New onePULSE Foundation executive director has history with nonprofits, public tragedy

Deborah Bowie was appointed to oversee day-to-day operations at organization

OnePULSE Foundation picks new executive director

ORLANDO, Fla. – onePULSE Foundation appointed a new leader to help in preserving the legacy of the 49 killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016, officials announced Tuesday.

Deborah Bowie was appointed as the nonprofit’s new executive director on the heels of the foundation announcing a new three-year strategic plan, which focuses on completing the National Pulse Memorial & Museum and Orlando Health Survivors Walk by 2026.

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“I am honored and privileged to serve as Executive Director of onePULSE Foundation,” Bowie said in a statement. “I look forward to working with our exceptionally talented staff and board members, our dedicated partners, and the community, to help drive onePULSE’s mission to create and support a memorial that opens hearts, a museum that opens minds, educational programs that open eyes and legacy scholarships that open doors.”

Bowie, who has previous nonprofit experience in Gainesville and Birmingham, Alabama, will oversee the foundation’s “day-to-day operations, including staff, budget, fundraising, volunteers, task force, data, contracts, community and client relations and programs, and all office administrative needs for the organization.”

She will report to the Chairman of the Board.

Bowie also understands what highly publicized tragedies feel like. She had her own brush with that when her sister was shot and killed in a 1994 triple homicide in Miramar.

“I, too, understand what it means to have to rebuild every aspect of who you are after such a life-changing tragedy. It is with this additional sense of purpose, and drawing on my own personal grief journey, that I will strive to continue the advancement of onePULSE’s incredible work,” Bowie said in a news release.

The foundation’s leaders, including Barbara Poma, founder of onePULSE, and Earl Crittenden, chairman of the onePULSE Foundation Board of Trustees, had a hand in selecting Bowie. She was unanimously voted in by their Executive Director Selection Committee to stand at the helm of the organization’s national fundraising and story-keeping efforts.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Deborah as our Executive Director,” Earl Crittenden, chairman of the onePULSE Foundation Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “Deborah’s depth of knowledge and breadth of experience, combined with her strategic vision, and unwavering dedication and passion, makes her uniquely qualified to lead onePULSE into this next stage of our journey to realize the National Pulse Memorial & Museum.”

To learn more about Bowie and the onePULSE Foundation, click here.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.