AUGUST FEATURED FEW
Name: Kathy Grochow
Organization and Title: Director of Community Programs at CommunityGiving
Length of time as a FEW Member: I don't remember (I joined when I was at Bremer, had a lapse, rejoined when I was at the College of Saint Benedict and now I'm at CommunityGiving). Maybe since 1998??
Hometown: Cokato, Minn.
Family: Husband, Duane, daughter who will enter second year of college and son who will enter 11th grade.
What do you actually do at work? I oversee all distributions to include competitive grants, grants from Donor Advised Funds, and scholarships for our partner foundations in Alexandria, Brainerd, St. Cloud, Willmar, Paynseville, ROCORI, Foley, Sauk Center and Carver County. I also support community visioning processes with our executive directors in our Partner Foundations and identify community opportunities and collaborations that build community to include bridging and bonding within the community.
What was your first job? Working for my dad on the farm—bailing hay, picking rock and walking beans. My first real job off the farm was the Video Bug (renting VHS movies).
What is your biggest accomplishment? Transitioning from my favorite job (Bremer Nonprofit Resources Specialist) to a new challenge (Major Gift Officer at Saint Ben's) to my dream job and the BEST work environment and colleagues ever—CommunityGiving and the Central Minnesota Community Foundation! Biggest accomplishment is landing, by God's grace and guidance, in a place where I can excel and make a difference.
Do you have or are you a mentor? I've had a professional mentor, June Roos, who had been extremely critical at a very important time in my career back in the late '90s and early 2000s.
Last book read? The Uncommon Woman by Susan Larson.
Favorite vacation spot? Costa Rica though I've been there only once, but it was the best vacation!
Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become? My dad. He had some simple rules that as an adult, I now value. Family comes before friends, always seek the silver lining, be positive and, of course, the golden rule. He has provided continuous nuggets of wisdom my entire life and continues to do so today with incredible relevance. He's a kind, gentle, soft-spoken man whom I greatly admire.
Biggest indulgence/guilty pleasure? Chocolate—Lindt, nothing better!