If you follow me, you know I am a big supporter of WaterAid America. I’ve written about their work. I’ve donated to them. I’ve seen their work first hand in Nicaragua. I’ve become friends with some of their staff in New York.
So I had to share this wonderful news because I love when strong female leaders are recognized, especially in the nonprofit sector.
This week, WaterAid announced that Sarina Prabasi, chief executive of WaterAid America and co-founder of Buunni Coffee, was named a 2016 ‘Woman of Influence’ by the New York Business Journal.
Seventy nine extraordinary women from business, tech, science and nonprofits were selected for their track records as leaders “who innovate, succeed and pay it forward”. The award is part of the American City Business Journals’ national effort to celebrate those who put a premium on mentoring and supporting the next generation of women leaders.
In addition to Sarina, other honorees included Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez, Partnership for New York City president and CEO Kathryn Wylde, GlamSquad CEO Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Skylight Group founder and CEO Jennifer Blumin, startup investor Joanne Wilson, and Yahoo chief revenue officer Lisa Utzschneider.
“Day in and day out, WaterAid is proving that clean water, toilets and hygiene are the essential ingredients for a world where girls are able to attend and stay in school, women have the time to start and run small businesses, and half of the world’s hospital beds are no longer filled by people suffering from preventable water-related diseases.
“I am incredibly proud of the work we do at WaterAid, and I am honored to be recognized by the New York business community in this way,” commented Sarina.
Sarina was appointed chief executive of WaterAid America in May 2014. Over the course of the last year, the organization worked with local partners to reach two million people with clean water, three million people with toilets and sanitation, and over eight million people with hygiene education. Under Sarina’s leadership, WaterAid has been recognized by GuideStar’s Philanthropedia as the number one ranked international water and sanitation nonprofit.
In addition to her work at WaterAid, Sarina and her husband Elias Gurmu co-founded Buunni Coffee in 2011, and opened Café Buunni in 2012, NYC’s first Ethiopian coffee shop, located in Washington Heights. The growing company blends Prabasi’s strong social sector experience with Gurmu’s entrepreneurial track record and is launching its second New York City location this year.
Sarina was also recently named by both Fortune and Food & Wine magazines as one of the ‘Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink’. She was recognized, in part, because of her reputation as a trailblazer and mentor for women interested in pursuing top leadership positions while also balancing busy family lives. A proud mother of two young girls, Sarina has been praised for providing exceptional support and encouragement to the nearly 25% of WaterAid staff in the US who similarly have young children at home.
Congrats to you, Sarina!
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.