For Kendall Fisher, adjusting to her first month as Women Helping Women’s executive director felt like deja vu. She’d been the organization’s associate director from 1996 to 2001, and coming back this July was “like a homecoming,” she says.
Fisher supports a women’s advocacy agency for victims and survivors of violent crimes and stalking. Her administrative and field duties for WHW are unpredictably varied but she enjoys one in particular that lends to her cool factor: “One of my favorite things to do is train professionals how to better address domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. I’m a state certified police instructor and provide police training at least quarterly.”
Q: What’s the coolest thing about you?
Fisher: I don’t know if I would describe myself as cool. If anything about me is cool, it’s certainly not my 18-year-old car or my fashion sense or anything like that.
When I become cool is when other people/things get crazy. It’s pretty difficult to ruffle my feathers, so perhaps the coolest thing about me is my ability to maintain my cool and always keep a level head … to maintain my positive outlook, sense of humor, grace, patience and spirit of gratitude in the face of crisis.
Q: What’s the coolest thing about being Women Helping Women’s executive director?
Fisher: The people I get to work for: clients, staff and trustees. Our clients are some of the strongest, bravest and most determined people I know — seeing people rise from the ashes of abuse/violence is a humbling experience. It helps me appreciate the day-to-day freedoms that might otherwise be easy to take for granted. In addition to being much cooler than I am, my staff and board are a compassionate and committed group willing to go above and beyond. I’m lucky to be a part of such a wonderful team.
Q: Who’s the coolest person you know?
Fisher: A former client I met years ago who was the victim of a violent crime. She faced debilitating injuries and ongoing adversity with grace, integrity and genuine happiness. Where many people would have remained bitter and felt that life was unfair, she found a way to embrace life without bitterness or blame. I think that kind of quiet personal strength and genuine zest for life is really cool.
WOMEN HELPING WOMEN is located at 215 E. Ninth St., Downtown, 513-977-5545.
PHOTO: JOE LAMB