Margaret M. Geltner


Margaret Geltner

Executive Director
Pace Center for Girls, Lee County, FL

Meg is widely recognized as an accomplished leader, respected for her tireless work in Southwest Florida in the areas of human and social services. She leads by inspiring vision, offering direction, and supporting individual and collective views. She has dedicated her service to the welfare of humanity and works to eradicate poverty.

Meg has been a pioneer in the social work profession developing programs including residential and outpatient services for rehabilitation, affordable housing and a primary care clinic. She was instrumental in opening the first respite care center for uninsured patients released from acute care in our local hospital system.

Meg’s advocacy work both statewide and locally has made lasting changes over the years to the health of the disadvantaged through advocacy, education, and research. She successfully testified before the Judicial Committee in Tallahassee advocating a change to the Good Samaritan Act allowing health care coverage at no charge throughout the state for primary care clinics serving people experiencing homelessness.

Meg’s impact on our community has been awarded through recognition in her work leading the fight to reduce intergenerational poverty to include:

  • 2012 Winner of News Press “Hero of the Year”
  • 2007 The Salvation Army’s National Award for best program: Primary Care Clinic and Respite Care Center
  • 2001 Housing & Urban Development Continuum of Care Program: Best Practices for Comprehensive & Distinctive
  • 2010 Bob Janes Triage Center nationally recognized Best Practices Award
  • 2004 Governor’s Points of Light Award (Jeb Bush)


Currently she is the Executive Director for PACE Center for Girls, a day school program for at-risk Middle and High School girls. Meg really has faith in the mission of PACE which validates that each girl is valued, giving her the opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity, and grace.

Meg believes that any strategy to reduce intergenerational poverty must be centered on work, not welfare. It is a proven truth that work provides independence and income but also because work provides structure, dignity, and opportunities for growth in people’s lives.

Her motto is: ‘Changing the world one life at a time.’