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Meet Kari Yatkowski: The Valley's Most Influential Woman

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Meet Kari Yatkowski, the founder and president of Haven Charitable Foundation, which focuses on building a synergy of resources, time, leadership and passion to create opportunities for people to reach their highest possibilities. She also won Most Influential Women in the Valley for the Best of Our Valley Contest! Look for her in our March issue.

Arizona Foothills Magazine: Where are you from?

Kari Yatkowski: Spearfish, South Dakota.

AFM: How long have you lived in Phoenix?

KY: I have lived in Phoenix for 25 years. 

AFM: What is your profession?

KY: Chief Navigator of Corporate Citizen. Corporate Citizen guides businesses and their stakeholders through every step of corporate responsibility. We use a logical methodology that integrates social strategies with each company's unique corporate values and business goals. I am also Founder and CEO of Haven Charitable Foundation. Our mission is built on a spectrum of gifts that create a synergy of resources, time, leadership and passion to create opportunities for people to reach their possibilities. We support children and families, human services, early education and healthcare initiatives.

AFM: How long have you been in this career?

KY: Corporate Citizen will launch in Jan 2012.

I founded Haven Charitable Foundation in 2003. It is blend of experience that I have spent more than 20 years cultivating.

AFM: Why is it your passion?

KY: I feel I have a unique, dual perspective on solving issues. I have worked as both donor and as a fundraiser. As I worked on the Valley's most pressing issues, I saw a disconnect between the way non-profits were aligning with their donors to create shared value. My greatest goal, personally and professionally is to create a greater, longer lasting impact that benefits companies, their stakeholders and the community.

AFM: Why do you think you won Most Influential Woman in the Valley?

KY: I was in a great company and I know most of the other nominees personally because I have worked shoulder to shoulder with many of them. They are all outstanding in their fields and professions. I think my advantage came because I am not in a singular profession or company but work many groups of people across many different industries.

AFM: What do you do differently when it comes to working hard?

KY: I work in many different "lanes" so I have to change hats a lot. Rarely is one day devoted to one specific project. I prioritize and stay flexible so I can focus on what needs my attention that day. I love a dynamic, furious pace and thrive on getting things done at a high level. I love the act of collaboration.

AFM: How did you get your votes?

KY: I had a lot of help. Many friends, non-profits and fellow philanthropist acted as "captains" and asked for votes on my behalf. I am fortunate that so many people had enough faith in me to activate a voting base among many groups of people. I used social media to update my voting base and am so grateful for everyone's support.

AFM: Where did your inspiration come from for starting Haven Charitable Foundation?

KY: In the beginning, I started volunteering because I knew I had time, resources and cared deeply about the Valley and those in need. It quickly became apparent that a check just wasn't enough. I wanted to give with purpose and create giving where there was none. Activating others to give of themselves is where I get the most gratification. That passion for bringing people together to create strong alignments between those with resources and those in need of opportunities organically became Corporate Citizen. It's the perfect complement of what I love to do and what I do well. I live by the quote "If not you, than who?"

AFM: What are your hobbies?

KY: I love my family and adore my three precious boys. My husband Paul and I cherish entertaining friends. I love creating a theme for a party and bringing all the details together to build a beautiful outcome.

AFM: Do you have any hidden talents?

KY: I am a stray animal magnet. I will be that lady with way too many pets.

 

 Click here to read about Kari in Women Who Move the Valley 2011.

 Click here to read about Kari as Influencial Women in previous years.

 Cick here to read about  Kari in Best of Our Valley 2012.

 Want to know more about Haven Charitable Foundation? Click here.