Vitae Foundation has named Sharla Cloutier its Vice President of Development, East Region. Cloutier will be responsible for building community support in order to generate sufficient revenue in the most abortion-vulnerable markets up and down the east coast.
“We are thrilled to have Sharla join Vitae’s national fundraising team! It’s exciting to see young professionals like Sharla willing to dedicate their lives to the cause for life,” Vitae President Carl Landwehr stated. “Princeton educated, business background, with years of pro-life experience, she’s the perfect person to help Vitae build strong relationships with those who want to help with our mission of reaching women and saving lives.”
Cloutier brings with her a passion for helping pregnant women in need, experience with Pregnancy Help Centers, and management consulting experience with Accenture, a multinational company.
“As I have driven results for a number of top companies since 2007 as a management consultant, I’ll bring a similar drive and energy to Vitae, according to our shared values and mission,” the Florida native stated. “Together, we will fuel pregnancy centers with research-based media and messaging, spreading love and light, and, hopefully, ultimately, see the end of abortion altogether.”
Volunteerism in the pro-life arena has been a top priority for Cloutier since her college years as a member of Princeton Pro-Life. Since then she has counseled pregnant mothers as a volunteer at a Pregnancy Help Center and prayed on the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic in the Bronx. This experience gave her a first-hand view of the culture of death.
“I heard directly from women their hopes and dreams, struggles and setbacks. It broke my heart to think about the young lives being taken away and the mothers feeling so desperate as to turn to the violence of abortion to solve their dilemma. Abortion is the very worst thing ever successfully marketed to women by the millions, death packaged as a woman’s right to choose,” Cloutier shared.
During her first few years in New York City, Cloutier came to realize the essential role of Pregnancy Help Centers and the people who work there. It is not just in terms of the women and babies they serve, but also as the core of the greater culture of life.
“I am amazed by and thankful for the hopeful and significant work these centers do, in a city that loses tens of thousands of lives to abortion every year,” the 29-year-old pro-life advocate stated.
As a volunteer with the Sisters of Life, Cloutier assists pregnant women in a variety of capacities. She accompanied the Sisters at their Love and Life Site at World Youth Day Madrid in 2011. She also volunteers with the Archdiocese of New York Family Life/Respect Life Office. Cloutier became a LIFE Runner in 2012 to be a walking billboard for life (“Remember the Unborn”) in a city that carries the heavy burden of a 40 percent abortion rate, and teaches Sunday school at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Manhattan.
When asked how this pro-life dynamo’s experiences, both professional and personal, would help Vitae with its mission of making abortion unthinkable, Cloutier was very succinct.
“Making abortion unthinkable happens one heart at a time. I want to affirm the value of every human life from conception to natural death, including the inherent dignity of those who consider themselves pro-choice,” Cloutier shared. “We have devalued life in the womb in part because we don’t love ourselves and others as we should, and we’re not able to receive love and life as the gifts they are. I want everyone to know they are loved! This was a huge factor in helping women to choose life when I was counseling in the Bronx. If they knew they were loved and supported, it was much easier for them to make a life-affirming decision.”
Since Vitae collaborates with Pregnancy Help Centers from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale, the new East Region VP will have a large territory to cover. However, as a frequent-flyer veteran in her previous job (making 700 flights in six and a half years), she is prepared to hit the road running with a new direction and new mission, professionally speaking.
“I come to Vitae ready to serve, totally reliant on God, and grateful for the opportunity He’s given me. I offer both my heart for pregnant mothers and the unborn, and my keen business sense. I work in terms of solutions (and love), not problems (nor fear). I analyze and strategize based on data and proven methods,” Cloutier explained. “I can’t wait to get out there and meet Vitae donors, both to share Vitae’s media campaigns and to gather ideas and local successes from our donors up and down the East Coast. Together, we are winning!”
A native of Niceville, Fla., Cloutier is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jim Cloutier. She is the oldest of four children. She graduated from Princeton with a BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. While in college she played four years of Division I golf, being selected for a month-long NCAA All-Star Orient golf tour.
Cloutier replaces Thomas Cronquist, who worked Vitae’s East Region for 10 years and recently took another job. “As Vitae’s first Development Director in that market, we thank Tom for his years of dedication in building a Vitae presence there and for his on-the-ground research that helped take our communication strategies to a new level. We wish him well in his new position,” Landwehr stated.