Today, Betsy Bernard is focused on the impact that Family Promise can have on a national level. But her first exposure to the organization was at the local level.
“I was familiar with Family Promise through my own parish,” Bernard said. “It was through them that I learned about the organization’s work.”
Bernard is the board chair for Family Promise, which means she is the presiding officer over the Family Promise board of directors. Although board meetings are focused on Family Promise’s role as a national organization, Bernard appreciates that impact exists on a grassroots level across the country.
“Our Affiliate model is a great way for providing innovative solutions to solve the issue of homelessness for families all across the Family Promise network,” Bernard said.
One of the best ways to solve the issue of homelessness is to prevent it altogether; and homelessness prevention was a major focus of Family Promise’s efforts when Bernard joined the board in late 2020.
“Preventing homelessness—especially for children—is so important,” Bernard said. “If we can prevent a child from experiencing the trauma of homelessness, it will make a significant impact on their life, their family’s life, and the well-being of their community.”
Bernard believes Family Promise is well-positioned to significantly decrease the number of children who are experiencing homelessness nationwide. She once again cites Family Promise’s Affiliate model as a key component of transforming the lives of families.
“We’re at the precipice of reaching more families,” Bernard said. “As we get better at sharing best practices amongst our Affiliates nationwide, we will begin to see more and more impact.”
Betsy Bernard is an accomplished CEO and experienced public company Board Director. As the president of AT&T in the early 2000s, she led more than 50,000 employees in a $27 billion business. For three consecutive years, Bernard was recognized as one of the United States “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine.
Bernard’s significant board experience spans over 25 years and includes United Technologies, Principal Financial Group, Serco Group plc, URS, Telular, Zimmerbiomet Holdings, and Sito Mobile. Bernard chairs the nominating committee of Zimmerbiomet Holdings and serves on its audit committee. She also serves on the board of Leap Guaranty.
Within the nonprofit sector, Bernard serves on the board of Lambda Legal and on the advisory board of The Association of LGBTQ +Board Directors.