New Staff Feature: Kathryn Gaasch joins Rural Forward NC

Kathryn Gaasch joined Rural Forward NC as Partnership Manager in July 2018. In her role, Kathryn works to strengthen the leadership infrastructure in Healthy Places NC counties.  She provides a range of consulting services, including facilitation, training, coaching, relationship brokering, program planning, and grants development.

We asked Kathryn a few questions to get to know her better.

Q: Where are you from and how did you end up in North Carolina?  

I’m originally from Ellicott City, Maryland but made my way down here for graduate school at Duke University. I never expected to love North Carolina so much!

Q: What drew you to the Foundation/Rural Forward NC? (you can also talk about what drew you to this area of work)?

While I’ve always had a passion for community-based work, Rural Forward NC’s model is what intrigued me the most. RFNC approaches their work from the perspective that communities are responsible for their own success and have the assets and capability to make their own communities healthier. RFNC serves as a supporter and facilitator of those processes. Their unwavering commitment to their values and principles is a breath of fresh air – not to mention inspiring.

Q: What type of organizations have you worked for in the past? 

After undergrad, I worked for several years as an environmental consultant in private industry. In graduate school, I worked with or completed projects for various nonprofits including The Nature Conservancy and NC Field. I also worked for Counter Culture Coffee last summer on climate change adaptation issues for coffee producers.

Q: What are you excited for in this position? 

I am excited to work with such a passionate team of individuals. Every single person on the RFNC team is a delight and I have much to learn from them!

Q: What do you like to do for fun/ in your free time?

I love live music, stand-up comedy, and spending time outdoors!