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2023 Class Of Rising Stars – Moira Holland

Among Kansas City’s advocates for women and children, Moira Holland stands out as a prominent supporter. Her relentless dedication and skill in fundraising led to her designation as a Rising Star by The Independent.

Moira is the director of business development at A.L. Huber. She has been in the construction field for more than two decades, combining her professional expertise with a commitment to community betterment. Moira attributes her passion for women’s and children’s causes to her personal experiences and family background. Tragically, Moira’s older sister passed away at the age of two, just five months before Moira was born. During her youth, when Moira sought purpose and meaning, her mother suggested fundraising for children affected by cancer.

No doubt, Moira found her footing in the cause. For more than a decade, she has devoted herself to the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center Auxiliary Board. Her fundraising efforts have been directedtoward improving the lives of children facing cancer and blood disorders.

In her early years of volunteering in Kansas City, Moira joined the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center Auxiliary Board, and three years ago took on the role of co-chair for the Big KC Open, benefiting Children’s Mercy Cancer Center. Combined with the fundraising endeavors of the Cancer Center Auxiliary Board, an impressive $100,000 was raised, marking a significant milestone in its mission.

Despite her noteworthy achievements, Moira’s aspirations extend beyond short-term fundraising efforts. With an eye on the future, she envisions creating a lasting legacy. “I would like the work that I do to be able to be sustained,” she said. “At Children’s Mercy Cancer Center, we have set up an endowment for cancer research.” With a specific emphasis on advancing cancer research, particularly in the area of genomic testing, Moira is determined to see the endowment fully funded and sustained over the long haul.

However, her commitment to helping families goes beyond her involvement in pediatric healthcare. Since 2005, she has been an active member of CREW KC, where she now serves as president. This non profit focuses on providing professional opportunities for women in the commercial real estate industry.

According to Shanelle Varone, Children’s Mercy, Moira acts as a mentor, guiding new or transitioning women in the field. Shanelle praised Moira for her dedication to women’s professional growth, acknowledging her achievements while balancing the responsibilities of single parenthood. “Moira is a mentor who helps women successfully navigate a field that historically has been majority men,” Shanelle said. “She is also a single mom who raised two incredible children and made it all look easy.” 

In Moira’s words, CREW KC’s mission is to break barriers for women to succeed. “It’s about really empowering women to break the glass ceiling and go for jobs that in the past have not been primarily women driven,” she said. “We’re a global organization striving for, and continuing to, break those glass ceilings and work on our DEI initiatives. It’s been an incredible journey.”

In addition to her work with CREW KC, Moira serves on the board of directors for Newhouse, Kansas City’s oldest domestic violence shelter. Here, she has played an impactful role in creating safe spaces for survivors to regain self-sufficiency and heal. Christopher Stibbs, Newhouse, said Moira has seen the harsh realities faced by survivors and is dedicated to empowering them. “Moira has seen the systemic issues that many survivors face like generational poverty, generational domestic violence, a lack of transportation, inequitable educational opportunities, and more,” Christopher said. “This has led her to volunteer and invest in programs that allow for these issues to be changed and ensure that every survivor who walks through Newhouse’s doors has the resources needed to live a life free from abuse.”

Indeed, Moira’s dedication was evident as she led the gala committee for Newhouse’s 50th anniversary celebration. A staggering $520,000 raised, breaking previous fundraising records by 40 percent.

Moira also served as past board vice president of Inclusion Connections. The non profit is dedicated to empowering children with intellectual disabilities toward independence. IC offers a variety of social and educational opportunities, including programs in theater, music, art, fitness, nutrition, and an eight-week summer camp. One of its innovative ventures involves operating a dog treat business, where participants craft and sell treats and toys, gaining valuable job skills in the process.

Moira took the organization’s fundraising and community engagement efforts to the next level. She organized the inaugural fundraising gala, and surpassed all expectations by raising more than $200,000. This event shattered previous fundraising records and became IC’s primary source of support for its annual operating budget. 

Shanelle Varone praised Moira’s efforts, saying, “She is a true fundraiser, proactively seeking donations for the organizations she represents. Moira embodies the qualities of an exceptional board volunteer – she advocates passionately and actively fundraises for the causes she supports.”

With her fundraising endeavors, strategic leadership, and mentorship roles, it’s evident that Moira is committed to creating lasting change. From co-chairing events to spearheading initiatives, she has transformed her empathy into action. In the words of Paige Engle, Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City, “Moira’s philanthropic contributions to the Kansas City community are immeasurable. Kansas City is incredibly lucky to have Moira Holland in its corner.”

Featured in the October 28, 2023 issue of The Independent.
Photo Credit: Tom Styrkowicz
By Monica V. Reynolds

 

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