As the director of the Listos California Social Bridging Project, Kathy Stadler developed and leads a first-in-the-nation effort that has reached over 130,000 vulnerable Californians in one-on-one phone conversations, connecting them with vital disaster preparedness information and resources to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. In launching this project, Kathy relied on grassroots and grasstops organizing strategies and engaging a wide range of partners, such as governmental agencies, non-profits, foundations, private businesses, and more.

Kathy is also a trailblazer in building community through innovative social media connections. Working for Nextdoor, the world’s largest social network for neighborhoods, she directed a team of field organizers to increase membership, user acquisition, and engagement across San Diego County. Combining grassroots community organizing strategies, in both distributed and relational models, with public and private partnerships development, she increased the number of users of the site by more than 500% in 18 months. The partnerships she developed with public safety and other municipal agencies increased the platform’s reach as she guided representatives to promote the app with their stakeholders.  She also worked across teams to synthesize and apply feedback from the field that helped to shape the user experience and new product development.

A native Californian, Kathy brings diverse experiences to all of her work. From her first job in research, advocacy, and community engagement at University of California, San Diego to classroom teaching, social justice advocacy, community organizing and her work with Listos California, she is an organizer at heart and centers on authentic relationship development and team dynamics as guiding principles. She prides herself on being an excellent listener and consummate team player and makes every team stronger, more productive, and more creative through her leadership.

Career Highlights

  • Social Bridging Project, Director
  • Middle School Teacher, Special Education
  • Event organizer for thousands of low-vision residents to advocate for policy changes
  • With 2 hours notice and a team of 3, stood up an emergency shelter for hundreds of migrants, including small children, who were dumped at the border in winter

Fun Facts

  • A native San Diegan, Kathy loves spending time at the beach with her rescue dog, a “labracorn”  named Abby.
  • A former volleyball player and coach, she can still say the alphabet backwards while going through drills.
  • She once chased a politician avoiding a debate out of his own fundraiser with a giant inflatable chicken.