Policy Center leader honored for decades of work

Policy Center leader honored for decades of work
Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty, Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, president and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, and Inger Geraghty, Policy Center board member

Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, president and chief executive officer of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, was honored on Jan. 10 when a room at the Center was dedicated in her name.

When a naming opportunity arose at the nonprofit located in the Jessie Ball duPont Center, Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty and his wife, Inger, jumped at it, said Tayloe McDonald, the Policy Center’s director of strategic planning and public affairs.

“Pat and Inger have done a tremendous amount for the community, and for the Policy Center in particular. Corporately, Florida Blue has been our lead sponsor for our 2016 See The Girl luncheon and Inger was the chair. They did a phenomenal job but wanted to do more,” said McDonald.

At the ribbon-cutting and reception, Inger Geraghty spoke about the couple’s decision to name the family room after Dr. Ravoira.

“As we were trying to think of a name that would represent See The Girl, the person that kept coming into our minds was Lawanda,” said Geraghty. “It was her vision to create the program. And I don’t think anyone represents their mission better than Lawanda. She is out in the community, she is with the girls, she is fighting in Tallahassee, she is doing everything to bring this forward.”

Dr. Ravoira helped launch a focused reform initiative nearly 20 years ago, which resulted in Florida legislation requiring gender-specific services in the juvenile justice system.

The space allows families who are receiving therapies and other services to come and feel comfortable and nurtured. The room’s placard honoring Dr. Lawanda Ravoira includes a quote by Maya Angelou: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

“We feel the quote really honors the spirit of the work we do at the Policy Center and the work that Lawanda has done over decades, not just for Florida, but for the nation and internationally,” said McDonald.

“There has never been a time that we have asked that you haven’t stepped up or, if you did say ‘No’ you made us better, forcing us to step back and think about what we were asking and what we really needed,” said Dr. Ravoira to the Geraghtys in her remarks. “Our work also wouldn’t happen without the community. All of you who are here are part of this journey and care deeply about our girls. This community has come together and embraced our girls in several ways and as a result we see girls’ lives changing every day.”

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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