Katie McGill, the executive director of Dress for Success Tampa Bay, died “suddenly and unexpectedly” on Saturday, the organization helping women get access to professional clothing posted on social media. She was 62.
The organization did not disclose the cause of her death.
McGill was known for her power to help. During her life, she volunteered and worked for many nonprofits, always focused on how to offer opportunities to women in need. That could mean teaching a skill, offering an outfit for a job interview or simply lending an ear to make someone feel less alone.
Her devotion to the community drew notice again and again through awards but also the personal stories shared between those who knew McGill’s warmth. Some of her honors included being named The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Community Hero and winning The Tampa Bay Rays’ Breaking Barriers award.
“Katie served with passion and compassion every single day. She was such a special friend and I’m thankful for the years we had together,” said Dress for Success Tampa Bay board president Laurell Jones.
Beyond her role at Dress for Success, McGill spent 9 years volunteering for the Hillsborough County Women’s Correctional Facility and 20 years volunteering with the Crisis Center of Tampa.
“Even when you’re going through your own thing you can still help someone,” McGill told the Times in 2012.
Sixteen years ago, McGill became Dress for Success’ executive director, after founder Pat Ellington asked her to take over. At that point she was a well-known volunteer and had deep experience in nonprofit work. She had spent 10 years at the Centre for Women helping women who were unemployed or underemployed.
As a strategic leader, she was instrumental in creating meaningful programs and initiatives to support women in their journeys towards economic independence,” stated chief executive officer of Dress for Success Michele Meyer-Shipp. “She was our shining light, she will be missed, and we will never forget her. In our daily work, we will continue to press forward in honor of her legacy.”