In Kelly’s Words – Looking Forward
January is a time to look forward. It’s a new year and a fresh start, something we are all feeling right now. At the KBF we have so much to be excited about and I thought I’d use this blog to share some of the things I’m looking forward to.
The change of routine forced by COVID allowed us to spend more time thinking about how we interact with our community and ways in which we can improve and adjust this. We historically have spent a lot of time and energy planning and running great events. This is a place where we raise money but also get to see and interact with our community. In this world of COVID, events are certainly not on the table for the first half of 2021 and the second half remains to be seen. We are excited to reimagine ways to not necessarily replicate these events, but to forge the same relationships and, hopefully, even more meaningful connections with our supporters.
Similarly, because of social distancing we are not able to interact with others in the spinal cord injury (SCI) community in the same ways we have historically. In a lot of ways, the virtual world will allow us to connect with even more people who are spread out by states and for whom travel can sometimes be a challenge. We have been developing a tool to solve this for some time, but COVID has allowed us to refine and spend the time to make it what we want. In 2021 we will be launching this resource to provide more information about sports all in one place as well as allow people to connect using the shared experience of being active. Stay tuned for more information about this in the coming months!
And finally, I’m excited to have new leadership at the KBF to help shape these initiatives! Zeke announced several months ago that he will be moving on from KBF after 6 great years. We spent many months in an extensive search process and I’m so grateful because we have found someone who brings an incredible background in growing a business as well as the unique experience of having a spinal cord injury. You can read more about Edie here.
For me, this will be a shift in some exciting ways. Since Zeke started at the KBF in 2014 he has grown what was once a small family foundation into a growing and thriving brand. As he has grown the organization, I have also taken on a greater role, something that has been really fun and rewarding for me. We have worked as a great team throughout this time, but I’m looking forward to the transition to working with Edie as a new partner.
Part of what makes me so excited about Edie is the opportunity to bring another person with a spinal cord injury onto the KBF team. It’s so important to me to not just support the SCI community with our mission but to work with the SCI community to do this work. Having Greg Durso join our team almost 2 years ago as the Program Director at the KBF was the first step in this process and having Edie join is a great next leap. All three of us bring very unique experiences and qualities but with the shared understanding of having an SCI. I think the three of us, together with the rest of the KBF team, will be a powerful force for good in showing the power of adaptive sports to both the SCI community as well as our supporters.
2021 may have gotten off to a bumpier start than many would have hoped but the clouds are clearing and the blue sky is appearing. I’m so hopeful for the year to come and I look forward to sharing that with all of you.