Catherine Penrod Begins Her Tenure as Alfalit International’s Executive Director

Miami, FL – January 1, 2017: Catherine Penrod brings her considerable experience to Alfalit International as the nonprofit’s new Executive Director.

“I am thrilled to be on the Alfalit team,” Penrod said during her first day. “Literacy is something I am extremely passionate about, and I am excited to work with this exceptional group of people to help the children of this world grow up educated and healthy.”

Catherine Penrod was named the international, faith-based nonprofit’s Executive Director after Alfalit’s executive board reviewed her impressive resume boasting 30 years of service experience. Penrod began her career at the PA State House of Representatives in Harrisburg. She served as a legislative research analyst for both the State Health & Welfare Committee and the State Professional Licensure Company before working as a research associate, director, and vice president at ActionAIDS in Philadelphia. Penrod’s service journey has also taken her to the American Red Cross, where she worked as an assistant disaster relief operation director, among other positions. Her work with the American Red Cross took her to Miami, Orlando, and the Florida Keys, as well as Columbia, Ohio.

Additional career hallmarks include her work as the president and CEO of Arthritis Foundation, Central Pennsylvania Chapter and the Switchboard of Miami, Inc. Her many awards and honors include, but are not limited to, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce – Business Woman of The Year Award (2015), South Florida Business Journal Influential Business Women Award (2015), Outstanding Human Services Professional Award Finalist (2015), Florida International University President’s Council (2015), and Top Ten Women Leaders in Florida Nonprofits-2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 (The Commonwealth Institute).

“I heartily concur with the president of Alfalit International that literacy is the ‘cornerstone of all humanitarian efforts,’ said Penrod. “Nearly eight million people have learned to read and write through this amazing organization, and I look forward to building on this success. I will work tirelessly toward the goal of eradicating illiteracy and the suffering it causes.”

Penrod has already drafted the first-ever annual Alfalit development plan and secured 2017 financial agreements from 70 percent of board members. She also completed the first end-of-year campaign. Penrod has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University.

About Alfalit International

Alfalit International is a faith-based, nonprofit organization founded in 1961 by Eulalia Cook, Justo Gonzalez, and Luisa Gonzalez. The organization provides programs in basic education and literacy, health and nutrition, disease prevention, early childhood development, job training, and more to the poor in African, European and Latin American countries and the U.S. More than 120,000 students have enrolled in Alfalit International programs since 2015 and range in age from 4 to 81. Many of the program’s teachers and volunteers are former Alfalit students. The nonprofit’s work has been recognized by the likes of UNESCO, USAID, and more. Alfalit International believes in “reaching and teaching as many people as possible with love and compassion” and respecting everyone, no matter their background, race, gender, or ethnicity.

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