Development Officer - Annual Giving Kadlec Foundation
Favorite book? Movie?
"Watership Down," by
Favorite thing to do
What thing would people
be most surprised to learn
I actually get quite nervous
when public speaking or
meeting new people.
Anything with cheese
Current city of residence: Richland
How long have you worked for the Kadlec Foundation? 1.5 years
Briefly describe your organization:
Kadlec Foundation, on behalf of its donors, supports the work of Kadlec Regional Medical Center. It is work that's more important than ever with the increasing financial challenges facing health care.
Gifts from individuals like you allow the foundation to provide lifesaving breast cancer screenings for women in financial need, keep kids healthy, ensure our region's babies receive the finest care possible and make sure that no one faces the challenges of a neurological disorder alone.
Education and certifications:
Washington State University: Bachelor's of business administration.
Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: Growing up, I've always had a love for fun and for helping people. From Girls Scouts as a child to student government and Junior Guild while in high school to serving as philanthropy chair for my sorority in college - it's safe to say I've always had a heart for service.
However, it wasn't until after I had graduated that I discovered my love of volunteering, organizing and event planning could be made into a career.
I will be forever grateful to our local United Way office for taking a chance on me and introducing me to the world of professional fundraising. Being able to connect those in need to the services they need as well as helping connect donors to the causes they care about was absolutely amazing.
But even though I loved working for United Way, when a similar position opened at Kadlec Foundation, I knew I had found my true home.
Having a somewhat extensive medical history myself and quite literally owing my life to the Providence Health hospital system, the ability to work for Kadlec Foundation feels like everything has come full circle.
I was lucky enough to be given a second shot at life thanks to an amazing medical team but unfortunately not everyone is so fortunate with access to such resources. Through Kadlec Foundation, I am able to help bridge those gaps in care, to further connect those in need with resources they need, and to further steward the generosity of our donors toward the greatest needs facing our community.
How did you earn your first dollar?
Like most kids growing up in the 1990s, my first dollar came from a lemonade stand set up outside my childhood home. However, my mother likes to say she knew I had a mind for marketing and business at a very young age for this was no simple lemonade operation.
Throughout the spring and fall of fourth and fifth grade I would run Kid's Café out of our front yard across from Sunset View Elementary every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon selling sodas, smoothies, candy bars, pony bead bracelets, Otter Pops and more.
I made sure to constantly update the sidewalk chalk around the neighborhood directing people to our house as well as passing out flyers around school encouraging kids to stop by on their walk home.
Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how?
To say joining a health care organization during a pandemic was akin to "trial by fire" is no understatement. While I went through interviews and the hiring process for my new position pre-pandemic, my first day was actually right at the end of March 2020 and right when our country began to shut down with the budding pandemic beginning to fully take hold.
As a health care organization, we took the impending pandemic very seriously from the beginning and all non-patient facing staff able to work from home were encouraged to do so.
This meant that beyond just the general first day tasks of setting up email and reviewing company policies, I also had to quickly figure out how to best work from home and how to remain collaborative despite never meeting many my fellow co-workers in person.
I often joke that I never realized just how un-ergonomic my couch was until it became my office for the year. For the first six months of my new job, I had yet to actually set foot into the office or even visit the Kadlec campus.
Outside of just our daily office procedures, the entire nonprofit industry was also turned on its head.
Since we were no longer able to hold events or large gatherings with which to share our message and solicit donations, we quickly had to pivot into alternate ways to reach donors and keep them connected.
Through it all, I am incredibly proud of how our community stepped up to support our efforts - from the countless local restaurants that donated meals to caregivers at both our hospital and clinic locations to our various corporate partners who converted their original event sponsor dollars to supporting our Area of Greatest Need Fund, allowing us the flexibility to further provided comfort and well-being to patients and their families as each new challenge arose.
What was your dream job as a child?
As a child, I was fully committed to becoming a real-life Disney princess, especially Belle from "Beauty and the Beast."
With our shared love of books and adventure plus the fact she's also a brunette, I thought I would be the perfect person to play her at various Disney functions.
Even though it's not entirely the same, I have still been able to somewhat fulfill my princess dreams through my work with the Academy of Children's Theatre, often volunteering as part of their Princess Breakfast fundraisers or as a strolling character at their various Family Expo events.
I also run a fashion-based Instagram, @browneyedlovely, which serves as a wonderful creative outlet, plus the perfect excuse to put on a fluffy dress or two.
Tell us about your community involvement/community service.
I have served as secretary for Mid-Columbia Rotaract for the past several years, providing the opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service.
As a board member for the Academy of Children's Theatre, I have been able to help provide educational opportunities in the theater arts for young people of all abilities and levels of interest.
In the summer of 2019, I was selected to partake in the MyTri 2030 project as a "life expert," weighing in on the day-to-day activities and amenities that improve our quality of life throughout the Tri-Cities.
I was selected for Leadership Tri-Cities Class XXVI.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
I am certainly someone who is lucky enough to not only love what I do at my job, but to also have a job which allows me the flexibility to do what I love. Nevertheless, I am extremely extroverted and "FOMO" - the Fear Of Missing Out - is definitely real.
It can be difficult to juggle professional responsibilities with fun events, concerts, or travel opportunities - never mind the need to sleep!
What I've found helps me the most is to keep a detailed calendar of events so that I am able to track when I need to be where and what is going on, but to also make sure I have dedicated, scheduled down time and be intentional about what I take on.
Do you have family? Pets?
I live with my husband, Chris, and while we don't have kids at the moment, we do have two fur-babies in the form of our two rescue pups, Sunny and Luna. My parents and younger sister live here in town as well.
What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here?
I was born in the Tri-Cities so this has always been home, but like most kids growing up in a small town all I wanted was to "get out" and someday move to a big city.
After graduating high school, I immediately moved to the biggest city I could find, Los Angeles, and it was indeed quite the culture shock.
Yet while I loved the constant good weather and go-go-go lifestyle, I soon found that it was with the people of the Pacific Northwest that I felt most myself. It wasn't long before I decided to transfer to Washington State University in Pullman, making several of my best lifelong friends in the process as well as meeting the man who would eventually become my husband.
But despite moving back to Washington, I still had no intention of returning to the Tri-Cities at the time. Life had other plans however, and I moved back home to be with my family after a serious multi-rollover accident along Highway 26 left me with several severe injuries that needed around-the-clock care.
The two years I spent back in town during my recovery served as a reintroduction to the Tri-Cities and all of the wonderful things about our region I had overlooked as a child.
Now, eight years after the accident that brought me home, I am happily "back to normal" with minor lasting damage and beyond happy to call the Tri-Cities home.
Much as I myself have changed over the years, it has been exciting to see the Tri Cities grow and become so much more than just the "Oasis in the Middle of Nowhere" I remember.
While my wreck was indeed a difficult time in my life, I am forever grateful that I was able to re-discover all that makes the Tri-Cities a great place to live, work and play!
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