Celebrating the Woman NextDoor: Pam Gould Advocates for Uninsured Families

photo of Pam Gould, this month's Celebrating the Woman Next Door Nominee

For over 30 years, Pam Gould has created community partnerships and programs to improve daily life for Central Floridians.

As CEO of Shepherd’s Hope, she is powering the non-profit’s impact, providing free life-saving medical services to uninsured and under-insured individuals and families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. In 2021, through Shepherd’s Hope, $17 million of healthcare services were provided to individuals in the healthcare crisis.

Gould, a school board member, helped craft the pandemic learning options and safety measures for Orange County students to succeed. Her recent awards and recognition include: 2022 I 4 Business Spirit of Community, 2022 Leadership Seminole Class 31 Graduate, 2021 Orlando Business Journal Community Impact Hero.

What is your WHY? 

My why is to make things better through a career focused on service through facilitating connections between others and causes in a way that improves someone’s life and prospects.  At the end of my time, I never want to say “What if I had…”

On your toughest of days, what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other?

I keep the end result in mind – the purpose of the mission clears the clutter of any crisis. My ability to look beyond the moment is one of my divine gifts.

Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.

Many women have inspired and mentored me. It started with my mother, Elynor Boraski. Elynor was the first salaried woman at Crane and Co corporate, a great singer, a woman with great drive and cheerleader.  She instilled in me the ability to conquer fear and follow my dreams, however, passed last year at 97. My mother was a trailblazer, in a day when women’s roles were very limited. She proved her skills and talents and was promoted accordingly over the years.

In New York City, I learned a great deal about managing entrepreneurial companies and the importance of nurturing relationships, human interactions in general, prioritization and strategy from Hal Prince’s company president, Arlene Caruso. More recently, I am inspired, counseled and challenged by female leaders including the women in top roles at Shepherd’s Hope, my fellow OCPS School Board Members, and dear friends like Stina D’Uva (President of West Orange Chamber) and Deb Linden (Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year recipient and owner of The Vineyard Wine Bar & Healthy Bistro). I have had many male mentors who supported my career and development as a leader as well.

What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?

Imaginative

Would you change anything about how you have handled challenges or successes thus far in your life?

Absolutely, for challenges, I continue to work on being more deliberate to consider multiple options and create better approaches. I have also learned the value of sleep and the role it plays in providing your best self.

I want to take more time to celebrate with my team and family before moving quickly to the next goal and project. 

What are you most proud of?

Personally, I am proud to be married to my high school sweetheart John Gould, and of Gregory and Matthew, our two smart and creative sons who have grown into wonderful young men.  John and I both subscribe to a service philosophy; he is this year’s JA Volunteer of the Year and he was recently awarded The Walt Disney Legacy Award.

From a career perspective, I am proud to have been part of Hal Prince’s team when he created many masterpieces including opening Phantom of the Opera; being the youngest Off-Broadway Theatre Managing Director at the Vietnam Veterans Ensemble Theatre Company (VETCO) in New York City at 25 years old; ensuring school nurses were funded in local schools; opening 15 new schools to date in OCPS District 4; and championing many new and expanded certifications in skills and career training for K-12 and adult students.

At Shepherd’s Hope, I am proud that throughout the pandemic, my team and volunteers developed innovative ways to serve uninsured Central Floridians in need of medical treatment. We helped thousands of families avoid health crises through treatment at our Health Centers, the addition of telehealth and the expansion of interventive health programs.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it? 

My husband, friends and I invested in rental properties prior to the “great recession.”  Sadly, this was not a good investment for us. This taught me to pursue things I am passionate about, not the “flavor of the time.”  It was hard to balance my career and put in the time necessary for managing multiple properties. Real estate investment was not our forte. The great news is we kept our relationships in the forefront and we all rode it out together. Our dear friends are still family to us, and John and I are still married.

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In partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we are recognizing a woman in our community each month who is selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and/or building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women near and far.

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Written by Staff Writer

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