Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Give the gift of confidence

Do you know someone struggling with confidence? A friend going through a tough time? A transition? My latest e-book "Up and Over: Boost Your Confidence When There is None to be Found" is a fun easy read and is sure to give all readers a boost. Available at Amazon and Smashwords.

For a new article about maintaining your confidence while job hunting follow this link:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 - It's Here!

Even though I have taken on this challenge - I am accepting new projects, so please contact me with your latest challenge and let me help you create solutions! Creating meaningful connections!

UPDATES on word counts and progress can be found by clicking on the links below -

For more information about what I am going to be doing in November - read the articles below (by following  each of the links)  about NaNoWriMo. Who is going to join me?

Prep for NaNoWriMo Update and Strategies

I am participating in NaNoWriMo 2014. There I've said what does that mean?

Monday, October 13, 2014

I haven't met a problem that I can't assemble a team to resolve

Comprehensive, custom tailored solutions for your company’s unique's what that looks like:

Complex problems can benefit from a
30,000 foot perspective 
 An employer contracted with me to resolve their daily 18% absenteeism rate related to child care issues. As the project leader of the team which I assembled to resolve this crisis, we were able to reduce the daily absenteeism rate related to child care to zero within 7 months. That problem remains non-existent several years later. The employer’s problem was also a community problem and I brought together resources to match needs, developed a common vision and shared language around the issue and influenced changes to statewide policy and legislation to create a solution for all involved. The project has received state and national acclaim and is considered a model of community responsiveness, a promising practice for working with urgent employer needs and was presented numerous awards for working with diverse populations.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Strategic Planning...Looks Like...

This is what it looks like from my perspective when people engage in strategic planning or visioning...dreams abound and there is no going back...

Strategic planning can be fun and engaging, sure it is work too,..but you get out of it what you put into it. Having fun along the way is an intentional strategy to help everyone participate and engage. You can do this, just send an e-mail and let's get started...take the first step.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tools For Facilitation

What's in your toolkit?
One size does not fit all when it comes to facilitation, especially when facilitating strategic planning for organizations run and organized primarily by volunteers with a wide variety of experiences and expertise. A flexible facilitator will use many tools to create a framework to inspire innovation.

One strategy is to help the participants involved in the strategic planning sessions look for ways to strengthen the assets of the organization and then use those strengths and assets to create opportunities - there are so many great and fun methods of eliciting that information and once the ideas are on the table or the boards...the planning group has a place from which to launch and move forward. For more info on how to use this tool follow this link: Looking at Strengths and Opportunities

Word clouds are a great way of identifying
key concepts, or strengths of an organization
I like using a chart that looks at strengths and opportunities as a means of identifying gaps in services and assets that can be used to fill those gaps. This is just one of the many tools facilitators can use in strategic planning - what's in your toolkit? Or what exercise have you participated in that created an ah-ha moment?

TIP: Looking for the strengths of an organization to be shared in a visual manner? Ask members of your organization to share words that describe how they perceive or feel about the organization and then put those words into a word cloud. Super easy and fun and the words with the most repetition are sized proportionately.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Build Your Capacity to Lead Effective and Productive Meetings

A few tools to help keep your
 meeting on-time

A new article has been added to the series - see below...

Want to know how to run a meeting efficiently?
Do you want your meetings to be more productive?
Tired of the same people always hijacking the company meeting?
Interested in strategies for delegating in meetings?

I am writing a series of guides related to facilitation for those who  volunteer or get volunteered to facilitate a meeting or group: Are you
  • a volunteer board chair;
  • small group leader;
  • leading your organization's strategic planning?

Send in your questions or dilemmas and let's develop strategies for you to build facilitation capacity. Looking forward to getting your questions. Your can send them to me in a variety of ways: use the e-mail link on the left, post them in the comments section below or send them to me via LinkedIn or Twitter @KathyStutzman - you pick the medium and let's get your questions answered.

