Kathy Goss '74
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 Kathy@lakeviewcemetery.com
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 email@example.com.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.