On a train headed to Washington DC to watch one of our nation’s most time-honored ceremonies, the Presidential Inauguration, Stefanie Pontlitz took some time during the seventeen-hour journey to share a bit of her story with us.
A lifelong resident of New Port Richey, Stefanie attended school here and was quick to offer “shouts-out” to her alma maters: Cypress and Deer Park Elementary Schools, and River Ridge Middle and High Schools. The teachers at these schools have a great deal about which to be proud of their former student, too.
Stefanie excelled as a student at Florida State University, earning degrees in Communications, Business and Finance. She has successfully navigated jobs in finance and banking, and has continued following her professional passion as a member, or an executive, of various non-profit organizations here in Pasco County.
Stefanie was promoted in November, from Vice President of Resource Development for United Way of Pasco County, to Chief Operating Officer. She serves as President of Leadership Pasco; she is on the Board of Directors of SPCA Suncoast; she is Trinity Rotarian; and she belongs to a small fundraising group known as the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Stefanie lives by the Rotarian motto: “Service Above Self, is the basis of my daily life and to be surrounded by people who believe in giving back, as well as having fun, there’s nothing better.”
She continued, “I’ve lived and grown in Pasco County the majority of my life, and I plan to spend the rest of it here too. It’s important to me that the people I know and love, my neighbors, my family, my classmates, and my friends, are provided with the best quality of life, and that resources are available should any of them need it. I’m proud to be part of the Pasco community and there is no better way to create an impact than through United Way.”
Stefanie’s primary goal as COO at United Way is to expand their mission to support more programs and ultimately help more residents in Pasco. Stefanie’s vision is to expand the traditional campaign to include more local businesses, and grow their new Small Business Partnership initiative. This initiative is new to United Way, but it allows small businesses a focused, affordable way to maximize their charitable giving. Since January 1st, United Way has already added five small businesses to their support base.
In 2005, Stefanie returned to Pasco County to work as a financial advisor. During that time, she started networking and joined the West Pasco Young Professionals Group. It was at a YPG meeting that she met two young professionals that would change her life forever. They introduced Stefanie to their best friend, Derek, who would eventually become her husband.
Derek is a financial advisor with his own firm, Pontlitz Asset Advisors, located on Main Street in New Port Richey. Stefanie and Derek were married in Sorrento, Italy in 2011 and have been together almost nine years. They are parents to two rescued dogs, a German shepherd, Magnum, and a lab mix, Kimber.
Stefanie confessed, “My husband and I both work very hard at our jobs, long hours and weekends occasionally. On top of that we both sit on various boards and volunteer, so our family life often crosses over to our careers. I’m lucky to have found someone who believes in giving back to our county as much as I do.”
Both she and Derek are Florida State Seminoles fans, so they often take time in the fall to attend football games. They both love to travel, too, but they don’t always get to do much of that with their commitment to their families, jobs, and community.
Many thanks, Stefanie for all of your hard work for our residents through United Way of Pasco County, as well as your many noble endeavors!
By Debra Taylor Tee | It’s Your Home Magazine | 727-709-9541 | www.ItsYourHomeMagazine.com