2012 ATHENA Finalist: Katherine Kemmeries Cecala, Valley of the Sun United Way

October 25th, 2012

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Katherine Cecala, COO, Valley of the Sun United Way
Katherine Kemmeries Cecala's success is a matter of degrees. Not her own - though she has sheepskins in engineering, business and law - but those earned by the dozens of women she has encouraged to further their educations. The COO of Valley of the Sun United Way regularly creates financial miracles for the Maricopa County's largest health and human services non-profit while making the lives of those around her richer through mentoring, encouragement and charitable works. Katherine believes in the value - both financial and emotional - of making long-lasting connections.
"People in fundraising understand the importance of relationships, which is that relationships bring resources," Cecala says. "Instead of spending $10,000 on something, if I can get it for free because of a relationship, that's $10,000 more that go to helping someone in our community. That's not the only reason I built those relationships with people - I do it because because they're incredible people I like being around - but it can benefit the organization."