Outstanding Alumni Award winner: Young parlays leadership on campus into high-profile positions  

  Monday, October 21, 2019 10:00 AM
  Milestones, News, Alumni, People and Society, Academics

Pittsburg, KS

Outstanding Alumnus Kimberly Young

Kimberly Young’s resumé is robust and diverse — and its one she never could have imagined when she headed to Pittsburg State University from her hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. 

Young was chosen as one of four recipients of the 2019 Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman Outstanding Alumni Award, an award that will be presented in a ceremony on Oct. 18 as part of PSU Homecoming festivities. Other recipients included Matt Frankenbery, Amy Trowbridge-Yates, and Rebecca Light.

“I was a huge KU fan, but I didn’t want to stay home,” Young said. “I did a campus tour, and the thing about Pittsburg that stuck out to me was that the campus was big enough that there were a variety of options, but it was small enough that it felt like you could get engaged and connected.” 

Young earned a bachelor’s of science in recreational therapy with an emphasis in healthcare in 1997. Today, she’s an expert in life sciences, economic development, and technology, and has combined those into a career as the president of the KC Animal Health Corridor — a rapidly growing organization that has drawn more than 50 companies to the Kansas City area since it began in 2006.  

She’s also vice president of Bio Science Development for the Kansas City Area Development Council, tasked with growing the economic base in her area by recruiting companies and helping existing companies to grow through the Kansas City Area Development Council. 

“It’s cluster development, and at a very high level, we achieve this through bringing the Animal Health and Nutrition industry together through shared priorities — workforce development, public policy, and innovation. 

Every day is different, she said.  

“Last week, I was in New York talking to Wall Street investors, putting on an educational program, and Monday will be hosting a few companies in town evaluating the region for investment. Variety is what makes it interesting.” 

She points to valuable experience working on campus in the Department of Psychology and the College of Education, and faculty members who were a positive influence, as helping to lay a foundation for her future. Opportunities with the Student Government Association and her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, as well as being active in departmental clubs and even tutoring and coaching area youth, helped give her the skills to lead and feel like a part of the community. 

You never think about those relationships and friendships that are forming when you’re 18 and where it will take you,” she said. 

Young went on to work with pharmaceutical, animal health, vaccine, and nutrition companies, and in leadership positions in the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, and the Missouri Partnership, before assuming her current positions. 

She also is now a mother, having adopted a son a year ago, when he was 11. 

“It’s enriched my life so much,” she said. 

Young was recognized at a reception and awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Wilkinson Alumni Center.