HOW WE KAPPA
TO SOME OF THE
WOMEN WHO KAPPA
Name: Laura Dempsey
Chapter: Zeta Chi Chapter, Marist
Full-time Occupation: Social media manager for Poppin.com
Volunteer Position: President, New York Alumnae Association
Years Volunteering with Kappa: 5 years and counting!
What talents made you a great match for this role? I was initially passionate about helping to restart a strong presence in New York City because I had limited alumnae interaction as an undergraduate. I wanted to bring local alumnae together to support not only the new chapter being installed at New York University, but the legacy of Kappa Kappa Gamma as a whole.
I first served as the Vice President of Membership, which involved organizing different ways to consistently communicate with the members of our galley, and working closely with our Treasurer to set up different payment options for dues. As someone who works in communications and marketing, my career definitely served me well when it came to incorporating different forms of technology to benefit our membership.
I’ve also had the benefit of serving in leadership roles as an undergraduate, and as a manager of others and working in group settings in my professional life. I’ve attended Leadership Academy, Regional Leadership Conferences/Province Meetings and Conventions—all of which have influenced my talents of organization and management.
What makes this role rewarding? Knowing that the New York Alumnae Association exists as a valuable networking resource for Kappas all over the world who decide to move to New York City is just the best. We’ve matched countless alumnae with roommates, apartments, jobs, furniture, lifelong friends, etc., me included!
We’re also constantly developing financial and volunteer support for chapters in our region and Kappas everywhere through the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation—opportunities that may not have existed at all without our many dedicated local members.
What or who is your most impactful Kappa memory or mentor? I’ve had the privilege of having so many great Kappa mentors over the years—my chapter’s Chapter Council Adviser, my Leadership Academy facilitators, my Province Directors of Alumnae and Regional Directors of Alumnae and my big sis—it’s so hard to choose just one! But the memory that makes me proud most recently is when the New York Alumnae Association was the Region 1 winner of the McNaboe Most Outstanding Association Award at Kappa’s 70th Biennial Convention. It truly validated all of the hard work our association has put in over the past few years!
In what other places or ways do you give your time and talents? Through their own volunteer activities, my parents passed along the importance of supporting literacy and education in one’s local community—so beyond being supportive of our national philanthropy Reading Is Fundamental, I also make a point to support my local library system, the Brooklyn Public Library.
What is the most important talent or trait to have in this role? Remaining open to constant learning opportunities. Not everyone is going to receive every message you send, pay their dues immediately or want to participate in everything that you plan, believe it or not! But taking time throughout the year to assess how things are going and find small or large opportunities to improve will only serve to benefit your members.
And staying persistent! Everyone has a busy schedule, no matter where you live. If that Kappa you talk to at Founders Day expresses interest in serving on a committee, but can’t quite do it right now, don’t forget to follow up with her later on. Those are the people that could turn into your biggest asset!
What can someone expect by taking on this role? Being President of an alumnae association is definitely a big job, but it’s important to remember that you’re not doing it alone. Just as in our undergraduate days, having a strong executive board to lean on to keep the ship moving is everything. Keeping lines of communication open, with both your board and your members, ensuring everyone’s working toward common goals, and jumping in to lend a hand where needed are all part of it, too!