Debbie Watson joined the Winter Park Health Foundation in 1994 as Executive Director of Community Relations. Since 2000, Ms. Watson has served as the organization’s Vice President supporting program planning, development and administration; grants management; research and evaluation; as well as communications and community relations.
An experienced communications professional, Ms. Watson graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in psychology and mass communications.
An almost-native Floridian, Ms. Watson grew up in Sarasota, but has been involved in business in Central Florida for close to 30 years. She was Director of Public Relations for Orlando-area Hyatt Hotel properties and later for Robinsons Inc., an Orlando-based, full-service marketing firm for tourism interests from around the world.
Ms. Watson and her husband, Lee Watson, launched and operated Watson Communications from April 1983 to August 1989 when she became an independent consultant for Winter Park Memorial Hospital and later joined the staff as Director of Marketing and Community Relations.
Ms. Watson has been involved in numerous community activities and organizations over the years including her current engagement in the Winter Park YMCA Board of Directors, the Central Florida Donor’s Forum, the Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center, the Orange County Health Planning Partnership and the Orange County League of Women Voters.
Passionate about the health of children and committed to belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students, Ms Watson is the Chairman of the School Health Advisory Council in Orange County and is active on various task forces related to student/school health and wellness. She has been appointed to and serves on the Florida School Health & Education Consortium.
Ms. Watson is a member of several national organizations that support community health and philanthropy including Grantmakers in Health, The Communications Network, Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families and the Association for Community Health Improvement.