[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
For Kate Latts, supporting the Jewish community by providing leadership, sharing her expertise in marketing and planning, and investing in the community with her generous support of the Annual Federation Campaign are essential parts of her life.
This year, in continuing her commitment to the Jewish Community of Louisville and the world-wide Jewish community, Latts has agreed to chair the Women’s Philanthropy Division of the 2012 Federation Campaign.
“It’s exciting to be calling it philanthropy,” Latts said, “because it’s so much more than just fundraising. Fundraising implies somebody asking for money, but philanthropy is about the culture and the sense of doing what’s good. It’s about making the world a better place in the spirit of tikkun olam,” the repair of the world.
“It’s also about education – explaining why all women in the community need to incorporate philanthropy in their lives,” she stated.
In planning for the Campaign, Latts plans to incorporate educational opportunities and hands-on involvement opportunities. It’s all about “engagement and how we can make the world and our community a better place to live,” she said.
She’s also looking forward to the process. “We’re taking a full, holistic view of the year and planning activities and programs in a structured, strategic way that will enable us to accomplish our goals.”
Things are already off to a good start. Latts has started getting her team of leaders in place, and “People have been incredibly enthusiastic and honored to be a part of it. There is a renewed sense of enthusiasm among our leaders, and that is encouraging.”
Latts and her team have begun planning a Lion of Judah/Pomegranate event on November 17, “which will be a great kickoff for the Women’s Philanthropy effort. Sara O’Koon has agreed to be the host, and we’re looking forward to it.”
“I’m looking forward to not just the leaders’ involvement,” she added, “but to everybody else embracing the opportunities and possibilities for our community. I am hopeful that this renewed enthusiasm will continue.
“I’m also thankful for Ralph’s [Campaign Chair Ralph Green] leadership for another year,” she concluded.
Latts sees her position in this year’s Campaign as “a natural progression from some of the things I’ve done over the past years. … getting back to being involved on the fundraising side of things.”
Indeed, Latts’ involvement has been extensive. In 2007, she received the Joseph J. Kaplan Young Leadership Award from the Federation in recognition of her volunteer involvement.
She is a graduate of the JCL’s Young Leadership Development program, has co-chaired YAD (the Young Adult Division) and chaired the Ben Gurion Society (YAD members who make leadership gifts to the Campaign of at least $1,000 each year). Last year, she chaired the Lion of Judah Division and before that chaired the King David Society.
She has served the JCL organization as vice chair and as a member of the Executive Committee, and also chaired the JCL’s Strategic Directions Committee after the merger to help set the course for the new agency. Before merger she served on the Jewish Community Federation Board and Executive Committee and was secretary of that organization.
Today Latts is a member of the JCL Board of Directors. She is also a Trustee of the Kentucky Country Day School, where she chairs its Development Committee and is a member of its Fine Arts Guild.
Latts and her family are members of The Temple and the Jewish Community Center, and she is a life member of the National Council of Jewish Women.
A Louisville native and a member of the Shapira family, Latts earned her BA and MBA from Duke University. Today, she is a third-generation member of the family business, Heaven Hill Distilleries, and serves as the company’s director of marketing.
Latts and her husband, Allen, have a son, Jake, and a daughter, Lindsey.