Katherine Best Caputo, a Blount County native, has been selected as Leadership Blount’s next executive director.
Caputo will leave her position as Director of Outreach and Alumni Affairs to take over leadership of the nonprofit training organization in June.
The Leadership Blount Board of Directors voted Thursday to offer Caputo the job being vacated by Cathy Cate, who served the organization for six years. The job announcement in February attracted over 90 applicants who submitted resumes.
“Leadership Blount is incredibly fortunate to have such a high-caliber group of professionals interested in the executive director position,” said Adriel McCord, chair of the selection committee and incoming board chair. “The selection committee certainly had a challenge identifying the best candidate from this field of applicants.”
In a formal, month long process, the search committee, made up of board members and Leadership Blount alumni, reviewed the resumes and ultimately interviewed five finalists.
“Caputo’s education and experience planning events and developing relationships with constituents certainly impressed the committee,” said Teri Brahams, current Leadership Blount Board chair. “Add these qualifications to her commitment of community service in Blount County, her volunteer efforts with United Way and Junior Service League and her vision and enthusiasm for the future of the program, and it spells a successful continuity of our programming, outreach and mission. We are excited to have Katherine step in and continue the tremendous efforts of Cathy Cate but also take the program to the next level.”
Caputo has been employed by Maryville College since 2007. As she contemplates leaving Maryville College, Caputo has mixed feelings. “As an alumna and employee of the College, I find this transition bittersweet, but I’m excited about this opportunity,” said Caputo. “I feel like this is the career path that is calling me and I look forward to the challenges.”
Prior to her work at Maryville College, Caputo worked as a marketing assistant for a private country club community in Phoenix, Ariz. She is a graduate of both Maryville College and the University of Tennessee, where she earned a master’s in College Student Personnel.
Caputo believes that leaders involved in Leadership Blount can help set the tone of the community. “Because Leadership Blount and its graduates are a cornerstone of our community, if the program is strong, then our community is strong. When you bring together all the talents represented by Leadership Blount participants, the opportunities for exchanging ideas and facilitating change are limitless.”
Caputo cites her grandparents’, Edwin and Lynn Ann Best, long-term service to Blount County as an inspiration for her love of community and giving back.
A 1997 graduate of Maryville High School, Caputo lives in Maryville with her husband, Ryan.
Her community service includes Junior Service League of Maryville, United Way of Blount County, Good Neighbors, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and she is an elder at New Providence Presbyterian Church.
Leadership Blount County is a community leadership enhancement and development program designed to identify and increase the number of community volunteers who support various organizations.