Thank you and we’ll miss you, Karla! This month, the HEFN staff and members bid farewell to Karla Fortunato, who just left HEFN’s staff to become the next President of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.
For the past thirteen years, Karla was an invaluable part of the HEFN staff team, joining me as one of only two staff in 2004. Since 2010 Karla served as co-director of HEFN, providing leadership as the network grew in members and staff, expanded its issues of focus, and evolved towards a new strategic direction.
HEFN is stronger today because of Karla’s professionalism, pragmatism, and persistence. Environmental health and justice philanthropy is stronger because of her commitment to public health, environmental protection, and social equity. She regularly looked at what we were doing, identified where we could be better, and helped us get there.
Closing out this wonderful work partnership is bittersweet. But we expect great things in coming years from Karla and the Connecticut Council – and opportunities for new partnerships.
I send off this Fortunato Farewell with appreciation for all that has blossomed from Karla’s quiet gifts of hard work and steadfast friendship. And with an excerpt from a May Sarton poem appropriately titled, "The Work of Happiness":
I thought of happiness, how it is wovenOut of the silence in the empty house each dayAnd how it is not sudden and it is not givenBut is creation itself like the growth of a tree. …The tree is lifted by this inward workAnd its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering…
Kathy Sessions is Executive Director of HEFN. She and Karla Fortunato served as Co-Directors from 2010-2017.
As we reflect on 2014 and look forward to the year ahead, HEFN is truly grateful for its strong leaders. In this blog post, Andrea Levinson of HEFN discusses HEFN’s leadership transitions and thanks...