Kenna Poppler specializes in corporate philanthropy and employee community involvement. As Community Relations Manager at the U.S. Bank Foundation, she oversees the company’s national employee giving campaign and the U.S. Bank Volunteers program. In her role, she enjoys fostering partnerships that enhance employee engagement and improve lives in communities across the country. Outside of work, Kenna enjoys investing in the community as a member of The Minneapolis Foundation’s Fourth Generation Fund and through the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Minneapolis Hub. Kenna holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and French from Hamline University. In a perfect week she would spend time with family and friends and then, to appease her intercultural appetite, jet off to any of the many countries she hasn’t yet experienced, reading a good book along the way!
1. What do you know now that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
It is okay not to have a clear five-year plan. I used to worry all the time about whether I’d made the right career decisions. Currently, I enjoy the career path I am on and I got there through willingness to work hard, a positive attitude, and good timing. Those things aren’t in your master plan; they are a reflection of work ethic with some luck thrown in.
2. Outside of your job, how do you grow professionally?
Each year I have been fortunate to be selected for a leadership development program or have gotten involved in a nonprofit effort. My longest standing commitment has been to Fourth Generation, which I currently chair. Fourth Generation is a program of The Minneapolis Foundation that helps young professionals learn about effective, meaningful charitable giving. Members pool resources, learn about an issue in the community and make an investment in local nonprofits.
On March 3, Fourth Generation offers the public a unique opportunity to learn about our work while trying foods from four local restaurants through our annual fundraiser, Graze4Good. Tickets and details can be found here.
3. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
In my role, employees reach out to me every week with great causes and initiatives that need financial and volunteer support. They are all important efforts, but we unfortunately cannot sponsor all of them. While my company has great programs to support individual efforts such as time off for volunteering and employee matching gifts, I really dislike not being able to provide even more resources to employees who are passionate, motivated, and trying to improve our communities!
4. Who has been a mentor or supporter during your career so far?
It sounds trite, but I am lucky to have a great network of colleagues, friends and family to support me in all different areas of my career development. The encouragement and advice of every one of them gives me the motivation to keep learning and growing. For example, my parents and grandparents were instrumental in encouraging me to go to college to prepare for my career, whereas fellow members of Fourth Generation challenge me today to examine my philanthropic values, which has an impact on how I make decisions in my position at U.S. Bank.
5. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type and do you agree?
ESTJ. I definitely carry the STJ characteristics of being practical and realistic, relying on structure and logic to be most effective. In addition, I am dependable and take my commitments seriously, putting a lot of effort into responsibilities I undertake. However, I would consider myself a true ambivert. I am motivated by and enjoy socializing with a wide variety of people, but in leadership roles I am more comfortable working with smaller groups of people that I know well.
This article was originally published at BePollen.com.