To follow the facilitation series visit: Kathy Stutzman Facilitation Hubs

Dealing with Participants who are Overwhelmed in Meetings
Crafting an Agenda for Successful Meetings

A new article has been added to the series:

Re-framing threats and weaknesses into opportunities

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Irrational Optimist...That's Me

Seeing it in print makes me smile
Last week at the writers’ workshop with #1 New York Times Best Selling author, Grant Blackwood, I soaked up everything I could about writing, publishing and being successful in "the business" of writing. Grant was inspiring, engaging and generous with his wisdom - I am still percolating many of the lessons he shared.

One concept that he shared at the beginning of the workshop was that of the necessity of being an irrational optimist, and I am certain that it was at that moment I was hooked. I could relate. The terminology and related discussion resonated with me to my core. I am an irrational optimist. I have always been an irrational optimist. I believe that anything is possible and dreams will become reality; yes, there is work involved, but that is the journey we take on to achieve the goal and that journey is so much more enjoyable when faced as an irrational optimist.

I am all in as an irrational optimist…and anything is possible.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Characters Were Joining Me In The Workshop

Grant Blackwood,
#1 New York Times Best Selling Author
Writing can often be a lonely and crazy-making job, albeit, always interesting. The words come and go when I send the finished piece of work to its next destination, especially when working on projects that are 2,000 words or less; a blog article, an evaluation, proposal, report or short story for someone else.

When I afford myself the luxury of working on my own writing, the words stay with me a little longer as they percolate, get re-written and morph into an article, story or book. I become immersed in what I am writing and perhaps that is what has kept me from setting aside time to work on a suspense novel that has been sitting in my "idea pile" for several years. And now, thanks to #1 New York Times Best Selling Author Grant Blackwood  I can no longer ignore the thriller that is screaming to be written, for some of the characters began coming to life during a writer's workshop I attended taught by Grant.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Out of Chaos" a Thank You

How many people does it take?
The Rotarian Magazine article is now available..."Out of Chaos. How do you help girls in Ghana escape poverty? You listen." - from the August 2014 edition by Diana Schoberg.

Today is about gratitude. Last week while I was riding my bicycle across the State of Iowa at RAGBRAI (the Register's Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa) The Rotarian Magazine published Out of Chaos an article about the work I have been engaged in with a cadre of people in Ghana with Street Girls Aid.

Thank you

So many people made this possible that there is no way to individually recognize everyone and so I feel compelled to share an umbrella thank you for absolutely everyone who has listened to the stories, heard about the processes, purchased goods, supported the process by donating material goods, funds, prayers, well-wishes, advise, a shoulder to lean on, a word of encouragement, to those who listened patiently and questioned to help develop a stronger process, and to those who will continue to develop and encourage and support - thank you, thank you, thank you.

To those known and unknown supporters, an important understanding in the indicators of success in capacity building is knowing that we must be detached from the outcome, because the impact and ripple effect of an individual's impact is so much greater than anything anyone of us can envision and hold on to. See my TEDx talk about capacity building for more information.  Know that your personal investment in this process has played an important role in this story.

There are a few people whose sacrifices and passion require a "shout-out" related to this article and I will gladly recognize:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

5 Strategies to Boost Your Confidence

A critical component for confidence
Up and Over; Five Strategies to Boost Your Confidence

Struggling with confidence? Tired of self-defeating thoughts taking over every cell of your being? In a slump looking for a boost to get you back on track? We’ve all been there so know that you are in good company. No matter the origins of the loss of self-esteem or confidence, stress or case of the blahs it is critical to take charge to move up and over through a difficult time. While it would be great to think about someone else coming in and saving the day, helping you feel better, make you feel worthy, this boost to your confidence starts with you. And you can do it.

Below are 5 strategies from my e-book Up and Over; Boost Your Confidence When None is to be Found

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get Focused and Make an Impact

This relevant, timely and thought-provoking class offered me an opportunity to relate social impact investing to much of the work I am engaged in. My classmates were innovative and passionate about alleviating poverty and our project focused on articulating the model of poverty alleviation we have developed and measuring the impact of our work.

