmental Occupations Center.
She is married to David Owen and they have successfully launched their two adult kids out of the house and are enjoying the time they have with their youngest son.