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Annabelle Gardner

Director

Annabelle Gardner Headshot

Annabelle believes young people can change the world. She saw this first-hand when she worked with youth to fight for quality mental health care in California, expanding services to thousands of youth in foster care. At Spitfire, she’s proud to partner with clients like Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, and Dove to promote the health and well-being of young people so they can be the leaders of today.

With expertise in strategic communications, coalition building, advocacy, and event planning, Annabelle helps organizations gain supporters, raise money, and spark change. A firm believer in the power of lived experience, she helps organizations tell stories that change attitudes and inspire action. Annabelle also has a knack for distilling complicated ideas into actionable information – whether she’s writing a blog post or press release or facilitating training. She also co-leads Spitfire’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, which helps ensure the firm lives its values and supports its clients to build a more just world.

Prior to joining Spitfire, Annabelle co-founded Young Minds Advocacy, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that advocates for increased access to quality mental health care for youth and their families. As the director of communications and development, she led the organization’s efforts to reduce stigma towards mental illness and empower youth and their allies to influence mental health policy in California. She managed two statewide collaborative projects, funded through the Mental Health Services Act, to engage transition-age youth, parents, and caregivers in California’s mental health systems. Applying her grant writing and project management skills, she also secured and managed a year-long grant from the hope and grace fund to address the unique mental health needs of young women. Annabelle also provided strategic communication support to the California Youth Connection (CYC), a foster youth-led organization that transforms the foster care system through legislative and policy change. Most notably, she led the redesign of CYC’s website to increase the visibility of the organization, engage target audiences, and promote the voices of foster youth.

The daughter of a volcanologist, Annabelle grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii and in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from the University of Oregon’s International Studies, Human Rights program with a minor in Latin American studies.