Submitted by Kristen Prohl Kleinbardt
In times of turmoil we need great leaders most. They calm a community storm or rally us to take necessary action. Great leaders remind us we are stronger together. They leverage knowledge and experience for the benefit of the public good.
2020 has provided more than its fair share of challenges although one benefit has been the ability to take stock and contemplate what is important to us, our families and our community. It is in this state of mind that I evaluated the slate running for State Representative for District 149 and determined the clear leader we need now is Kathleen Stowe.
I first met Kathleen when our family moved from New York City to backcountry Greenwich in 2015. Our oldest daughter started kindergarten at Parkway Elementary School and I was fortunate enough to meet Kathleen in those early, hectic days when we were navigating a new house, a new school and a new town. And Kathleen was then exactly as others have described her now: smart, engaging, thoughtful and collaborative.
Looking back I see that Kathleen took us under her wing, already evidencing an empathetic leader. In the first week of school, Kathleen arranged a playdate to help my daughter acclimate. Kathleen invited our family to her house so we could meet others within the community. Kathleen also served as an incredible resource, recommending several great neighborhood service providers and introducing us to Round Hill Nursery School where her youngest daughter and our son attended contemporaneously. It was these simple acts of kindness and community from Kathleen that assured us we had made the right decision by moving to Greenwich.
Evidence of Kathleen’s leadership extends to the workplace. She currently runs a financial technology business with her father, headquartered in New York, with offices in London and Chicago. She has 20 years of extensive financial experience. She began her career in technology investment banking at Salomon Brothers (later Citigroup) before joining SV Investment Partners, a private equity firm, where she invested in, grew and developed multiple businesses and served on corporate boards. Kathleen’s financial expertise will undoubtedly serve us well, especially as our local, state and national communities face economic hardships stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.
I am most impressed, however, with Kathleen unflagging service to our community, a hallmark of any great leader. In the five years since we have moved to Greenwich, I have witnessed Kathleen volunteer as our children’s t-ball coach and serve on our local Parent Teacher Association and Greenwich’s Board of Education (BOE). She is currently the Vice Chair of the BOE and serves as Chair of both the Policy Governance and Budget Committees and is the BOE’s representative to the Parks & Recreation Field
As a working mother, I know the difficulty of balancing career, family and community service, and Kathleen makes this juggling act look easy. As a lawyer, I appreciate that she has done all of this with an uncompromised ethical compass.
Great leaders possess a handful of common characteristics and values that are not limited to political party. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, Kathleen Stowe’s track record proves she has the qualities and skills our community needs most right now, which is thoughtful and collaborative leadership for the betterment of us all.
Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.