PM360 recently spoke to Kaye Kugler, MBA, Senior Product Manager, Marketing, Santarus, about “paying it forward.”
PM360: Kaye, can you tell us what you like to do most outside of your professional job and how long have you been involved in that activity?
Kaye: I enjoy volunteering and staying active in the San Diego community. For the last several years, I’ve been involved with Athena San Diego, an organization that unites San Diego women executives from the life sciences, technology, engineering and healthcare industries.
What makes you passionate about working with Athena San Diego?
My involvement in Athena San Diego has allowed me the opportunity to connect with other professional women on a variety of different levels. As an Athena member, I was able to join the Forums for Executive Women (FEW) group, which is a group of eight to 10 women with varied interests and backgrounds. We meet on a regular basis and share our experiences and challenges as we strive to reach our professional and personal goals.
How would you describe the personal satisfaction you get out of this involvement?
Being involved and giving back to my local community feels good. I am also a big believer in “paying it forward,” so staying involved helps me achieve that goal.
How has your involvement with Athena evolved over the years?
Since my children are still young, I do what I can with the time I have. As an example, I volunteered to help with one of the Athena’s biggest annual awards gala, The Pinnacle Awards Dinner, which focuses on awarding merit-based scholarships to the next generation of women leaders—graduating high school senior women. As my children get older, I would like to take on more leadership roles—this is where I can have the most impact on the community.
Were you inspired by someone to pursue community involvement? If so, who?
Yes, my mom! As a single mom, she taught me the value of hard work, independence and perseverance. She also taught me the importance of helping people and giving back to your local community, so I have tried to apply those values in my life.
What else do you do enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am also heavily involved with the San Diego Parents of Twins Club, an organization for parents of multiples in San Diego County. As their PR Outreach lead, it’s been a pleasure to promote the club to help other parents of multiples. We’ve done great work with the local hospitals and physician offices to help spread the word about the club. My children attend some of the events with me and are also learning the benefits of volunteerism.
What hobbies or interests outside of work would you still like to pursue at some point?
I would love to do more work with the community. There’s always an opportunity to make a difference. I would also like to start a blog about my experiences so my children and others can benefit from what I have learned over the years.