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Employee Spotlight – A World Where…

January 24, 2012

In addition to my immensely satisfying career helping others as Kathleen at Almost Eden leader of Bill.com’s Customer Support team, I really enjoy being a part of my local Palo Alto community. I moved here from Reno, Nevada about eight years ago and have been enjoying everything the San Francisco area has to offer ever since – mild weather, open-minded people, beautiful vistas, and diversity. I’m primarily involved in my community in three different ways, which help to support my values, and the world I’d like to live in. 

A world where no one is hungry

I work for a local community garden, Almost Eden, which produces over 40 pounds of fresh produce per week for homeless shelters and food kitchens. Most of what people donate is canned, boxed or dried food. While these foods are important (and our donations are so helpful), it is immensely satisfying to be able to grow nutrient-rich, dense foods, like kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and beans. In the summertime, I also walk my beautiful Palo Alto neighborhoods for picking opportunities. Many people who live here, enjoy the beauty and fragrance of fruit trees in their yards, but cannot possibly consume the whole yield themselves. I offer to pick for free and donate what I pick to St. Anthony’s, this area’s largest food kitchen. The less fortunate select this produce from a “store” of sorts, which offers this fresh, delicious food for free, to those who need it. And yes, I sometimes snag a juicy peach or apricot for myself. It is all part of the fun!

A world where everyone can read

Since I was small, my life’s biggest solo pleasure is reading. I taught myself to read at age three and I have been a bookworm ever since. I would love it if absolutely everyone in the United States could read and enjoy reading the way I do. But there is an even more practical purpose for reading. Without basic skills, people cannot drive or fill out job applications or understand an apartment lease. For this reason, I volunteer with Vision Literacy in local jails, to teach inmates basic skills.Without these skills, there is no hope for these inmates’ future. Often, I simply help someone to fill out a form, to understand what a lawyer has said, to write a letter to family members or to study for their driver’s test. These basic things are so important to the inmates. As one inmate said in a letter he dictated to his mother “Mom, I am working with a tutor now so I can read and try to do something good with my future. There is hope.” To learn more, visit http://www.visionliteracy.org/.

A world where women understand their worth

As a professional woman, who has built a career working my way from the bottom up, I am especially passionate about mentoring budding female professionals in my area. Through Women Unlimited, an organization that helped me to achieve my goals, I mentor and speak to groups of professional women in various phases of their careers. I want to show that their dreams are attainable and to help foster a community that nurtures the dreams of other people. In many ways, this is what I do all day long at work, too – I help make people’s dreams possible by freeing them from the financial aspects of their business that take their time away from their core focus. In both cases, I am especially blessed to be able to make a difference in the lives of others. You’ll find when you do that, your life changes for the better, as well.

Thanks for reading,

Kathleen Echeverria
VP of Customers

Join me on Linkedin.

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