She has gotten a lot of use out of her invisible jet, growing up in Arizona but moving to California for college, then DC, before landing in Colorado six years ago when her husband, Mike, landed a clerkship with a judge in Denver. (He’s now a corporate litigator for Davis Graham.) The working mom of three kids (age five and under!) says she wouldn’t have it any other way. Lucky for both CPGR and the University of Colorado that she so effortlessly manages her multiple roles.
Newly minted as Volunteer of the Year at the 2016 CPGR Summer Symposium, Katy has been an omnipresent force for good within CPGR despite her very recent tenure. She joined in 2012 under the Mentor program and quickly ascended to leadership roles, serving on the Program and Summer Symposium committees. She joined the Board in 2015.
Katy knew during college that she wanted to get into nonprofit work, and upon graduation says she “stalked” a consultancy in the DC area until they offered her a position where she could work within
the industry as a fundraising and strategy consultant. She moved into direct fundraising with the Georgetown University development office, and after moving to Colorado, landed at CU in 2010 as a major gifts officer before being lured into gift planning by Laura Hansen Dean (planned giving guru). Since 2014 she has served as Director of Development in the Gift Planning and Leadership Giving office at the University of Colorado.
If you’ve ever met Katy in person, you won’t be surprised to know her favorite thing about her job is working with donors. She says she likes “to surprise them with gift possibilities” and enjoys the complexity of her role, putting together a gift which is beneficial for both the donor and the institution. She’s the only gift planning officer for 50 front line major giving officers at the Boulder campus. Katy shared one of her favorite donor stories, about a large family that lived in Colorado part-time. The father and all four of his kids had attended CU, and as they started to talk about gift planning opportunities, she tried to work through the dynamics of a multi-generational gift. Katy worried about meeting with some of the kids, because she thought they would be reluctant to give up part of their inheritance, but instead, “they were so happy to see their Dad so excited about the gift.” For Katy, it reaffirmed that “you need to get to the core of what someone wants.” The gift also blasted the stereotypical gift planning timeline, taking just nine months to complete.
Katy completed her MBA at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University, as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. She has both an undergraduate and Master’s degree from Stanford University, where she served as captain of the women’s gymnastics team and earned All-American honors on the balance beam. (Wouldn’t you like to see her go head-to-head with Simone Biles?) After college, she spent six months in Spain teaching English. In her free time, she tries to build a Colorado lifestyle with her young family, including hiking and camping exposure for her three kids, Owen, Andrew, and Avery. She also volunteers with the Rocky Mountain Stanford alumni group and is an avid fiction reader, belonging to a book club of other moms with young children. (ed. note: she’s happy to make book recommendations—she just added immensely to my reading list!)
Written by Cari Karns, Senior Director of Development at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Foundation