Who I am: Ally

KdT Ventures
Jul 16 · 4 min read

As a firm, the team at KdT has decided to publish long-form Bio’s to help the folks we work with learn more about who we are as people. Our hope is that the openness and vulnerability that comes from sharing our stories will help enable our dialogues with all our partners, most importantly, current and future KdT founders. Here goes nothing…

My parents tell the story that I grew up on a surfboard in the sunny beach town of Ventura, California. Mind you, I was not actually surfing but paddling past the waves, sitting on the board, and discussing the finer things of life with friends: food, sports, boys, braces. When not on the beach with friends acquiring more freckles (my version on tanning), I was at home with my family working on assorted home projects. My family is a “get-er-done” unit that unabashedly makes honey-do lists that would make HGTV weep with pride. The work ethic of my family and their instinctive striving to better themselves is evidenced by the fact that when I left town to begin my own degree, my mother also enrolled in the local university to start and complete her BA at 40. What a badass.

With this legacy of self-improvement, support from family, and a track and field scholarship, I left the weather-paradise of Southern California and moved to the corn-paradise of Northwest Iowa (state slogan pending) to attend Northwestern College. My time in school provided a myriad of experiences and mentors which helped me develop as a young adult. Here, I experienced the paradox of my complete insignificance in the vastness of the world, alongside my own unique and meaningful role in the human lives around me. One of the many places this truth was revealed to me was summers spent volunteering at a Younglife camp in Northern California. Here, I witnessed the triumphs one feels with the completion of a goal, as well as the healing that can come from naming one’s grief in a sacred place outside the rhythms of life. I was exposed to the power of teamwork and what a group can accomplish when driven by their passions. I was encouraged, motivated and thriving to learn more. So I thought, as many 21-year-old often do: “this was a moving experience, I should make this my job.”

Like many of my generation, I wasn’t sure how I fit into the world upon graduation. After scouring the what little job opportunities I could harvest, I finally landed with a renowned summer camp nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains called Camp Merri Mac. Aiming for the intern position, I interviewed and was offered the role as assistant director. The job would afford me the opportunity to practice many different professional skills which could easily translate into any career. I rolled up my sleeves, bought some Chacos, and got to work. I recruited and hired the majority of our summer crew, managed and cared for the emotions of our 80 college girl staffers, did clerical work, and created systems for better organization and efficiency. While I love the hype and action of the summer season, it became abundantly clear to me that my favorite parts of work were the administrative off season tasks. In other words, the best part of my job was doing the background, organizational work which enabled others to be successful in their roles on a daily basis.

As I was coming to this realization, my husband was accepted to Princeton Theological Seminary to further his degree, and I saw this as an appropriate time for a career change. One evening, while having drinks at our favorite dive bar with some friends, Cain and Ashley, I expressed my desire to get into professional administrative work. Cain casually told me about an opening in administration and operations with his company KdT Ventures. He asked me to consider it, downed a PBR, then challenged me to a game of darts. While I lost the game, a spark and excitement for Venture Capital and the work that KdT is doing in the world flooded me. After very formal interviews, and intensive study about VC, I was welcomed into the KdT family.

At KdT, I am able to employ the work ethic instilled in me by my parents all the while feeling apart of a new family unit that is also building, creating and improving something every week. Creating organizational structures to help our firm run smoothly and assisting in whatever needs to be done has met both my desire for intellectual stimulation and my natural tendency to just get things done. The sentiment “it takes a village” runs true when it comes to the success of KdT Ventures. I just happen to be the villager that isn’t a doctor, scientist or lawyer. But I do make a mean to-do-list. Also, birthday cake… I make a great birthday cake.

My husband and I reside in Princeton, New Jersey where we enjoy frequenting the best local happy hours, art museums, and sneaking away to New York for a Broadway show whenever we can.

KdT Ventures

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