Meet Kathryn Lynn Bujnovsky Genereux, Director of Partnerships at the Constellation Fund. It is an organization that finds, funds, and partners with the non-profits in the Twin Cities.
A fairy godmother, hype woman, opportunity broker, and general facilitator of impactful collaborations, Kathryn Genereux fosters valuable partnerships that benefit the non-profit sector and the individuals involved in it. She brings together public and private partnerships that generate both financial and social returns. She loves her plants and loves to know the insights and perspectives beyond her own. Calling herself a deeply emotional soul, Kathryn wants to see the people she helps shine and succeed through the partnerships she induces.
Kathryn describes her childhood in three words- Joyous, Energetic, and Encouraged. She experienced some good times with her family and friends. Her parents were always supportive and believed in their girls, which helped Kathryn make her own decisions. She had a deeply privileged upbringing and doesn’t shy away from accepting this fact. But her upbringing always emphasized working for the less fortunate. She holds a degree in journalism from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and pursued her master’s in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University. She majored in International Business and Human Security.
Talking about her organization, The Constellation Fund works to disrupt philanthropy and fight poverty in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. “It is an emerging organization that seeks to connect the brightest hearts and biggest minds in support of our most impactful, community-driven solutions”, she says. Kathryn leads the ‘Beyond Dollars’ program at the Constellation Fund and takes pride in the tremendous feedback it has received from the stakeholders. It has helped build a power dynamic between corporate and non-profit organization. The grantees feel empowered and equipped, and the non-profits feel useful and connected to the shared community, and the beneficiaries are better served with focused activities.
Before joining her current organization, Kathryn worked as an Executive Director at LAF: Creative Venture Fund and Mastercard. But she found her calling in serving and creating opportunities for the less fortunate. Kathryn believes in the Shine Theory which states that ‘when you shine, I shine’. She works to uplift those around her and considers success as hers. She feels that the more shine and powerful solidarity in the world, the better. Kathryn might not be directly involved in the process but she does her best so that more people can benefit from the partnerships. She believes that everything we ever wanted exists just beyond our comfort zone. One should be willing to get out of their comfort zone and do what’s necessary.
Talking about the challenges she faced in the initial years of her careers, she says, “Being ‘too’ whatever as a woman in my field: too loud, too emotional, dressed too fashionable, too energetic, too ambitious, too complex, too smart, too brash, too direct, too strong…these continue to this day but are improving.” Kathryn strongly criticizes these labels put on women by society. It always perceives an ambitious and hardworking woman as a potential threat. Eventually, she learned to better navigate through such situations and knows which levers to pull and when.
Kathryn is one of the few people who are fortunate enough to make a career out of their passion. Leaving a message for all the women who wish to follow their hearts, she says – “YOU are the light in so many people’s lives. Keep shining, trust your goodness, spread love, and be that source of possibility in someone’s day. A smile or touch can do wonders. Spend and spread all the privileges you have.“