Thank you, Kathy


When Kathy Graves started working at the Quad Cities Community Foundation, it had a different name. She was the third hire for the organization. The internet was accessible on a single computer, by dial up. And assets were at about $7 million.

Today, the logo looks a bit different. The number of employees has grown to 13. Technology has been enhanced (including a new database and fund holder portal that will go live at the end of the month). And more than $7 million is now granted out into the Quad Cities each and every year thanks to the generosity of donors. 

“But one thing has never changed,” Graves, vice president of finance said, taking a break from working on the database conversion she will help to launch before she ends her 20-year tenure at the Community Foundation at the end of February. “We continue to be driven by our commitment to honoring our donors’ charitable wishes. That hasn’t changed in my 20 years. And it never will.”

That’s one of the best things about the Community Foundation, she added. “I continue to be inspired by the generosity of people in this community.”

“Kathy came on board when we desperately needed someone of her talent,” said Dick Evans, former treasurer of the board of directors at the Community Foundation. “She was technically proficient, astute financially, and best of all, a pleasure to work with.”

Graves will leave the Community Foundation at month’s end to take some time with her family, and consider what she would like to do next in her career. She steps away from her role having left an indelible imprint on the Community Foundation—and on the community. “Kathy’s work to achieve consistently clean audits, and stay on top of accounting changes, investment reports, donor statements and more, all have demonstrated the outstanding job she has done. She has clearly shown our board, donors and community we are a trusted resource for the community’s generosity,” said Sherry Ristau, president and CEO.

“She has also built several solid relationships with many of our donors and volunteers. I—and the board—are sincerely grateful for her institutional knowledge, excellent work with our investment committee and board of directors, and commitment to transforming the region.  We will miss her knowledge, experience, expertise and especially, her friendship.”

Dick Kleine, who has been a donor and volunteer at the Quad Cities Community Foundation since Graves’ arrival, added that “she has been an excellent person to provide information about the best way to donate money through the Community Foundation. She always has information about Endow Iowa, tax benefits, donor advised funds and other items. She has a very good and positive response on the best way to make donations—and she has always responded quickly too.”  

It is donors like Kleine, Graves said, that have made her enjoy her work. “There’s never been a dull moment because we have always been growing. There was always a challenge to overcome. There have always been awesome people to work alongside.”

She paused.

“This has been a big part of my life for the past 20 years. I’ll miss it. And I’m also excited for whatever comes next.”

Melanie JonesStaff