No small task, but this group is up to the challenge. Seven years later, it is important for us to stay focused and select the variables for the matrix carefully and intentionally otherwise we will overwhelm and be overwhelmed with data and outcomes. I am pretty excited at being this close to being able to tell the story and begin replicating the model.

Want to know more? Contact me via e-mail at, via Twitter @KathyStutzman or visit me on Facebook or LinkedIn and we will set up a time to connect. I am available to come to your organization or conference and present or conduct workshops. Get focused today and see what kind of impact you can be making in the world.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Up and Over; Boost Your Confidence When None is to be Found

Give the gift of confidence...

Struggling with confidence? Tired of self-defeating thoughts taking over every cell of your being? In a slump looking for a boost to get you back on track? We’ve all been there so know that you are in good company. No matter the origins of the loss of self-esteem or confidence, stress or case of the blahs it is critical to take charge to move up and over through a difficult time. While it would be great to think about someone else coming in and saving the day, helping you feel better, make you feel worthy, this boost to your confidence starts with you. And you can do it. This book is filled with strategies to help you do just that, boost your confidence when none is to be found. Purchase your copy today!

Up and Over; Boost Your Confidence When None is to be Found on Smashwords

Up and Over: Boost Your Confidence When None is to be Found on Amazon

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Investing for Impact - Start by Building Capacity

Developing relationships is a critical component
in capacity building and poverty alleviation
 This week’s Social Impact Lab created a great deal of spirited discussion prior, during and after our class meeting.  We have been working on this new method of working in the world in a more sustainable, and impacting manner for seven years and our lab group is made up of people who have varying perspectives, experiences and length of time within the think tank – so we are well-rounded and all have opinions. As well, we are willing to listen to what is being said and what is not being said because despite our variation in perspectives, we are all grounded in the vision.

The vision has shifted and changed as we have grown, learned and experienced over the years, adding partnerships, knowledge and resources. This week’s lab class gave us a framework around which to articulate some of the shifts as we shared our ideas, insights, and frustrations with charting all of the impact and outcomes that we have seen and captured. And interestingly enough it was the model case of that brought much of the discussion to a head, and got me to my ah-ha moment.

This reflection is my own, although I have shared it with the group for feedback and clarity, and I think I am onto a critical understanding of how to articulate our greatest struggle – what are we really trying to do – what is our real impact?

It is so easy to start calculating the social impact of our investments in the roads and bridges, schools and books, water delivery systems and health centers and that is exactly what we did not want to do – invest in a top-down, project-driven, imposition of our own strategic priorities. Yet, every time we look at what is happening in the community in which we are actively engaged, we start problem solving about using those successes (outputs) to tell our story.

The leadership of El Corozo prepares for a community meeting
So backing up from the roads and bridges is the real story – how did the community get to the point where THEY were empowered to organize their community; developing their own strategic plans, building capacity to train others, learning about choices and options so that they could identify and select those choices which would most closely align with their vision. And probably most importantly develop enough confidence in their competence that they could collectively as an organized community say no to aid offered which did not fit their strategic plan (despite the good it could provide.)

In a recent response about developing capacity, there was a question related to “people development” and Acumen’s response alluded to people development not being a strategy to alleviate poverty and I had a physical reaction as did several others in the think tank with whom I am working. That response stirred me to finally be able to articulate exactly why capacity development is the most critical component to sustainable poverty alleviation strategies.

Without empowered leadership within the organization, community or group with whom you are trying to alleviate poverty, the projects (regardless of the financial return on investment) will be an imposition of someone else’s strategic priorities. Projects don’t eradicate poverty. In a recent TEDx, TEDxHoracePark, I outlined this very problem and some solutions. You can view my opinions about this by clicking here:  Kathy Stutzman - TEDxHoracePark

 Creating the environment where a community is organized, empowered and has confidence in their own competence – that is capacity building – that creates opportunities for choices and options to be identified and selected – that is where we will see a more efficient and greater return on our investment. That part of social impact investing is critical, expensive and time-consuming and that is what we are working to develop, evaluate and replicate. For purposes of this study, I am going to call this a Tier 1 Impact.

