The 2024 Water Safety Season Toolkit Is Now Live



Board Build
Chief Executive Officer

Pam Cannell has dedicated her entire career to nonprofit leadership and board governance, playing an active role in the nonprofit community for over 25 years.

As the President and CEO of BoardBuild, Pam leads efforts to strengthen communities through the training and matching of emerging and established leaders with qualified nonprofit boards.

She is passionate about creating opportunity through collaboration and demonstrates her commitment as Chair of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Founder of the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition, and a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth where she serves as chair of the
membership committee. Pam is also an engaged member of the Women’s Policy Forum, UPWARD Women, ReflectUS Texas Leadership Council, and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. She is a proud member of the YMCA of the Rockies Spirit Society and The Nature Conservancy’s Legacy Club.

As a respected board governance thought leader and sought-after speaker, Pam enjoys contributing to relevant and meaningful conversations on board diversity, addressing equity gaps, and empowering social sector leadership. Her work has been published in NonprofitPRO, Philanthropy News Digest, Inside Charity, and other industry publications.



As folks began to gather at the inaugural NDPA Research Summit in September there was an air of excitement knowing that collaboration to address research needs around the layers of protection will undoubtedly begin to reveal the most effective strategies for water safety and drowning prevention.  While there were many familiar faces in the room, there were several I did not know.  In particular was a mother who had suffered great loss and whose child’s story was critical to the conversation that day.  As I introduced myself to this brave woman, she expressed concern that she did not have the right credentials to be in the room.  Her humility touched me as there was no one more deserving of inclusion that day than this mother.  She, more than anyone, knows that there is more work to be done.  

We live in a world of immense beauty and deep pain, and sometimes it can be a challenge to be hopeful, but we must.  In order to achieve our highest possibilities as a community, and as people who love one another we should take a moment to examine ourselves and truly continue the important work that we do every day.  Our work is that light that shines in the darkness.  Our work is what brings comfort to so many.  We can be the example of what is possible; people who do not shy away from the hard conversations, or the hard work.