Big Brothers Big Sisters is not your typical organization. They help children realize their potential and build their futures. They nurture children and strengthen communities. And they couldn’t do any of it without the help of their chapters.
We interviewed Kristi Hutchison, Chief Marketing Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City to learn more about why she decided to help children realize their potential and some of the successful programs she's created and managed.
To start, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I'm the Chief Marketing Officer for BBBSKC. I've been with BBBS for 10 years and now. The days, weeks, months and years fly by and I love knowing that what I'm doing is making a difference to people. My husband Greg and I met in college at Northwest Missouri State University and have been married for 12 years now. We have two girls – Lauren (9) and Grace (6). We love to travel, go to concerts, hang out by the pool and enjoy spending our weekends with friends and family.
As someone who works with a charity, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I love talking to Little Brothers and Sisters about how the program has impacted them. I love hearing from Mom's who say their child has been forever changed because of their Big and I love spending time with Bigs who give their time so freely to help a kid, they are truly amazing people.
Tell me about a program or two you developed from start to finish that’s impacted you, your organization and/or others?
As the CMO, I'm able to participate in many conversations and planning sessions that help set the direction for the agency as a whole. I love being involved with every department from helping to recruit more volunteers, to finding new event attendees, to spreading the word about a new program or initiative to raising money to benefit BBBS. I can honestly say every day is a new challenge.
I'm really proud of how we've been able to re-align our marketing strategies and brands to market to the millennial volunteer, we are contacted weekly from other BBBS agencies to hear about how we've been able to hit our goals by changing the way we market. I'm also proud to be a part of an auction now called KC's Most Wanted Auction that started because a friend of mine worked at a local magazine (that friend now works at BBBS with me and is in charge of our special events). Being a part of the auction from day one and seeing what it has become now is really rewarding – last year it raised $180,000 for our agency.
What’s the most challenging part of your job that in turn makes it so rewarding?
The most challenging is working on a limited budget but still trying to do the quality of work that you would expect from a company with a much larger budget. Because of that though when we can look back at the quality and quantity of projects our team is able to complete, it's amazing. We make every dollar count and I wouldn't want it any other way.
What called you to this career choice where individuals put service above self?
I was always interested in non-profit marketing. I happened to know a Big Brother in the BBBS program and he told me about the opening, the rest is history.
Skydiving or bungee jumping? Why?
Eek – neither! I'm not too much of a thrill seeker, I prefer nice, relaxing things like sitting by a pool, eating and drinking. :) I did go zip lining once and I enjoyed that and in February I visited Thailand where we went on a kayaking, hiking and snorkeling excursion. But I don't think you'll see me skydiving or bungee jumping any time soon.
Share one of your most cherished memories with your charity, and why it stays with you?
This is hard, there are so many. I love the times I spend with my co-workers. I love the photoshoots and video shoots with our matches. I love our events and all the great people I get to meet and socialize with. As weird as it sounds, I love the hours behind my desk implementing the plans that we've made. One specific memory is going to the BBBS national conference in 2010 where our agency was recognized as the top agency in the country out of 400 affiliates. This marked the first time BBBSKC has won this award but it wasn't the last, since then we've won it 3 other times and I've been lucky enough to be there each time!! Seeing all of our hard work pay off is an incredible feeling and getting to experience it with my co-workers was one of the best feelings.
Besides your organization, is there another charity or cause you support?
I support almost any cause I can. I especially like to support causes my friends are passionate about, it shows me what great people I have in my life. The Susan Koman and the Head for the Cure event are two I always participate in!
Name your favorite sports team and why they are No. 1 on your list?
THE ROYALS! Because I'm KC Proud!
Founded originally as a Kansas City Jaycee project in 1964, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City (BBBSKC) has served more than 20,000 at-risk youth in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Serving over 1,700 youth in Kansas City each year, BBBSKC provides children facing adversity in one-to-one life-changing friendships with adult mentors. BBBSKC matches school-aged youth (Littles) from one-parent or other non-traditional homes, with caring, adult volunteers (Bigs).
Want to be Interviewed?
We love charities, and we love celebrating the people who dedicate their lives to supporting others. We want to celebrate you so if you'd like to be interviewed or know someone who we should interview let us know by emailing JP at firstname.lastname@example.org.