Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Prominent Fort Myers children and family nonprofit names new CEO

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida is making a leadership change that will take effect this summer.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida had $7.74 million in assets in 2022.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida had $7.74 million in assets in 2022.
Courtesy image
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
  • Share

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida has announced the appointment of Stephanie Wardein as its new president and CEO, effective July 15. 

Wardein repleaces Laura Ragain, who is retiring, according to a statement. 

Wardein is currently the system director of community affairs for Lee Health, where she has worked since 2012, according to a statement from Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida (RMHC).

In addition, Wardein has served in state and local board leadership positions, including the Patient and Family Advisory Council for Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, LARC and Franklin Park Community Partnership School.

Stephanie Wardein
Courtesy image

“Her proven track record and deep passion for improving the lives of children and families position her as a perfect fit to carry forward and expand the mission of RMHC Southwest Florida,” the statement from RMHC says.

Ragain, meanwhile, has led RMHC for 14 years and “driven remarkable progress,” according to the statement from RMHC. Among the accomplishments under Ragain, who is retiring officially at the end of September: She helped establish a Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Golisano Children's Hospital, she oversaw the addition of a second care mobile provider, and the Ronald McDonald House underwent a complete renovation in 2016 and expansion in 2020 that doubled the number of rooms available for families.

RMHC provides services for families whose children need health care through three core programs: the Ronald McDonald house, which offers lodging, meals and other supportive services; the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Golisano Children’s Hospital, which has food, laundry facilities and a relaxation area; and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program, which provides dental care for underserved children on wheels through two health care providers. The organization had $7.74 million in assets in 2022, according to public tax filings. 



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

Latest News


Special Offer: Only $1 Per Week For 1 Year!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.
Join thousands of executives who rely on us for insights spanning Tampa Bay to Naples.