When Katie Carter started as executive director of Komen Columbus in 2001, she was responsible for bringing the first computer into the Komen Columbus office. She was the only paid staff member and negotiated crucial tasks to keep the affiliate up-and-running. Fast forward to Katie’s 10-year anniversary with Susan G. Komen for the Cure this month, and under Katie’s leadership, the Columbus affiliate has grown into one of the top affiliates in the country. Never one to miss a day, Katie leads by example and has successfully grown the Komen Columbus affiliate from one full-time and one part-time employee into four full-time and one part-time employee, in addition to a Board of Directors that is currently 14 members strong.
Katie has nearly doubled the number of counties that Komen Columbus serves – from 18 counties in 2001 to 30 counties in 2010 – making it the largest affiliate in Ohio.
Here is a snapshot as to the positive affect Katie has had on the Central and Southeastern portion of Ohio during her tenure as Executive Director:
- In 2000, the Columbus Affiliate granted almost $450,000 to community organizations.
- In 2010, the Columbus Affiliate granted more than $1.6 million to community organizations.
- In 2005, our grant-funded programs provided 558 mammograms and educated almost 7,500 women about breast health and early detection.
- In 2010, our grant-funded programs provided more than 4,000 mammograms and educated more than 30,000 women about breast health and early detection.
Katie’s achievements have extended to affiliate events as well; in 2000, the Race for the Cure had 16,000 participants. In just six months Katie grew that number to 21,000 for the 2001 race. At the 18th annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure in 2010, Katie, along with her network of volunteers and small staff, grew the race to its record-breaking attendance of 50,396 participants, solidifying the affiliates’ position as the third largest Race for the Cure in the country.
Katie was able to utilize the findings of our 2009 Community Profile, which identified screening and early detection as the affiliate’s top priority given our high mortality rate, to encourage a partnership with OhioHealth to bring state-of-the-art mobile mammography services to underserved populations in Central Ohio. By partnering with OhioHealth, the Columbus Affiliate was able to fund a portion of their new mobile mammography unit and will deliver vital early detection options to thousands of women in areas that would otherwise be without services.
Katie, along with the other Komen Ohio affiliates, has helped synthesize the advocacy and public policy efforts of all the affiliates to make a larger and more profound impact. While facing budget cuts to the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project, Katie has been instrumental in helping identify solutions and engage policymakers to maintain support of this vital program.
Because of the growth of the Columbus affiliate, there was a need for better office space. Our previous space had limited office and storage space with no ability to hold Race t-shirts and other collateral material. Katie recognized the need to grow the organization in this area as well. She worked for more than nine months to identify office space that would offer enough space for our growing staff as well as proper storage for our 50,000+ Race t-shirts.
In the end she succeeded by leaps and bounds. We went from 2,500 square feet of office space to more than 7,300 square feet of office, storage and dock space in our new office in Westerville. Katie not only negotiated a great lease, she also worked to secure as much “in-kind” donations as possible for the new space. Beginning with the contractor who donated thousands of dollars of discounted services to dozens of other vendors who donated flooring, paint, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, architectural services, etc. The list goes on and on. Katie was almost solely responsible for securing all these in-kind donations.
Her devotion to the cause has become the model for the Columbus affiliate. She works tirelessly to save lives and end breast cancer forever and we are truly grateful to have her as our Executive Director. We wish her a very happy anniversary and many more years of wonderful service and dedication!