July 16, 2018

Luria leads CT Council for Philanthropy board as new chair

Kathy Luria

Kathy Luria sees her new position as board chair of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, as the culmination of her career — and life — so far.

Luria, senior vice president of community affairs and director of philanthropy at Webster Bank, has spent a decades-long career focused on charity, community relations and education.

Before joining Webster in 2006, Luria spent nearly 20 years as an administrator at Naugatuck Valley Community College, where she led a number of continuing-education workshops helping single mothers build self-reliance.

What issues are of the highest priority for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy?

CCP is focused on bolstering the philanthropic leadership in the state, improving our data and analytical services, and continuing to deepen the organization's commitment to equity.

What do you hope to accomplish as board chair?

My hope is to work closely with our new president, Karla Fortunato, to continue to build a strong board — one that is engaged in the important work of the Council. At the same time, we will continue to turn our attention to the membership to be sure we fulfill our promise of being a relevant and resilient body of guidance and learning.

Is there any particular philanthropic effort you have been a part of that makes you especially proud?

When the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston approached Connecticut for inclusion in their Working Cities Challenge, I became a lead member of the resource team and then the advisory council. Along with a host of leaders across the state, I would say I am particularly proud of the collaborative nature of this effort that resulted in four Connecticut cities being selected as CT Working Cities Challenge grant recipients.

You work as an adjunct professor at UConn and Naugatuck Valley Community College. Do you think the next generation of business professionals are philanthropy-minded?

Absolutely! I see it in the next generation. They have an interest in giving back, volunteering and helping their classmates. There is great interest in working for companies that are socially minded.

What's one thing people don't know about you?

In an effort to remain alert and challenge my brain, I have recently taken up piano lessons.

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