Kathryn Kelly

Listen

What is the best business decision you ever made? Hiring awesome, competent staff.

What is the best life decision you ever made? Taking a sharp right-hand turn from my career in architecture to start The Heights Foundation.

Is there a decision you’d like to go back and make differently? Nope.

What is the most important change you’d make in (or about) Southwest Florida? I wish the residents of Southwest Florida understood how very little our counties spend on children’s services, especially for those living in poverty. With the known risk factors of concentrated, multi-generational poverty, we’re going to spend the money sooner or later. Prevention is better (and less expensive) than incarceration. We know how to fix the problem, but it does take money and an exercise of the will.

What advice would you give to a 12-year-old girl today? You are a smart girl and you can do anything you want.

… to a male or female high school student? Look for a need in your community and do something about it (no matter how small). Pretty soon you’ll find something you’re truly passionate about.

… to a young man or woman entering college? Learn to recognize your “sphere of influence,” and use it to make a change for the good (no matter how small).
Open a savings account and put money in it every month, even if it’s a small amount.

Other than family members, who influenced you the most in your youth? My sixth grade teacher told me I was a smart girl and I could do anything I wanted. No adult had ever said that to me before (even though I was a straight A student).

What is your favorite leisure activity and why? Anything in, on, or under saltwater. Preferably under – with a speargun in my hand and a stringer of fish on my hip. And no sharks around.

In this divisive time in our nation’s history, what steps can we take to meet on common ground? Pray. And then do something positive for a neighbor, a friend, your community.