Nonprofits First
Hats Off Nonprofit Awards - 2017
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Nonprofit of the Year (small budget)

MyClinic of Jupiter


Nonprofit of the Year (medium budget)

Best Foot Forward Foundation


Nonprofit of the Year (large budget)

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County


Volunteer of the Year

Ava Goldstone - Miracle League of Palm Beach County


Nonprofit Professional of the Year

Kate Watt - Susan G. Komen South Florida


Nonprofit Executive of the Year

Renee Layman - Center for Child Counseling


People's Choice Award

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County


West Palm Beach, FL (October 3, 2017) - The inaugural “Hats Off Nonprofit Awards” hosted by Nonprofits First, Inc. honored 114 nominees from Palm Beach County at the Harriet Himmel Theatre in downtown West Palm Beach. Over 300 guests were in attendance at this unique hat-themed cocktail reception to support and take their “hats off” to the nominees representing 78 charities.

A blue-ribbon panel of 28 community leaders from the public and private sectors determined the winners. Honorees in the 7 categories were not announced until the awards program, contributing to the anticipation and excitement of this celebratory event – the first ever awards program of its kind in Palm Beach County.

Seven honorees were announced by Emcee Daniel Gibson, a nonprofit professional with deep Palm Beach County roots. Presenting the awards were Nonprofits First CEO, Jessica Cecere, and Board President, Deana Pizzo (I.T. Solutions of South Florida.)

Nonprofit of the Year was awarded to MyClinic of Jupiter (Small), Best Foot Forward Foundation (Medium), and Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County (Large). Seventeen-year-old Ava Goldstone from the Miracle League of Palm Beach County was honored as the Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year. Nonprofit Professional of the Year went to Susan G. Komen South Florida Executive Director Kate Watt for her many years of work at the Urban League of Palm Beach County. Renee Layman from the Center for Child Counseling received the Nonprofit Executive of the Year Award. Three hundred and twenty Hats Off attendees voted for the People’s Choice Award, selecting Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County for their outstanding work.

“The Hats Off Nonprofit Awards will have lasting impact and reward the nonprofit community for their dedication to service and the business of doing good. Nonprofits are an economic driver in Palm Beach County, providing over 30,000 jobs. It’s time we give them the recognition they deserve and Nonprofits First is proud to do it,” said CEO of Nonprofits First, Jessica Cecere.

Proceeds raised from this unique event benefit Nonprofits First Education Programs and Rising Leaders. These programs focus on the professional development, leadership, and training the nonprofit community volunteers and employees need to lead and succeed.

For more than 11 years, Nonprofits First, Inc. has been the leading resource for strengthening the administrative and operational capacity of nonprofit organizations in the community. Comprised of experienced professionals, consultants and volunteers, the vision of Nonprofits First is a community in which all nonprofits achieve their highest level of success..


Award Categories




Stetson Sponsor


Fedora Sponsor


Boater Sponsors



Michele L Gurto, CPA


Fascinator Sponsors


Friends of Hats Off Sponsors


Jessica Cecere

Rent A Techie


Media Sponsor

Photography Sponsor

Printing Sponsor



Phil DiComo - Haile, Shaw & Pfaffenberger, PA

Michele Gurto - Michele Gurto CPA

Mae Ferguson - Ideabar/Cox Media Group

Bessie Phillips - Wells Fargo & Co.

Christine Pitts - Toshiba Business Solutions

Mark Montgomery - Celedinas Insurance Group

André Varona - Varona Insights


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