Gretchen Beesing, LCSW, Catalyst Miami CEO
Gretchen joined Catalyst Miami in 2007, directing grassroots leadership and policy advocacy programs for more than five years. She became CEO in 2013. Gretchen’s integration of Catalyst’s social services into a solid program suite based on an effective and empowering financial coaching platform, offers asset-building strategies at each stage in our clients’ journey to prosperity. She effectively transitioned Catalyst from a financial literacy provider to an economic justice thought leader, as evidenced by our many national partnerships and demonstration programs. Other accomplishments include conceiving and piloting the Florida Thrives executive leadership program; hosting the annual Poverty Solutions Summit, which draws hundreds of civic leaders; and leading the organization's exploration of climate change as an economic justice issue. Under Gretchen’s leadership, Catalyst Miami leads a consortium of partners to design and implement Florida’s first universal children’s savings program, Future Bound Miami. Future Bound Miami launched in November 2019 with a subset of Miami-Dade County Public Schools and will expand until every kindergartener entering the district each year has access to a college savings account. Catalyst Miami launched a worker cooperative academy in 2020, the latest addition to its platform of wealth-building initiatives, and first foray into solidarity economics.
Gretchen serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Florida Community Development Coalition. She participates on Capital One’s national Community Advisory Council, among other advisory boards. Gretchen was a 2015 American Express NGEN Fellow (Independent Sector) and a 2019 Ambassador for Health Equity (PolicyLink and FSG), and she is an alumna of the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Leaders Forum. In 2019, Gretchen was recognized by the Commonwealth Institute as a top woman leader. Gretchen is a Fulcrum Fellow with the Center for Community Investment. Gretchen is a licensed clinical social worker.