Meet Carey Kuznar! Her approach to 2020 is something that we should all embrace.
1) Who are you as an individual?
I’ve been married to my husband Zak for 17 years and we have 13-year-old twins, Evan and Keira. We live in Montgomery now, but we have lived all over including – New Haven, Connecticut, Cleveland, Ohio, and Charlotte, North Carolina. I have worked in the nonprofit sector in development and marketing for almost 20 years. Currently, I serve in the role of Director of Advancement at Magnified Giving. I enjoy singing and performing on stage and was a musical theatre major in college. Earlier this year I decided to dip my toe back into performing through local community theatre. I’m currently rehearsing Miracle on 34th Street using the original radio script and voicing three different characters. It’s definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone a little, but also reminds me how much I love being on stage. I am passionate about keeping my community vibrant, supporting local nonprofits, and helping youth understand how to serve and help their community thrive.
2) What excites you about being an Impact 100 member?
Being a member of Impact 100 means that I can connect with like-minded women who support the community and believe in the power of collective giving to influence change. Meeting new people from diverse backgrounds is exciting to me and being part of Impact 100 challenges us to use our voices to advocate for remarkable organizations in this community who are finding new and innovative ways to improve lives and make this community better.
3) Could you provide a brief description of your favorite Impact 100 moment, if you have one?
The first time I sat in the room at the Awards Dinner in 2019 and heard the finalists make their pitch, I was hooked. I had already become a member, but this was the moment I knew I had made the right decision in joining this organization because of the meaningful impact it has on people’s lives. The stories of the finalists were so compelling, but the one that I will never forget was from St. Vincent de Paul. I felt that it was just an honor to be in that room and listen to their story – more importantly, to be part of an organization that can really have an impact and brings solutions to some of our community’s most critical issues.
4) What tips do you have to connect with other women/community during COVID? Or what is something that you’ve learned that you are thankful for during COVID?
First of all. I smile at people when I’m in public. Ok, they can’t see my smile, but have you noticed that you can detect when someone has genuine “smiling eyes?” And I also try to talk to strangers which is super challenging in a mask, but I still think it’s so important to maintain a connection to people.
Something I’ve learned through Covid is not to stress out about things you can’t control. This summer our family received the devastating news that my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It has been a difficult reality to accept.
New normal takes on a new meaning with a cancer diagnosis of a loved one. Covid has made everything more complicated with the many restrictions and barriers to us spending quality time with her. This event has made me more aware of time and our ability to be present with the people who are the most important to us. Even from 6 feet away, with masks on. It may be hard, but as Glennon Doyle says, “we can do hard things.” I have been propelled by mom’s faith, resilience, and courage. And her attitude inspires me to find the beauty in each day, make plans for the future, and SMILE, even if it’s from behind a mask.