For our Board Spotlight, we are starting at the top with our Board President Kara Zeder Rosen. Kara has brought us through several years of incredible growth, overcoming challenges to provide services that our community needs. Earlier this year, the top-producing realtor was recognized by the Miami Foundation as the 2019 Emerging Philanthropist honoree for her dedication and commitment to Kristi House. Thank you, Kara! The Zeder family has been a Kristi House ally and supporter for two decades. Matriarch Judy Zeder built an impressive legacy and left big shoes for her predecessor, and daughter, to fill. Kara was nominated to the board in 2012, and it didn’t take long for her to make her way to board chair. She hit the ground running, fund-raising and friend-raising, with unprecedented speed and unparalleled success.
Despite Kristi House’s stellar reputation for excellent services and stewardship of support, serving as President has not been without challenges. A statewide foster care crisis resulted in Kristi House’s 15-year state contract for non-residential services being reallocated, leaving a huge, half-million-dollar hole in its annual operating budget. A change in staff leadership in 2015 left big shoes to fill. Undaunted, Kara has led on the frontlines, coalescing with our community partners; bringing on highly qualified CEO leadership; and delivering break-even budgets while expanding services.
Kara has inspired large corporate and philanthropic gifts to Kristi House to support core operations helping abused and trafficked child-victims. These gifts have fueled the momentum that Kara began as Board president four years ago. During her presidency, private giving has increased by 25 percent and we’ve grown operations to more than $5 million annually. Under her leadership two additional satellite locations have been opened to better serve clients in deep south Miami-Dade, and evidence-based practices have been added to address physical abuse, and co-occurring substance abuse coupled with trauma. Kara stands out for her leadership in bringing the board, staff and Kristi House partners together during times of change in an environment of ever-diminishing resources. She has been intrepid dealing with an array of challenges, melding with powerful leaders and forging through to solutions to the place of strength Kristi House now finds itself in. Kara’s leadership has been remarkable for anyone of any age, but especially amazing considering she’s just getting started!