Name: Kaitlin Neumann Johnson
Boettcher Scholar Year: 2009
College/Degree: DU – BA in English and Spanish, MBA
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? As of May, I have two occupations. Since 2015, I’ve worked for El Pomar Foundation. Currently, I’m in the role of vice president of community stewardship, primarily serving as a convener in the regional partnerships program through community-led advisory councils in rural areas. My favorite aspect of the El Pomar work is engaging with community leaders throughout the state. The leaders are very knowledgeable and, while each community is unique, there are some overlaps that allow them to work together and collaborate. I also just started working part-time as the economic development director for Cheyenne County. Kit Carson and Cheyenne Wells are the main towns in this county.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? For starters, I am married to a Boettcher Scholar, 2010 Scholar Charlie Johnson! Also, foundations are often a lesser-known part of the nonprofit world. Working with the Boettcher Foundation opened my eyes to this other area of work. I learned about the El Pomar Foundation through another Boettcher Scholar in my class, and that opened up the career path I’m currently on.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. I’m a mom and hang out with my daughter. I also help on the ranch and participate with the Boettcher Alumni group.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? It’s okay not to know what you want to do with your life. What’s not okay is to let that be your reason to do nothing! Every experience, no matter how big or small, will change you and your path. Take a risk, try something new, figure out who you want to be, and maybe more importantly, figure out who you don’t want to be.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Cleopatra. I’ve always found her history to be remarkable and, just the fact that she is remembered today, is an impressive feat for a woman from the BC time period. She was savvy, played by her own set of rules, and continues to inspire even artists, politicians, and women to this day.