Here is my synopsis of my ah-ha moment from Lab 2 of the +Acumen Course of Investing for Social Impact:

The Assumption:

We (District 5960 Rotarians and friends) will explore and develop a process through which we could engage in creating sustainable choices and options for economic well being in a poverty-stricken community in Nicaragua, with whom we had no prior existing relationship.

The Tier 1 Impact:

Empowered, focused leadership within the community will be active and instrumental in organizing, and directing the community to discover and explore new opportunities and options and work with partners to articulate the community’s choices, not simply accepting someone else’s strategic priorities imposed upon them. (Demonstrated Readiness)

As a Result:

The community will efficiently and sustainably incorporate, and implement appropriate economic initiatives and will actively participate and be vested in the investments chosen. (Higher and more efficient returns on investments)

How we are accomplishing this is another chapter, however, as a demonstration of the impact of building capacity please view this video which was recently produced by our local NGO partners and features the leaders of the community of El Corozo. Capacity Building and Leadership in El Corozo Nicaragua

For more information about the work of our think tank, please feel free to contact me, or any of the members of our group.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Getting Our Arms Around Social Impact Investing


I have been a member of a volunteer Think Tank since 2007 that is wrestling with a lot of complex issues related to exploring new methods of delivering service through Rotary in a meaningful and sustainable manner with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty. I recently spoke at Kathy Stutzman at TEDxHoracePark about some of my experiences related to our work.

A statement which I wrote at the beginning of my involvement in this was “Think Big, Stay Focused” since we were dreaming of changing/impacting the world. Since then several sayings that have been helpful to me are to remember also include: “You eat an elephant one bite at a time”, and “Pick the low hanging fruit.”

I am currently in the process of writing a “Lessons Learned” book which will describe many of the experiences and lessons that we encountered during this process, and there are many articles and presentations written about the work we are doing that I will reference as we go along.

The purpose of this particular series of articles is to process and interconnect the work of the Think Tank and a class that some of us from the group are taking from Acumen Acumen called “Making Sense of Social Impact: Acumen’s Building Blocks for Impact Analysis.” There are nine of us taking the class as a cohort, each week; we get our lessons and study materials from Acumen, work on our own to prepare for the class doing homework and then we meet weekly for four weeks. At the end of each lab or cohort class, we write a report and submit that report to +Acumen so that we can receive our certificate at the end of the class.

As I was writing my report I realized that many of the concepts and thoughts I was reflecting on and writing about relate directly to the work that I am doing in my professional life and so will post my reports and thoughts about Social Impact here. Enjoy, ask questions, and send feedback. I invite vibrant discussion!

Making Sense of Social Impact Report from Lab 1

Our group is a volunteer, committed, think tank that has been working on new models of delivering service through Rotary in a meaningful and sustainable manner following emerging concepts and ideas resulting from the introduction of “The End of Poverty, the UN Millennium Project and then subsequent study, activities and research.

We know very clearly what we do not want, after seeing years of our strategic priorities imposed upon others, “doing” project to others, and not engaging the community on which we were focusing in the planning, implementation and evaluation. We have seen millions of dollars thrown at projects that made us feel good when we created them, but ultimately, were not grounded in true sustainability. What we don’t want is often used as a baseline to describe what we are doing although we have created a vision and goals; they are ever evolving as we learn more and engage new partnerships complete with new sets of lessons learned.

