Women of Influence Article Proof

Women of Influence Article Proof

ANDREA VIRGIN, PE, LEED AP

PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

What charities are you involved in and why?

I am the founding and current President of the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation, a non-profit initiative to build a state-of-the-art hub for arts, culture, technology, and education
in Florida’s Gold Coast region. As a former professional ballerina turned land development engineer, I feel grateful to fuse these passions into a meaningful cause. A few things drove my passion for this project: First was to build a world-class venue that mirrored the local cultural organizations, of which I am a product of. Secondly, this use was promised decades ago in Mizner Park, but never fully materialized – until now. Lastly, my late husband, also a native, was a commercial developer who wanted to positively impact the South Florida landscape. He tragically passed at 31 and I vowed to try and live out his legacy. This Center will
be a landmark project that will spur further redevelopment and investment, which is exactly what he always wanted to do.

What advice would you give to other women looking to make a difference?

Make sure to do everything with passion. It will get people to back you; it will turn those you speak with into ambassadors for your cause; it will motivate you to do the mundane tasks surrounding your initiative, and it will give you the emotional stamina you need to see your vision to the finish line.

What is the best advice you ever received? And who gave you that advice?

My favorite advice came from a coffee mug I bought at Home Goods. It was a Nelson Mandela quote that reads “It always seems impossible, until it’s done.” This reminds me every day to just keep at it and that eventually our dreams will come true.