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Kathy Goss '74

Kathy Goss Kathy Goss has never been afraid to try something new.

A native of Shaker Heights who spent her first few years as a student at Mercer School, she came to Hathaway Brown in the seventh grade. The decision was one of the best she's ever made. "It was a home run," she says. "The experience was so rich, I remember almost everything about it."

At HB, Kathy's lifelong love of theater and the arts was deepened. So after graduating in 1974, she decided to leave Shaker Heights for the warmer climes of Winter Park, Fla., and Rollins College.  She came home to Cleveland to begin her professional career beginning with a sales position in the office furniture industry. After a few years she opened her own business: Katharine Goss Executive Design, specializing in interior design services and furnishings for offices and commercial space. She loved the work, but as she found herself outfitting executive space in corporate headquarters across Northeast Ohio, something started nagging at her.

"Hathaway Brown gave me skills that I don't think everyone has," she says. "I feel like there's nothing I can't try and have the opportunity to be successful."

So Kathy decided to stop designing office spaces for financial firms and start working in them. A friend at  Merrill Lynch convinced her to join the firm and start her second career as a stockbroker.  The work was exciting and the pace was exhilarating, but after eight years, she was itching for more depth in her work.

Next, Kathy began working as an investment adviser at Cleveland Financial Group, where she helped families with their estate planning, charitable giving strategies, and insurance risk management.  A few years later, she was a founding partner of a new firm, Cedar Brook Financial Partners but continued in the same line of work .

Being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field did not hold Kathy back at all. "I work really well with men, even men who have big egos," she says. "I know that at any given time, I can stand toe-to-toe with any of my colleagues and have spirited and intelligent discussions. I credit HB for teaching me those skills and having the confidence to express my opinion."

In 2010, all of the knowledge and sensibilities she's amassed over the years converged to create what Kathy calls "a really exciting, transformational job." She recently has assumed the role of executive director for the Lake View Cemetery Foundation, the fund-raising arm for the historic – and architecturally stunning – cemetery on Cleveland's east side where numerous American dignitaries are buried. She has big plans for newly created full-time position, aiming to work with several community organizations to establish a host of events and activities to benefit this Northeast Ohio landmark.

Kathy says she never has been hesitant to follow her dreams because she learned at HB that she should. When it came time for her to draft her own estate plan, it was important to her that she remember the school. So she added HB as a beneficiary on her Individual Retirement Account and as a line-item bequest in her will.

While the conversations leading to the establishment of an estate plan may sometimes be a little difficult for families to have, Kathy assures that the actual creation is quite simple. "Many people think it's a tedious, daunting process filled with conflict and arguments – with one person who wants to spend and another who's afraid. That doesn't have to be the case," she says. "The minute you plan a family, you should get serious about financial planning. The earlier you start planning, the earlier you can retire. And any giving plans you make can easily be changed. Planned Giving 101: You don't have to get an estate lawyer involved. By simply completing a form, basically anybody can make any changes to their beneficiary details at any time."

Kathy's always willing to share her insights and offer guidance to her fellow alumnae. She says she'd be happy to talk to anyone who's interested in learning more about planned giving. Just send her an email at

What does the future hold for Kathy? She's excited about working with people across Greater Cleveland – many of whom are her HB sisters – in her position with the Lake View Cemetery Foundation. And she's always up for drawing on her experience to face a new challenge.

To learn more about how you can become a member of the Mary E. Raymond Legacy Society or other ways to support Hathaway Brown, please contact Terry Kurtz at 216-320-8799 or

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Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hathaway Brown School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Hathaway Brown School [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Hathaway Brown School or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hathaway Brown School as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hathaway Brown School as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Hathaway Brown School where you agree to make a gift to Hathaway Brown School and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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