Meet Ritter Center’s Newest Board Member, Stephanie Plexico
Ritter Center is thrilled to announce that Stephanie Plexico has joined our board of directors. A native of NYC, she moved to the Bay Area in 1997.
“I was definitely fortunate in my timing as my arrival coincided with the first dot com era. I worked in sales and business development for close to 15 years and also have done my share of consulting. During the course of my schooling and career, I earned a BA in sociology and went to graduate school to study for my master’s in counseling psychology. I was an intern at Marin Services for Women, an organization that specialized in alcohol and drug dependency. I was also busy raising two young children who are now in their early teenage years which gives me more time to focus on giving back. I have appreciated my time serving a number of worthwhile organizations, but I am focused on pulling more from my experience with Children of Shelters and Star Community Home, ” shared Stephanie.
“This is a real opportunity for me to make an immediate impact in my community where I live.”
Stephanie recognizes that there are many myths surrounding the issues relating to people experiencing homelessness.
“Whether you are living here in Marin County, San Francisco, in the middle of the country, or on either coast, this can be a contentious political issue. Housing is a hot topic and Ritter Center is working to dispel misconceptions and to prevent and end homelessness in Marin,” she shared. “Sometimes the public doesn’t recognize the intense challenges of making it day to day on a lower income or how someone who is working multiple jobs might struggle to put food on the table. I am excited to serve on this board and contribute to the awareness campaigns about these issues. Ritter Center serves many different types of individuals and families, regardless of whether they were born in Marin, California, or another country. Our work around mental health and substance abuse is critical right now as both of these are on the rise. No one should be deprived of health care in this country. I believe the same is true for support around mental health and access to food.”
“The need for creating awareness on these critical topics resonates with me,” shared Stephanie. “It reminds me of when I volunteered with my children for the Marin REST Program. REST is the Rotating Emergency Shelters Team, a program that provides dinner and a bed for the night to local men experiencing homelessness during the winter months. For my daughters to sit down and share a meal with these men and hear about their lives made a lasting impact on all of us. It is a different experience to break bread together, rather than serve from afar.”
“These types of experiences benefit all of us. My children and I were able to learn the value of listening to someone else’s story and that often people have had more of a struggle and a harder start to their life,” she continued. “We can find compassion if we dig deep and learn to sit through the moment of discomfort. We can take the time to help each other out through obstacles. It might be uncomfortable at first, but if we are able to stay with it, we can sometimes begin to see things a little differently and that change can have a significant impact on a life.”
A huge warm welcome to our Board of Directors, Stephanie. We are delighted that you are part of our team!