2021 Class Of Rising Stars Katasha Kumar
Katasha Kumar has a deep passion and commitment to philanthropy that developed early in her childhood. Growing up in Chicago, Katasha’s family introduced her to volunteerism and community engagement, not as something to do, but as a way to demonstrate their long-held family values. From her time in Girl Scouts to volunteering at senior centers, Katasha spent hours giving back to her community.
Kansas City became Katasha’s home after she graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in broadcast journalism. As a first-generation college student from an immigrant family, she has always had dreams and goals that involve creating greater opportunities for marginalized communities. Katasha does not shy away from a challenge and is empowered to navigate spaces not traditionally occupied by women of color. Her love of sports led her to be the manager for the lacrosse team in high school, which later paved the way for her role as manager of The University of Kansas football team. Her career journey has had significant roles with organizations such as Women Leaders in College Sports, where engaging women as leaders was normalized. During her time with the organization, she advocated alongside her colleagues to create greater gender equity.
As a volunteer, Katasha likes to engage in all aspects of philanthropy. When describing her role with the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Big Impact Group (B.I.G.) Junior Board, Katasha expressed her love of active engagement and her work in everything from serving as a Big, cultivating relationships with sponsors, and assisting with fundraising. She counts her role as a Big as one of her most treasured and impactful experiences. Katasha, who has been matched to her Little since her Little’s eighth grade year, is now guiding her as she embarks on the college application process.
Katasha leads with both compassion and empathy. She lifts up others on her team and describes her work as being mission and culture driven. This leadership style has been noted and well received by her colleagues and made her a notable star in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Chloe Isaak and Jackie Berra had this to say about Katasha, “She is a champion of giving space to marginalized communities and passing her platform to those who need to be heard. Her leadership and mentorship is effective, impressive, and inspiring.”
Katasha continuously sets goals and strives to not only reach them but consistently exceeds them. As noted by Zach Riel, “In her first year supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters through the Summer Bowl for Kids’ Sake event, she raised $3,000 between two bowling teams from her company. Since 2017, she has led her team to raise more than $52,000 across eight different teams.” As a result of her strong leadership, Katasha was named president of the Big Impact Group Junior Board at the beginning of the year.
Katasha played a key role on the leadership team of Dimensional Innovations for several years, where she was involved with BoysGrow’s Gather & Grow Farm Dinner and also worked with BrandLab to help create two internships at Dimensional Innovations for high school-aged youth. Katasha recently accepted a role as the sales operations manager for C2FO.
Her impact in the community is furthered by her involvement with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s diverse business committee and her engagement on community panels and discussions on diversity and inclusion.
When asked about her philosophy on philanthropy, Katasha simply stated, “Whether large or small gestures, they all add up.” Her focus on the value everyone brings to the table, and their ability to give in meaningful ways, is at the heart of Katasha’s mindset as a truly inclusive leader.
Also featured in the July 24, 2021 issue of The Independent
Photo Credit: Tom Styrkowicz
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