1.       One of the first lessons learned is to develop a common set of definitions to describe our visions, dreams and ideas and that is one of the goals for this class: our group will work to develop some common definitions to better describe the breadth, depth and focus of the work in which we are engaged and the concepts we will define include:

·         Capacity Building
·         Sustainable

And then – what are we evaluating (evaluation measures) when looking at:

·         Breadth of Impact;
·         Scope of Impact and
·         Focus of Impact

Several aha’s from the class this week included:

2.       Each “partner/group” needs to come to the table with their own set of goals and visions and then work together to explore and define the intersection of those visions on which they will move forward together. Developing a common set of goals where within the intersection does not mean letting go of each individual set of goals, but enhances and strengthens the partners’ goals.

3.       Each individual brings to the table their own perspective and frame about how we are measuring success and all are important and need to be acknowledged and captured; understanding that some successes support the individual partners’ goals and some demonstrate successes of the intersection.

4.       Capacity building is the foundation of sustainability. We need to get very clear about the components of capacity building that are driving the sustainability of the project because both concepts are often mis-represented and mis-used.

5.       Several of the key components of capacity building include:

·         Being detached to outcome;
·         Supporting resources, tools and skill development for empowerment of the focus community;
·         Patience to give time and opportunities for the focus community to learn, develop and practice new skills for empowerment and sustainability;
·         Creating choices and opportunities in a manner that supports dignity, and does not undermine established empowerment;
·         Developing relationships by being present;
·         Coming to agreement as a group about timelines and evaluation measures;
·         Delivering, engaging in and creating resources, skills and tools that can be left behind and continue after the interventionists are gone.

6.       This is complex and difficult work and there are no easy fixes; even listing the components implies simplicity, which would not be accurate – each component is a study within itself.

7.       We are on the right track, there are huge successes and extremely important lessons learned that we have captured, now the task is sifting through the seven years of work and sharing the stories in ways that are meaningful, replicable and sustainable.

8.       There is much left to be done. Just because we are seven years down the road and have achieved a high level of success, this is our time to continue to press forward and this class provides a great foundation to do just that.

As a group we came to consensus about tabling what to “name” ourselves. The initiative with which we have been engaged needs a more clear identity and it is hoped that through the course of this study we will be able to determine a name that best describes our work.

No big conclusion here, lots of work left to be done and yet, there are many committed, talented people prepared and ready to do so – can’t wait for next week.

Useful Group Exercise

After our lab class watched the video of Sasha Dichter about Acumen’s investment model, our group was asked to share a little about what social impact meant to us and when we had experienced/learned about it. We are a diverse group with a broad perspective of life and educational experiences and although we are all focused on the topic that drew us together, we each described our first experiences of observing social impact. Interestingly, our perspectives covered the gamut of the 3 parts of social impact; breadth, depth and focus.

From storytelling, school-based learning and the beginning stages of volunteer engagement – all of us shared what social impact meant to us and how we learned about it. I can’t wait to plot each of the experiences and stories into a chart of the 3 parts and start looking at that (I am a visual learner).

For organizations and groups that are beginning to talk about social impact; the lives reached, jobs created, the impact on the lives being served, and increases in well-being – a great “get-to-know-you” exercise is to watch the Acumen video , reflect and then share your experiences. This exercise helped me understand the framework from which each participant drew upon. Of course, the best thing you could do is to register for the class the next time it is offered, but until then – enjoy the lessons learned of those of us who are currently participating.

For me this contributed to the greatest ah-ha moment: an understanding about why it is so hard to capture the impact in one or two sentences – there are so many measures (successes) within each of the components of social impact, that coming to a common understanding and definition of the components of the framework and then charting those successes within the framework – will create a broader impact understanding; first among our group, and then the greater community.

Respectfully submitted – Kathy Stutzman, M.A., M.A.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What do you do when the going gets tough?

