About Kay Linder, CPC
Kay Linder is a Partner and Fellow with ThinkingAhead Executive Search and is dedicated specifically to working with mission-driven nonprofit organizations nationally, placing executive leadership. She loves her dual roles: serving as a trusted adviser, career partner and executive recruiter, focused on building nonprofit professionals’ careers, also serving as a catalyst for nonprofits abilities to gain access to the most committed, creative and accomplished professionals who align with their culture and strategy. She and her colleagues live by the credo “We believe healthy nonprofits change the world”. Her primary focus is working with clients and professionals dedicated to the fields of Environment Protection/Conservation/Climate Change, Zoos and Aquariums, Childrens and Science Museums. She is a first-generation daughter of a mother who migrated from Cuba and a father who had significant Native American lineage. This cultural background has shaped her lifetime passion and advocacy for the issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion.
Prior to her current and long tenure with ThinkingAhead, Kay served as a lobbyist at the Tennessee General Assembly representing the Tennessee Conservation Voters (TCV), the state chapter of the League of Conservation Voters, a coalition of the state’s environmental and conservation organizations. In addition, she worked as the Development Director for the state’s largest nonprofit environmental coalition organization, the Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC), and also cowrote a grant funding her and a colleague creating a curriculum for middle school students focused on the plight of Neotropical Migratory Birds.
Kay proudly attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a John Motley Morehead Scholar and National Merit Scholar (Go Heels!). She earned a bachelor’s degree in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program, focusing on Environmental Policy and Ecological Protection.
Kay has enjoyed living both on the Outer Banks and more recently her hometown of Pinehurst where she and her husband Bill (a PhD Environmental Engineer) and their band of happy French Bulldogs make their home. She enjoys kayaking, angling, birding and camping, and is passionate about sea turtle rescue, improving literacy and working with the Hispanic community.
“Kay is extremely efficient at listening to the needs of the organization in order to conduct the search for the best candidate given these needs. Weekly reporting and meetings allowed us to work in tandem on making any necessary pivots and ensuring we were aligned in order to meet with the right candidates. Kay does not rush the process she takes the time needed and listens to her clients. I would highly recommend Kay for your search needs and would work with her again!”
Kimberly Fontes, Chief Of Staff at New England Aquarium
Nonprofit C-Suite and Development Leadership
Finance Executive Leadership
Talent Trend Analysis
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Executive Search Strategy and Implementation
Board and Selection Committee Advisor
Industry Panelist and Spokesperson
Zoos and Aquariums
Childrens and Science Museums
Healthcare and Disease Mitigating Nonprofits