Thank you Kate Looby

Nearly four years ago, I got an email from a random person named “Kate Looby” inquiring about how she could volunteer for the Harry Potter Alliance. The HPA was building fast but we had no staff in place. When I talked with Kate over the phone, she let me know point blank that she had no experience in activism.I asked, “Okay. But tell me, what skills do you have? I mean, what do you like doing?”She replied almost sheepishly as if this was an embarrassing thing to say, “Well, I really like administrative skills. I don’t know. I like organizing things.”

I was overjoyed. “Kate Looby,” I said, “ you just became the most important activist in my life.” And she did.

From that point forward Kate built our volunteer staff from the ground up to a point where now it has eight teams, each with it’s own manager, and over 70 volunteers in total.

Kate helped lead this staff in sending five cargo planes to Haiti, donating about 90,000 books across our world,  in winning the Chase Bank Community Giving Challenge that awarded the HPA $250,000, pulled off our five year anniversary, our presence at conferences, breaking records in phone banking for LGBTQ equality, staffing Project for Awesome 2010, and more.

Kate reminded me once that the real leader of the Harry Potter Alliance was its staff. And she is right: our staff make up the heart and soul of our organization,  accomplishments, and vision for the future. And they would not be here were it not for the work and ingenuity of Kate Looby.

So it with a mixture of sadness and gratitude  that I inform our community that Kate Looby will be leaving the HPA as Director of Operations. We wish her well in all of her exciting future endeavors knowing she will make a truly positive difference in all of the lives she touches.

I feel incredibly confident in the infrastructure that Kate has helped build. There is no way to do any justice to describing what she has given this community in a simple blog entry so I will simply close this as I opened:

Nearly four years ago, I got an email from a random person named “Kate Looby” inquiring about how she could volunteer for the Harry Potter Alliance.

But Kate is no longer in any way “random.” She is a crucial part of this organization’s history and foundation. A part of this movement’s history. And she will remain in our hearts as we continue to change the story of our world  with the magic of story.

Thank you Kate Looby.

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4 Comments

  1. Amy Shook

    December 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm
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    Kate, you will be missed greatly and I agree with Andrew’s sentiment. The HPA is where it is today because of your leadership. I will miss working with you and I hope this is not the end of the story!

  2. Heather H

    December 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm
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    Goodbye Kate. Andrew’s words were very true. I wish you success and magic in your life. It was wonderful working with you. God speed.

  3. Karen

    December 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm
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    Kate,
    You are truly wonderful – both as a person, a co-worker, and a friend. Although I am sad to see you leave the HPA, I know there are many truly wonderful things for you waiting in the future :)
    Karen

  4. January 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm
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    I’m pretty sure I met Kate at LeakyCon last year. I was completely confused and lost and near tears at the complete chaos that was my registration, and I couldn’t find anything or anyone to help. She stepped in and helped me figure everything out and was just generally very kind and I gave her a hug and went on my way feeling much more reassured and happy. And that was my only direct experience there! And I might not even be thinking of the right person, which would be awkward.

    Anyways. Thank you, Kate Looby, for all the work that you have done for the Harry Potter Alliance. DFTBA!

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