Kate Keller's First Two Months at Harvest

Kate Keller's First Two Months at Harvest
Kate Keller, The Harvest Foundation President

September 16, 2020

By Kate Keller

It’s hard to believe that two months have gone by since I came to Harvest.  It’s been a whirlwind in many ways and a slow entry in others (due to the pandemic).  For the past two months, I’ve been meeting, mostly virtually, with many of the community’s leaders to learn about them, what they are passionate about, and what they can share with me about the community and Harvest.  Here are some common themes from these conversations.

People in this community are passionate about MHC.  They are proud of this community, its past, its present, but mostly its future.  Faces light up when they talk about where I should go, what I should be doing, and especially where I should eat. This community does not lack love. 

I heard many stories about Harvest, mostly great stories of past successes and ways the foundation supported MHC’s progression through good and bad times.  I also heard of Harvest’s challenges and struggles.  All of these stories present to me an organization that is willing to try and take risks.  As any investor knows, not all investments pay off, but some risks pay off big. We will continue on this path.  As I see it, one role of a foundation is to support calculated risks to help a community innovate and dream. 

"People in this community are passionate about MHC. They are proud of this community, its past, its present, but mostly its future."

A very common theme of these conversations is a blurry vision for the future of MHC.  There is a common history of this community that I heard over and over.  MHC is very clear about who it used to be.  The story of who we want to be is still mixed with many working to create this vision.  It’s this energy that drew me to MHC.  There is a desire here to create a new vision and a new story for MHC. 

We will draw upon this passion and energy over the next many months, as Harvest will begin its new strategic planning process later this year.  Our future lies with the vision all of you are going to help us create. I look forward to engaging MHC in helping us to prioritize our work to create the best future for MHC.   

Below: Kate meets with staff at The Harvest Foundation offices, located in Uptown Martinsville. 

Kate Keller


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