Teresa Marie Hernandez


“Terry Hernandez has been raising the expectations of and from women’s organizations, assuring our voices are loudly heard locally, nationally and even internationally.”
—Renee Hardman, 2012

Terry Hernandez is often sought as an expert on issues facing girls and women and is a role model for those making a difference in the community. Born in 1956 in West Union, Iowa, she attended Iowa State University and later completed a Bachelor's Degree in Management and Marketing at Upper Iowa University. While she met notable success working as a public relations manager for Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Farm Bureau Insurance and United Bank Savings and Loan and later as metro director of public relations and marketing of YMCA of Greater Des Moines, her most exceptional accomplishments have come from her work with the Chrysalis Foundation. Hired as the first Chrysalis staff person in 1997, Hernandez worked tirelessly to transform the foundation's role as "funder" to "investor," and ultimately "partner" with community organizations around the state that work to assure the financial stability and independence of women and girls. In 1998, she created Chrysalis After-School, a program now serving hundreds of adolescent girls in more than two dozen metro area elementary and middle schools. In 2006, Hernandez established the Women's Alliance, a partnership of organizations sharing knowledge and best practices and exploring avenues of collaboration to support girls and women in the Greater Des Moines area. More than 10 years ago, Hernandez led the formation of what is now the Central Iowa Funders Forum, a partnership of public and private grant making organizations in Greater Des Moines that discuss issues and share ideas on philanthropy and community development. Terry Hernandez has had a significant impact on the lives of women and girls in Iowa throughout her career and through her leadership of the Chrysalis Foundation. She was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012.