This reminder to breathe hangs in my office...
along with a little note from one of my daughters...thanks Shannon!
I am working on a fun project right now and would love to know what you do when the going gets tough? This picture reminds me to breathe and hangs in my office...and is my first go to strategy when things get tough...what is your go-to strategy? Comment below or e-mail me or post your strategy on @KathyStutzman. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Start Your Strategic Planning Today

Kathy Stutzman, M.A., M.A. Consulting Presents
Strategic Planning Workshops

Need to take your organization to a new level, figure out direction or renewal, or looking for a way to start moving forward? These customized workshops will respond to your unique needs and help get you going in the right direction.

Workshops are customized based on:

·         Structure of the business
·         Mission or purpose of your group
·         Size: staffing/budget/clientele
·         Unique needs of your organization
·         Position in the lifecycle of an organization

Choose from 3 Strategic Planning Packages:

·         Basic
·         Expanded
·         Comprehensive

Start somewhere, set up a consultation, pick the strategic planning package that best fits your needs and get your organization moving forward today.

Kathy Stutzman, M.A., M.A. Consulting                                             
(507) 219-0912, @KathyStutzman

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Power and Responsibility of One

TEDx HoracePark, March 1, 2014
The Power and Responsibility of One.

Why patience is the most critical component in successful, sustainable poverty eradication efforts.
By Kathy Stutzman

Before I share with you a new paradigm for eradicating poverty I have a few questions for you…

I’d like you to take a moment to think of a pivotal time in your life, think about the person involved and the essence of what that person said or did that made it a pivotal moment…most people remember a time when someone believed in you more than you believed in yourself…Now I am going to ask you to think about the last time you were that person for someone else…

This new paradigm which was informed and inspired by a think tank I am part of…this new paradigm…gives us plenty of opportunities to believe in someone before they yet believe in themselves.

Now I know we all like to get big returns on our investments, so I am wondering why when we invest in poverty eradication efforts we are so willing to invest in projects instead of people? Why are we so willing to invest in building buildings instead of building skills? This new paradigm offers a sustainable method of investing our capital, our abundant wealth that will yield immeasurable returns.

Lest you think I am not talking to you, let me be clear…I am…the wealth wherever you are, is abundant. When investing our capital, I am talking about more than money; I am talking about developing and maintaining relationships while sharing resources – that’s our social capital. So how do we leverage that social capital, that abundant wealth that you have, that I have…to make a difference in the world?

I was in Ghana, West Africa recently helping to build the capacity of Street Girls Aid, an organization working with the 61,000 street children living, working and sleeping in the streets of Accra. 61,000 street children. That could be pretty overwhelming and instead we leveraged social capital in a way that is making a sustainable difference in the world, making a difference for those children…

I’m also working on a poverty eradication effort in Nicaragua, inspired by economist Jeffrey Sachs who in 2006 challenged us with this - “We are the first generation that not only has the capacity but the responsibility to end extreme poverty”.  Now that’s a challenge that I can get into especially knowing that 43% of the population in Nicaragua lives on less than $2/day. Of course I want to invest in eradicating poverty, but only if I know that my investment will make a meaningful difference…

And that’s where this gets tricky…of course I want to make a difference…but this new model of investing social capital in poverty eradication requires us to be bold and be patient – kind of like hurry up and wait…
I work with a lot of type A people…I might even be one myself…fixers, kind do-gooders who haven’t seen a problem that we can’t fix or solve, and we can McGyver our way out of any situation, sometimes even creating new problems to match our solutions…

And when faced with overwhelming challenges like 61,000 children living in the streets, or half of a country in poverty…it feels much better to be able to see immediate results - we dig wells, we build roads and homes because we can quickly see and measure the outcome of our actions…but to what end our investment?

Be bold... let’s hurry up and make a difference!! Be patient...STOP let’s think about how to do this right…let’s take the time to build relationships and invest in people and that all takes time…why does it take so much time?

Investing in people and relationships is not easy, nor is it a quick fix…actively believing in someone who does not yet believe in themselves takes patience, creating confidence takes practice, and dreaming about the possible infinite opportunities is NOT about fixing,  or problem-solving, or telling, it is about patiently listening and connecting.

