Kathy Bresnan’s first career was working in the finance industry for a variety of international institutions in NYC. She started in the back office at Bankers Trust and ended as the global head of a derivatives trading book for a large Japanese bank. A time when fairness and diversity were not a Wall Street priority, Kathy pivoted away from institutional finance for an opportunity to help individuals in an environment of inclusion.
For more than 25 years she has been a franchise owner and Private Wealth Advisor at Ameriprise Financial. Early in her second career Kathy passed the certified financial planner exam to become a ‘CFP®’ and went on to hold a variety of federal securities licenses. In addition, she is a licensed life, accident and health insurance agent. Kathy worked with individuals and same-sex couples prior to section 3 of DOMA being declared unconstitutional, explaining their rights and facilitating financial planning across the spectrum of sexual-orientation.
In the late 1980s with the AIDS crisis pervasive, Kathy volunteered in the prep kitchen for God’s Love We Deliver in the organization’s early days. Later Kathy worked with Astraea on a variety of social justice initiatives. One significant initiative was the Smart Women Smart Money program with the goal of educating and empowering women to take control of their financial lives.
A long time North Fork Women community member, Kathy first joined the board in 2012. As treasurer she worked to rename the endowment to The Founders Fund, establish a portfolio policy and fund distribution guidelines.
In a variety of presidential roles from 2016-18, Kathy worked to build upon earlier work to modernize North Fork Women. She was the originator of the popular First Friday Friends [‘FFF’] gatherings, a monthly event that allowed North Fork Women to convene as a community, and in doing so it supported local businesses located from Orient to Riverhead. Kathy implemented a Cash Raffle at the annual Labor Day Auction to infuse the organization with much needed funds to help members of the North Fork Women community. She also started the Breast Cancer Breakfast which brought together survivors, partners and caregivers for honest conversation.
As technology became a larger part of our society, she brought about new initiatives that included updates to the web site, making it a resource, an archive, and a source for outreach to anyone looking for us. A new and accurate calendar displayed events, archives, and legacies, and our domain name was changed to .org in line with other nonprofit organizations. Kathy currently sits on the Scholarship and Advisors committees.
Kathy has had a home on the North Fork for over 20 years. As a result of a pandemic escape from Manhattan, she is presently and happily a full-time resident of Cutchogue; loving the Peconic Bay, fresh farm to table food and evolving wine culture.