Dr. Kimberly Townsend is President and CEO of Loretto Management Corporation in Syracuse, NY. She is an expert in the fields of healthcare management, board governance, and leadership.
Kimberly Townsend, MBA, MPA, JD, Ed.D, CPA, GPHR, is a role model for anyone who wants to make positive change in the world. Like many women, she’s juggling the demands of family and the pressures of a full-time job, while still finding time to volunteer and better the community. She’s inspired by making a sustainable difference in people’s lives and seeing her company and her community prosper.
Dr. Townsend is passionate about living a purposeful, connected life. She is driven by a deep desire to improve herself personally, her company, and her community, through her philosophy of Lifecircle Leadership and pragmatic altruism. She invites others to reconsider their approach to business and life and hopes they discover, as she did, that being and doing good is good for business.
For more on Dr. Townsend, please visit her website.
Biggest literary influencers:
Fiction: John Updike, John Irving, Carson McCullers
Nonfiction: Henry Cloud, Peter Senge
Last book read:
Consider by Daniel Forrester
The book that changed your life:
Paul Roberts’ The Impulse Society examined the implications of a society whose actions were no longer the product of rational thought, but instead responding to momentary impulses. Roberts described a public that demands instant gratification, realizing diminishing returns from the wasted efforts expended to satisfy this insatiable social appetite.
The impact of this trend – everyone seeking their own satisfaction without consideration for a “common good” – would be the erosion of many institutions and principles that served as a vital societal foundation. At the time that I came across this book, I was in the midst of my doctoral work focused on “Leading for Good in the Impulse Society” and I had just accepted appointment as president and CEO at Loretto.
I connected immediately with this book, as my new leadership position brought a seemingly endless array of professional demands with unexpressed expectations of immediate responses and resolutions that satisfied all parties.
Your favorite literary character:
Rabbit from the Rabbit series by John Updike. He’s an everyman.
Currently working on:
Thinking about a sequel to Lifecircle Leadership—perhaps based on people’s stories, like Studs Terkel’s Working.
Words to live by:
Every problem is a people problem. Positive relationships are imperative.
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Don’t give up. The world needs to hear what you have to say.
“Dr. Townsend’s work is a wonderfully unique blend of her philosophy, education and experience as an attorney, CEO, mentor, parent and visionary. The mission of her work is an invitation to all people to contrast sameness and differences in today’s “impulse society” and to treat everyone with respect and care. She calls on everyone in the business world to utilize compassion and empathy in all relationships, regardless of corporate rank. When applied to all aspects of business (talent acquisition/development, reorganization, management, etc.), her work integrates the philosophy of working for the collective good in direct contrast to “every man (woman) for himself.” In my opinion, Dr. Townsend’s Lifecircle Leadership is a work for everyone. We can apply her call to action daily in pursuit of meaning and purpose outside of ourselves.”
– DR. NICK MOLINARO, Principal, Champion’s Mind
“Dr. Kim Townsend has synthesized insights from her diverse professional experiences into an important book on leadership. A must-read for leaders.”
– JOHN CAPASSO, Executive Vice President, Continuing Care Group, Trinity Health
“Kim embodies the spirit of the company and continued her life-long learning by earning an MPA and an MBA while working full-time as a corporate lawyer. Now at the helm of a multi-million-dollar organization, Kim faces the challenges and financial pressures of running a complex and multi-faceted company. Her solution to thriving both as a CEO and a company is to be kind to yourself and others. Based upon Kim’s extensive academic, personal and professional experiences, she eloquently explains how personal satisfaction and personal fulfillment can be found in simply doing good…for yourself, for your fellow employees and for your community.
Kim’s vision for her company and our community is embodied in a concept of “pragmatic altruism” in which we see every employee and every client as a human being with potential and opportunity. All too often, employers view employees as almost robots; just get the job done. As Kim highlights, a better business strategy and a better human strategy is to recognize the interconnectedness of employees’ work lives and personal lives. With sound advice and concrete examples, Kim compels leaders and employers to embrace and practice a spirit of pragmatic altruism because it’s good for the bottom line of business and good for employees.
Everyone has a story and Dr. Kim Townsend’s personal and professional journey are the root of her philosophy. The challenges and obstacles she faced are real and are at the heart of her core values. Now, as a leader, she is the voice calling for change. Her passionate plea for empathetic leadership presents a new paradigm that combines common good and good business. It’s a call to action: if we want to live in a world in which people are kind to each other then let’s all start following Kim’s example. Embrace Lifecircle Leadership.”
– MEG O’CONNELL, Executive Director, Allyn Foundation