Kat Landa joined Development Guild as Senior Vice President, Executive Search in September. We caught up with Kat on her first few months at Development Guild and what she is most looking forward to in the months to come.
Tell us about your background.
I could swear I’ve only been at this a short while, but I’ve been consulting with nonprofits for nearly 18 years. I started out in commercial marketing and advertising but after a few years I just couldn’t get up in the morning to help sell more pizza or cars. I wanted a career that left a legacy in social change and my transition to the nonprofit field was just what I was looking for.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a myriad of organizations abroad and stateside that change lives every day. I’ve partnered with clients on everything from annual fund direct mail programs, to long-form television, to real-time SMS communications to fundraising audit and change management initiatives.
I absolutely love putting the right talent and strategy in place to solve the world’s most pressing issues.
Now, as Senior Vice President, Executive Search, you partner with our clients and candidates every day to match the right opportunity with the right talent. What drew you to this role?
I learned early in my career that talent is the single most transformative component of any organization. You can have the best solutions, technology, and training but without the right talent you won’t be nearly as successful as you are capable of.
At Development Guild I get to work with clients who understand this and are ready to dig into their existing culture and key needs to build the ideal profile for a transformative addition to their team. Then I get to set to work to find dedicated professionals who will exceed expectations and who, themselves, will benefit from the role.
Matching an enthusiastic and talented candidate who is passionate about our client’s cause and has the skillset to help a client level-up is exhilarating.
4 months in, what are you enjoying most? Any surprises?
I’m surprised at how quickly it has felt like home here. I love cultivating relationships. You never know what might come of your next phone call to a client, potential client, or prospective candidate. With every conversation there is the opportunity to discover a new perspective and explore a new possibility.
I am also really enjoying the team here at Development Guild. They’ve made me feel welcome, equipped, and supported in every way. It’s an ideal culture for me. I know that I can bring anything to the table and that taking an active role in shaping my future is welcomed.
You are a member of our West Coast practice. Are there any unique opportunities you’re finding with our nonprofit clients in that region?
Absolutely. Today is its own era in nonprofit work. As both technology and donor mindsets are changing, organizations are moving as fast as they can to organize and rally within the new landscape. More organizations than ever are inquiring about searches for existing and fundamentally new roles in their structures. Nonprofits are also looking for guidance on how to tackle multi-year change strategies in their philanthropic approach and how to diversify income streams to balance their portfolios for long-term sustainability. We also have some major demographic shifts that have already begun to strain their way through donor files, and this is pushing organizations to address new strategies and tactics as soon as possible.
What are you looking forward to? Any goals for your first year in this position?
I’m looking forward to being a real asset to my team and delivering exceptional experiences to my clients and candidates. I always want to leave people and places I encounter in a better position than when I encountered them. I’m also looking forward to creating new, lasting relationships around the globe.