“Kentuckian by birth, New Mexican by the Grace of God” A Conversation with Kathie Winograd

By Katie Knipe | December 9, 2021

WESST’s work is made possible thanks to the support from our generous donors and community leaders. Kathie Winograd, CNM President of 13 years, new Executive Director of Albuquerque Economic Forum, and WESST Visionary, is both! We are so grateful that Kathie took the time to share more about her passion for New Mexico, small businesses and WESST.

How did you find your way to New Mexico? My husband took a job at UNM, so I was a trailing spouse. I came with high hopes and few expectations. I LOVE New Mexico! I like to say I’m a Kentuckian by birth, and a New Mexican by the grace of God.

Can you describe your personal connection to small business/entrepreneurship? I was at CNM for almost 25 years, president for 13. If CNM does anything, it prepares folks for the workforce. Small businesses, government, whatever. Part of my role at CNM was to understand what was happening throughout the community, what the needs were, and what our students really wanted to do and how they wanted to participate in New Mexico’s economy.

Can you talk your perspective on the importance of small businesses here in New Mexico? It’s a beautiful community where folks have stayed and established small businesses. Entrepreneurs are incredibly connected to each other and do really wonderful things to take care of this state that we all love. I just think that small businesses in New Mexico are really, really important.

How did you get involved with WESST? Professionally, WESST was doing so many things that are parallel and complimentary to what we’re trying to accomplish at CNM. My view is that it’s better to be a partner and friend rather than a competitor. We loved what was happening at WESST and wanted to support that. Personally, as a Kentucky girl, I really appreciated getting to meet Agnes and developing a friendship with someone I respected. Strong leaders are so important to an organization, whether it’s small or large. She’s one of those strong women who supports women. There’s not much better than Agnes.

What do you believe is important about our work? WESST is really good at what you do. You provide the kind of help to an individual that makes a difference every day in what they do. Nobody gets turned away. It’s a place where people learn, and they exceed expectations they had for themselves and the people at WESST have for them. It’s a rich experience. I can’t imagine an organization doing better work!

Is there anything else you’d like for people to know about you and your work in the community? I am doing this new job [Executive Director, Economic Forum] because I love New Mexico. I was trying to find a place where I can make a difference and want to continue that work.

We are deeply grateful to Kathie for all the ways she supports WESST. In addition to generously contributing as a WESST Visionary, she also donated her time and expertise this year by guiding WESST’s statewide team through a long-term strategic planning process. Thank you, Kathie, for being a part of the WESST family and for all that you do to strengthen our community!

About the Author


Katie Knipe

Katie Knipe is the VP of Development for WESST and has worked in nonprofit management and arts administration for the past decade. She has dedicated her career to fundraising for organizations whose missions fuel her fire, including those who promote classical music performance and who serve people experiencing homelessness.

Posted in