Here at the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, there are many key components that allow this agency to run smoothly. Some people are front and center and their impact can be seen day to day, while others play the background and allow their impact to only be felt; Kathy Stouffer is in the latter group.
Stouffer is a quiet and rather unfamiliar face to most who work at CEOGC. She began at the agency in August of 2018 as the Administrative Assistant to the VP of Children & Families and the VP of Community Services; Dr. Thea Wilson and Doug Bennett. “Because of the dual nature of my role, I get to learn and experience all the in’s and out’s of what we do here at CEOGC,” said Stouffer of her daily workload.
She’s only been here five months, but her work ethic and aptitude for efficiency have caught many eyes — in particularly the person that was a part of the hiring process sang high praises for his administrative assistant.
“Since Kathy has been here, her work ethic has been phenomenal,” said Bennett. “She’s instituted new procedures and systems that we’ve never had before. She has been a great asset to our team and we look forward to our continued work with her as CEOGC continues to grow and move forward.”
Stouffer has lived her life based on the mantra, “When one door closes, another one opens,” and that has remained true as she walked away from one profession into the world of community services that is, CEOGC.
Prior to arriving at the council, Stouffer led a successful career in banking. She was hired as a credit investigator in 1980 and moved up the chain much quicker than she expected. “I had no idea when I started that one day I would become the Executive Assistant to the Regional President of the Huntington Bank in Cleveland,” she said.
The same work ethic we see at work, Stouffer applies to her home life as well. The Brookpark, Ohio native has been married to her husband, Larry, for 31 years, has two step-children, two grandchildren and is the proud owner of Sammy, the families five-year-old snoodle. What she enjoys most is being in the gym. “Everyone that knows me knows that I love physical fitness,” she said. “I think a big secret about me is that I became a certified personal fitness trainer seven years ago and have continued to be re-certified every two years.”
Even with the sometimes frivolous amounts of work she amasses at the office, Stouffer finds ways to be active throughout each week by walking daily, and even finding time to get a quick workout in during lunch. “Staying active allows me to think clearly and be more effective throughout my day, she said.” You may catch her walking up and down the stairs and if the weather is nice; maybe outside walking a few laps around the property. Beyond her passion for fitness, Stouffer finds her inspiration for life in the people around her.
“When I walk down the street and I see people that I’ve known for 20-30 years — for them to remember me; that makes me happy,” she said. “Knowing that you have an effect on someone else’s life is meaningful to me. I strive to see the good in people every day– that’s what makes life worthwhile.”
How tall are you?:
Stouffer: “As a young lady, I was always taller than most people, but I think I may have shrunk — I’m not the tallest person anymore.”
Did you ever play any sports?:
Stouffer: “Back in high school, I was a cheerleader, but in middle school, I ran track on the all-boys team. At that time there was no team for girls. When I was 11 years old, I won a gold medal in the Regional Junior Olympics for standing long jump. I guess I was pretty good.”
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