In “Bridging the Class Divide” author Linda Stout suggests that people born into generational poverty have limited exposure to options outside of their experience…so when we work to create a framework for visioning, we have to believe in the capacity of all, understanding that not all been exposed to the same opportunities to articulate their dreams, or think about the future…and that takes time…

Last year I was facilitating a focus group in the US with parents in poverty with young children and reached the final question “do you have anything else that you would like to add…” and a young mom in the back jumped up and said “I want everyone to know that just because I am poor does not mean I am stupid

I keep that mom’s lesson in forefront of my mind at all times. When working to eradicate poverty, we need to humbly remember that the people with whom we are working are the experts, they know best…they are the experts of their realities and so who are we…who am I to impose my own strategic priorities on others???

All we are as investors of social capital are conduits, sharing resources, connecting people, providing opportunities to try and practice new skills and tools and then… we need to get out of the way and let the magic happen …without us.

This may well be the most difficult part for us in this new paradigm of eradicating poverty, yet until we are willing to be detached from the outcome, our efforts will not be sustainable.

It is a beautiful moment - when people gain confidence in their competence, are vested in their work and are realizing their dreams. I have seen it happen time and time again when it all comes together and a community says - we’ve got this, we can do this, we can make this happen…

People, relationships and dreams – that’s the new paradigm.
People, relationships, and dreams – that is where our sustainable investments lie.

As philanthropists with abundant wealth, with tons of social capital at our fingertips…we have within us the power to change the world.  We can invest in building relationships and capacity, we can create opportunities for others to dream and confidently move forward, or we can invest in others who will willingly put their sandals on the streets. The power and responsibility of changing the world lies in our hands…I know how I am investing my social capital…I invite you to consider investing your abundant wealth in people, relationships and dreams. Thank you.

“The End of Poverty”, by Jeffrey Sachs
“Bridging the Class Divide”, by Linda Stout
“Census on Street Children in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana” Ghana 2011
“The Community Leadership Handbook” James Krile with Gordon Curphy and Duane R. Lund
The WHO data bank for Nicaragua
Random House Dictionary of the English Language (1981)


Kathy Stutzman TEDx HoraceAustin

Kathy Stutzman is a world citizen who is passionate about creatively connecting people around the globe. A consummate traveler, she has actively sought to build relationships and connect people around the world and within the United States.  After working in the non-profit sector for more than 25 years she now uses her experience in her consulting practice to build capacity within communities, organizations and businesses facilitating strategic planning and resource and skill development.  Her recent work in Nicaragua and Ghana informs much of her current practice.

An author, she has published 2 e-books; “One Hundred Days of Giving” and “From The Eye of The Hurricane”, publishes several blogs:, a food and travel site,, a site about her recent work in Ghana, and her professional site:

Kathy recently hosted a series of public television shows for KSMQ TV, On Q Latitudes celebrating the cultures, tradition and heritage of people from other countries who live in our communities. Co-owner of Words Unlimited, a professional writing business, Kathy has authored countless articles, grants, and published works. Look for some of her more popular pieces at

A Rotarian for 23 years and an active community volunteer Kathy has a legacy of making connections, listening and helping make magic as she demonstrates the practice of her talk today. Be bold, be patient and believe in the capacity of others.

Ms. Stutzman received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she has a Master’s Degree in Health and Human Services Administration from St. Mary’s University and a second Master’s degree in Management also from St. Mary’s.

