The Professional Women’s Roundtable of Philadelphia will present its PoWeR Award to Trinity alumna Gloria M. Guard ’67, president of the People’s Emergency Center, on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. The People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s oldest and most comprehensive organization serving homeless women, children and teenaged girls. The PoWeR Award annually honors a woman in the greater Philadelphia region who has shown a commitment to helping junior women advance in their careers, as well as a dedication to her profession and community.
During her 26 years as head of People’s Emergency Center (PEC), which annually serves 400 homeless women and children, Guard has overseen $80 million in revenue and transformed the organization from a volunteer-run homeless shelter into a service-rich non-profit with a spinoff community development corporation and a workforce of 80. More than 90% of PEC’s shelter and transitional housing residents remain self-sufficient after graduating from the agency’s programs.
Under Guard’s leadership, PEC has become a nationally recognized model. In addition to launching innovative initiatives, including the state’s first one-stop service center to help homeless parents move from welfare to work, PEC has pioneered community development programs bringing the benefits of new technologies to impoverished areas. A joint program with One Economy is giving 250-plus low-income households access to computers, training and internet service, and creating the city’s first neighborhood based wireless hotspot. Guard’s relentless work on behalf of the city’s most vulnerable citizens previously earned her The Philadelphia Award, an honor reserved for the city’s most notable philanthropists, artists, political visionaries and social activists.
Founded in 2002, the Professional Women’s Roundtable is a nonprofit organization dedicated to networking, leadership and education for the Philadelphia region’s emerging women business leaders. PWR hosts monthly networking and leadership programs for participants to acquire and hone business development and other professional skills; expand and strengthen their professional network, including their referral base; and meet and cultivate new business prospects and resources.