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News Section: Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight: Embracing Our Differences Announces Appointment of Associate Executive Director

Sarah Wertheimer brings a wealth of experience in building vital community partnerships

Published Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sarah Wertheimer

SARASOTA – Embracing Our Differences has announced the appointment of Sarah Wertheimer as the organization’s new associate executive director. Wertheimer spent the past four years working in the local non-profit community. She most recently served as director of development at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and development coordinator at Children First. In her new role with Embracing Our Differences, Wertheimer will be responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of the organization’s fundraising and community relations campaigns. She will also oversee program growth and manage and implement long-term sustainability goals.


"I'm thrilled to join the Embracing Our Difference's team," says Wertheimer, who was born and raised in the Sarasota-Manatee region. “I am passionate about exposing our community to the concepts of diversity and inclusion and helping create a world where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. I worked closely with Embracing our Differences through my role at The Jewish Federation and have always shared its values and mission.”


Michael Shelton, Embracing Our Difference's executive director, says that Wertheimer will work with the organization's leadership to ensure the continuity of its mission as the program enters its 11th-year anniversary season. “We’re privileged to have Sarah working with us,” he says. "Her years of fundraising and strategic planning experience, combined with her progressive outlook, will provide the level of leadership it will take to guide our organization forward into the next 10 years."


Since 2004, downtown Sarasota's Island Park has been the backdrop for Embracing Our Differences’ colorful, larger-than-life canvases integrating powerful imagery and thought-provoking messages celebrating diversity. The scale and impact of this outdoor exhibition has continued to grow since its inception. In 2006, a second exhibit debuted in North Port. In 2013, the organization marked its tenth anniversary with an expansion of the exhibit to the Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton.


In addition to the annual outdoor exhibits, Embracing Our Differences' other programs include free bus transportation for area students and teachers to the exhibits and other cultural venues, teacher workshops and retreats designed to provide teachers with diversity curriculums for use throughout the school year, and student docent programs that provide student-led tours of the annual exhibit.


The 2014 exhibitions are set for March 30 to June 2, 2014, for Sarasota’s Island Park and Bradenton's Riverwalk. For more information about this exhibit or Embracing Our Differences, please call 941-404-5710 or visit

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