Five Questions to Kathy Boswell, Vice President of Community Engagement
This month, the Birmingham Organizing Committee for The World Games 2021 announced the hiring of Kathy Boswell as Vice President of Community Engagement.
In this role, Boswell will provide ongoing communication and outreach in the community, cultivate tourism and cultural initiatives, and oversee a number of key programs, including the Live Healthy, Play Global education program, the World of Opportunity supplier diversity program and The World Games 2021 sustainability program.
Today, learn more about Kathy, and hear why she believes The World Games 2021 can help bring Birmingham and the globe a little closer together.
What are you most excited about for your new role with The World Games 2021?
It’s not every day that you get to be part of something that so many people are excited about. That kind of energy generates passion – people want to be part of it! To be able to bring different types of people together from all over the world and to connect communities for good is what I am most excited about. I’m ready to see connection and communication come out of The World Games 2021!
What are you most looking forward to when working with the Birmingham community?
I’m looking forward to learning from the Birmingham community as we’re all working to make this event a success. I’m also excited to hear the story that Birmingham hopes to tell after The World Games 2021 is over. At the end of the day, we have to consider: what is the narrative that Birmingham wants told about their community? What are the moments they want to remember? I think this idea truly informs the way we prepare for The 2021 Games. If you know the story you want to tell, you can align your plan, strategies and ideas to achieve it.
Which parts of your career do you feel have best prepared you to take on this role?
When I look over my experience, it’s not one specific job that has prepared me – it’s the highs and lows of my career and my life. There’s really no one thing. At times, I’ve been a leader, and at other times, I’ve been a follower. I’ve based my career around connecting with people and seeing the best in them. Community strength is greater when everyone knows they are valued and understands they have something to contribute. I love learning how to intentionally use people’s strengths in the right places to get things done. When that can be accomplished, the individual feels more fulfilled, the team or community is stronger, and there is mutual respect built. I really think that’s what this role is about: connecting people, bringing the strengths of the community and individuals together. I feel well-prepared and willing to take it on.
Where does your passion for community, specifically the Birmingham community, come from?
I was raised in Birmingham, and I’ve personally been witness to the great transformation that has happened here over the years. From Railroad Park to the green spaces at UAB, I’ve been able to see tangible changes and understand that the innovation came from this community and these people. That sense of community is very powerful. I believe it is a large part of what will make The World Games 2021 a success.
What do you think the best part of working with a global event will be?
- I am ready to experience other cultures and countries, and work with people from around the globe to create an incredible event. My goal, by the end of the Closing Ceremony in July 2021, is to directly connect with at least one person from every participating country. I want to hear their stories and share mine, too. Working with a global event truly shows you that while there may be many things that separate us, there is more that binds us together. I truly look forward to my time working to make this edition of The World Games the best it can be, and I am humbled to be part of the planning process.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.