Employee Spotlight: Kathy Graham, Chief Operating Officer

Meet Kathy Graham, Chief Operating Officer. We exalt the effort and care she puts into keeping our FitzGerald-Family ship running smoothly, while ensuring we have the resources to excel.

If you were lucky enough to be at our Centennial celebration last year, you got to hear her beautiful singing voice. The majority of her high school and college life was focused around music and choir (prepare yourself for the perms, Aqua Net, and horrid fashion of that decade in the choice photo we included from one of her “tours”.) Continuing her love of music, her next endeavor will be learning to play the guitar.

Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention her love of the Cubs!!!We invite you to get to know her further through her full bio and Instagram page @katpkg.

We took some time to get to know Kathy, and here’s what we learned:

What was your first job?
“Playing a character in the parades as Disneyland.”

What’s a trip that changed you, and why?
“I was lucky to go to an international AIDS conference in Barcelona, almost 20 years ago. Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton were the featured speakers. I learned more about empathy, forgiveness, and love from Nelson Mandela in that hour, than from anyone before or since. I respected him before, but by the end of that day, he was a personal hero for me. Bill Clinton immediately followed and talked about commitment to making a difference.”

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
“That I made someone feel safe and not judged.”

What energizes you at work?
“Being around people who all share a common goal and commitment to each other.”

What mistake did you make early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
“I stayed silent while someone was doing something unethical. I didn’t trust myself. I held back due to fear of retaliation and being “liked”. I really took a hit on my sense of right and wrong and self worth. At the end of the day, I need to be true to myself and everything else will fall into place.”

What trend do you hope makes a comeback?
“It’s a tie between 2 martini lunches and perms.”

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?
“Playing the guitar (somehow I missed that during the pandemic.)”

What’s your favorite family tradition?
“4th of July at Torch Lake.”

What’s the first thing you bought with your own money?
“Two eight tracks (yup), Neil Diamond and John Denver. I couldn’t wait to listen to them in my dad’s Cutlass Supreme with white bucket seats.”

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
“Setting aside ego, fear and the need to be right.”