Kitty Martinez

After graduating from Florida State University with a B.S. in Spanish Education and induction into the Spanish and English honorary societies, Kitty earned her MAT degree in English at Rollins College and received a fellowship to teach English at the school.

Kitty Martinez is a lifelong community volunteer and has a special interest in spreading the Catholic faith and its values. In 2018 Kitty was named a Dame of St. Gregory. Currently, she serves on the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She has served as vice-president of Una Fides, a Catholic ministry involved in educational and spiritual outreach to large groups of women. Currently, she runs the Una Fides Catholic book club.

She has also been involved in issues that uplift children. She loved her hands on-time with students when she taught religion in her parish, and later when she was able to convince an Orlando prep school to let her start a Spanish program in the lower school.

Kitty has been particularly active in the development and creation of programs that help high school-age children face the pressures of adolescence. She started a proactive prevention program for drug, violence, and alcohol, WEEKENDS, at Bishop Moore Catholic High school in Orlando. During the five-year period in which Kitty ran the program as a volunteer, 2,500 young adults benefited at that high school alone.

In order to help troubled youth, Kitty served on the Governing Board of Directors of the National House of Hope, based in Orlando, giving hope and a second chance to troubled teens by in rebuilding their lives.

In addition to hands-on work, Kitty has also been an active fundraiser for youth-related causes. Serving as the chairperson of the Capital Fundraising Campaign for B.E.T.A. (Birth Education Training and Assistance) House in Orlando, she helped raise well over $2.3 million. BETA helped teenage mothers to get an education and learn how to support and care for their babies.

During her time in Washington, she served as co-chair for the Best Friends Foundation annual fundraiser, and also served on its National Board of Trustees. Best Friends works with over 4,000 teens in more than 70 inner-city middle and high schools, providing young people the skills, guidance, and support to choose abstinence from sex until marriage and to reject illegal drug and alcohol use.

Immersed in D.C. life, Kitty worked with the international community, promoting good relations with foreign countries. She served as President of the International Neighbors Club, reaching out to spouses of the diplomatic corps in Washington. She has also served as co-chair of both the Ambassadors and Meridian balls in the capitol city, reaching out to and supporting the diplomatic community. Kitty also served as Senior Vice President of the Florida House in Washington

Mel and Kitty have been married for 53 years, and have three children, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Hobbies include playing duplicate bridge, gardening, playing croquet and reading.