When Kathy Troy joined the Eye & Ear Foundation in June 2011, there were only two other employees: Lawton Snyder, the Chief Executive Officer, and a development associate. Because the office was only big enough for two, the development associate floated around on the ophthalmology and otolaryngology admin floors looking for an empty cubicle until the staff relocated to the current suite over a year later.
Now EEF has a team of eight, along with a website (on its third redesign), logo, online donations, social media, and more. All because Snyder trusted Kathy to run with her ideas.
“Our reach is now global, thanks to social media, webinars, and our content,” Kathy said. “We stick to the integrity of our brand and messaging.”
Kathy’s original position with EEF was Administrative Manager, utilizing the communication and marketing skills she honed throughout her career. As the Foundation has grown, so has her position. After doing all the jobs the Foundation has created, amassing extensive knowledge about the Foundation and the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, she became Director of Operations. This means she runs the daily activity of the Foundation’s operations, which involves marketing, communications, public relations, human resources, programming, database, publications, acting as liaison to the Board of Directors, and supervising the office staff.
One of the things Kathy loves about her job is the ability to be innovative. She also loves that the team has the common goal of improving patient care. “Everyone here truly cares first and foremost about the patient/donor and the research,” she said.
A long-time goal was to increase content. In fact, this was Kathy’s biggest frustration over the years. Writing about the Departments’ research allows the Foundation to share with the community and donors to raise funds and expand its reach. Now Kathy is ecstatic. “If you go to our website and search for one of our research areas, a wealth of information is displayed,” she said. “This makes me so happy.”
The Pittsburgh native loves being creative. Prior to working for Pitt, she co-founded a now-closed fiber art company with a studio and storefront. She has indulged her passions by knitting and taking classes. More recently, Kathy has been interested in furniture restoration and restyling. She, husband Bud, and Bella, their Maltipoo, see their son Zack and his girlfriend Hannah regularly. Just don’t ask Kathy to go to a Pirate’s game; she retired as a sports fan after Zack’s last college game!