At just 23 years old, Caitlin Kissee landed her dream job as business affairs manager of the Springfield Ballet Inc.
In just under two years with the not-for-profit corporation, Kissee has increased fiscal 2012 special event profits by 221 percent and closed a $10,000 funding gap in budgeted revenue left by a Missouri Arts Council grant that was reduced by 30 percent more than originally expected.
Kissee says through strengthening relationships with individual patrons, lapsed donors and area businesses, she closed the gap within the same fiscal year, but didn’t stop there. A holiday staple in the Ozarks, Kissee helped sell out the complete production run of the Springfield Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” With 2,745 audience members taking part, the 2012 show netted $51,953 for the ballet, a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year. In her first full fiscal year at the helm, the organization as a whole exceeded budgeted revenue by 10 percent.
In addition, Kissee continues to stretch her fundraising arms as she works with the ballet’s 25-member board of directors with a focus on board training and development.
In 2011, Kissee secured more than $17,000 in capacity building workshops and consulting for the board and administrative staff of four by participating in the inaugural class of the Community Foundation of the Ozark’s Learning Community.
But managing the ballet’s $260,000 budget isn’t Kissee’s only job. she’s also proud to call herself a mentor.
“I strive daily to make the position a true learning experience, even offering personal development opportunities,” Kissee says of the ballet’s administrative office assistant position geared toward college interns.
Kissee has nurtured her mentoring passion further still by leading a Bible study with a small women’s group at Drury University and as membership co-chair of the Springfield Rotaract Club.
Kissee says her leadership and influence in civic affairs is driven by her passions, focusing her efforts on child welfare and philanthropy. She is an advisory board member for the Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Southwest Missouri, and in her time on the community relations committee, birth mother referrals to form adoption plans have quadrupled.
A new member of the Junior League of Springfield, Kissee is a regular volunteer at Isabel’s House, the crisis nursery of the Ozarks, where she cooks dinner monthly.
Cementing her love of serving the community, Kissee crossed another item off her “before I’m 30” bucket list this year, as the youngest member of the current class of Leadership Springfield. Click here for full coverage of the 2013 40 Under 40.