When Antoinette Klatzky co-created the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute (EFLI) in 2010, the program — an initiative of the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation — was a tiny, weeklong pilot with 11 participants. Today the program, which promotes leadership in young women through self-empowerment and activism, has grown into a year-round endeavor. Some 1,400 people were involved in 2016. Klatzky and her team have prototyped their programming to share the Irvington-based company’s leadership practices on college campuses and with high school students in Seattle and DC. And, after winning a grant from the United States Japan Foundation, they prototyped international programming for young women in Japan.
“It was so powerful to me to have this experience with women in Japan and recognize they have the same issues around confidence and leadership as we do,” Klatzky says.
What drives Klatzky — whose previous experience includes community partnership/social-justice work for Sarah Lawrence College and the White Plains YWCA — is the desire to help people stay connected to themselves, each other, and the planet. Among her other endeavors are the Choose Handloom project, a human-rights initiative designed to improve the lives of weavers in the community around the Eileen Fisher supply chain in India. Klatzky is also developing program content for Eileen Fisher’s new initiative LifeWork, an organization that supports adults on their journeys to personal growth.
The Tarrytown resident also serves as co-chair of the feminist advocacy organization Westchester Women’s Agenda, helping to provide a voice for women and children locally. “It’s been so meaningful for me to connect with women and young people in the community,” Klatzky says.