Movers & Shakers: Kimberly Motes

  • Updated: July 27, 2014 - 2:00 PM

A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:

Kimberly motes University of St. Thomas

Title: Senior vice president for institutional advancement

Age: 47

Kimberly Motes is relying on her experience in fundraising in higher education and the performing arts in her new role as senior vice president for institutional advancement at the University of St. Thomas. She said she would work to deepen connections with St. Thomas alumni, parents and friends and seek their support of the school in ways ranging from recruiting students to making financial gifts.

“We will be looking a lot at how we can raise the profile both locally and nationally,” Motes said. “In higher education, it’s about how do you make sure that you are distinctive in this marketplace, so we’ll look at that as well.”

At St. Thomas, she oversees the development, university relations, alumni and constituent relations departments.

For the past three years, Motes served as vice president of institutional advancement at the College of St. Benedict. Motes, named to the college’s board of trustees in 2011, earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in music and a minor in business management from St. Benedict.

Motes’ performing arts career began in Washington, D.C., where she was program administrator and manager at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She also held positions at the Washington Ballet and Arena Stage.

In the Twin Cities, Motes served as managing director of Theater Latté Da in Minneapolis and executive director of what is now the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in Minneapolis.

Motes, a Cottage Grove native and a singer when she graduated from Park High School, credited her father with encouraging her to explore the business side of the performing arts.

Q: Why did you pursue this opportunity at St. Thomas?

A: One thing that most appealed to me is the new president, Julie Sullivan. She is a very exciting leader. She’s smart, encouraging, dynamic, and I have been impressed with her. In the work that I do, the partnership is key.

Q: What are your priorities in your new role?

A: In institutional advancement, we look at how do we engage our alumni and keep them connected. I’m interested in how we refine and tell our story to make sure people understand our mission and the good work that our faculty and staff do and ultimately the incredible things that our alums do in terms of making a difference in the world.

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