Kathy currently resides in rural Minnesota and is proud of the contributions of her family within the world, her husband, Stan, daughters Alison and Shannon, son-in-law Ben and grandchildren Trillian and Harkr. You can learn more about Kathy’s passions, or to contact her to work with your group or organization visit, on Twitter at @KathyStutzman, e-mail or find her on Facebook or LinkedIN - she’d love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Celebrating cultures, traditions and hopes & dreams

Yesenia, Laura and Kathy on the set of
On Q Latitudes
 On Q Latitudes airs on Friday nights in January at 8:00 pm Central time. Join me, your host as we explore and celebrate cultures, traditions and stories from people who are from other countries and are now living in our communities. Learn about their hope and dreams, their struggles and opportunities, and what brought their families to the United States. Each show is 30 minutes and features my guests, my guest co-hosts along with photos, factoids, music, food and even questions asked by our viewing audience. Come and celebrate the culture and traditions and heritage of our neighbors, friends and families on On Q Latitudes beginning Friday January 3rd at 8:00 pm Central time. For those of you out of our viewing range, the series will be available on-line, for more viewing onformation go to: or join the conversation at:   KSMQ Public TV Facebook

Luke, Ernie and Kathy on the set of On Q Latitudes
January 31, 2014 Join me, your host on Friday night for On Q Latitudes on KSMQ Public Television and we explore the incredible journey that our featured guest, Ernesto Rodriguez Ruiz, faced as he left his native country of Cuba to find a new home with hopes and dreams here in the United States. It is a fascinating story. Luke Sperduto joins me as guest co-host as we learn about some of the heritage, traditions and taking a leap of faith from Cuba. This Friday night at 8:00 central time on KSMQ Public Television.

Tim, Alisa and Kathy on the set of On Q Latitudes
January 24, 2014 Join me on Friday night January 24th at 8:00 pm Central time on KSMQ Public Television with my guest co-host Tim Ruzek and featured guest Alisa Rudiger as we learn about the culture, heritage and traditions of Germany on On Q Latitudes. Learn about health care, food and family and what it is like to grow up in Germany several generations after World War II - the answers to these questions and more during this week's episode of On Q Latitudes.Tim, Alisa and I share stories and talk about what it is like to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.

Yesenia and Laura
January 17, 2014 features Laura Lee who shares with us the deep and rich traditions of the Hmong Culture. Join me and my guest co-host Yesenia Mendoza as we learn about how the Hmong people relocated to the United States, the importance of stories, family and traditions. How does a first generation Hmong woman honor the culture of her family and find a place for her family? What sacrifices were made by the Hmong people as they sought communities in which to raise their children? Why did the Hmong people relocate to Minnesota? Learn about the answers to these questions and more during this week's episode of On Q Latitudes.Yesenia and Laura share some great stories and connections in this episode of On Q Latitudes. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.

Yesenia, Vandana and Kathy on the set
On Q Latitudes, KSMQ TV
Vandana and her family 
January 10, 2014 features the country of India, with my guest Vandana Tripathi. Join me and my guest co-host, Yesenia Mendoza as we learn about the rich and diverse cultures and traditions of India. I first met Vandana at a cooking class that she was teaching and have since enjoyed her cooking several times. She makes her own paneer and I am looking forward to having her as a guest cook on my Mama Caruso Cooks You-tube channel - stay posted for an announcement about that, along with some great Indian recipes and cooking tips for successful spicy meals. Yesenia and Vandana share some great stories and connections in this episode of On Q Latitudes. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.  

Luke, Sabrina and Eddie on the set of
 On Q Latitudes
Luke, Sabrina, Eddie and Kathy
on the set at On Q Latitudes
January 3, 2014 features the country of Togo with my guests Eddie and Sabrina Devine. Join me and my guest co-host, Luke Sperduto as we learn about the cultures and traditions of this exotic West African country. I have been to Togo twice and think fondly of the people and the hospitality. I have enjoyed some of the best food ever in the capital city of Lome and some of the more adventuresome food in Apatakme, located in the central part of the country. I hope you enjoy learning more about this country from our guests and the stories that they share.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Let me introduce you to just a few of my mentors...

This word buffet is helping to inform several of my latest projects: a book proposal, a keynote speech, a workshop, implementation of a major international project and a few articles about sustainable community/international development...stay tuned for information and locations near you.

Until whom do you turn when you need advice, a sounding board, a new and or challenging idea?