Yolette Bonnet is the CEO of FoundCare, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center in West Palm Beach. She oversees 150+ employees, a board of directors, and a budget in the tens of millions. Yolette holds an accounting degree from City University of New York and a master’s in business administration.
Favorite quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead
Fun fact: I love to dance! I competed in dance competitions when I was in high school and still enjoy busting a move every now and then.
How do you unwind after a long day of work? After a long day of work, I like to go home and enjoy a quiet moment to myself or spend quality time with my grandchildren.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? Being underestimated has been the biggest challenge I have faced throughout my career. It has also been my biggest motivator. When no one thinks you’ll reach your goal or accomplish your dreams, you stop worrying about what other people think and just go for it. People get to see who I really am and what I’m made of when I do more than what they thought I was capable of doing.
What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? The most monumental moment of my career has been building FoundCare, a nonprofit organization that served 3,000 patients during its first year of service with a 3-million-dollar budget, and successfully growing it into an organization that now serves over 18,000 patients with a 40-million-dollar budget (2019).
Who are your role models? My mom is my role model because she instilled in me the ambition to succeed. Any woman who has been undermined or underestimated and rose to the occasion to prove their naysayers wrong by accomplishing what they set out to achieve, is a role model to me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? “If you’re running a race, stop worrying about what’s behind you” is one of the best pieces of advice I have received throughout my career. In order to be successful and reach the goals you set out to achieve, you can’t keep looking at the past or you’ll derail yourself from the goals that are within reach right in front of you.
What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? ‘Be true to yourself’ is the best advice I can give to a young woman at the start of her career. It’s important to listen and learn from others throughout your career but it’s also important to remember not to let other people define who you are. Don’t change who you are, don’t worry about pleasing other people, and most importantly, don’t pay any attention to what other people think about you.
How has being a woman impacted your career? Being a woman, especially a woman of color, has impacted my career for the better. As a woman, I see the world in a completely different way than a man does. Naturally having a nurturing and empathetic personality has allowed me to better understand my staff and their needs. As a working mother, I am able to multi-task and get things done because I’ve mastered the skill of balancing work and home life. I understand our patients better because I know first-hand how they feel when one of their loved ones is sick or needs care. I am able to listen intently and speak softly but I also know when I have to be firm and uncompromising.