Every team needs a utility player – someone who can excel in a variety of roles. We have Kara Malkowski.
“One thing I love about working here is the variety of things I get to do – website publishing, copy editing, invoicing and contract management,” Kara says. “Part of my personality is that I need variety to be fulfilled.”
And she’s great at it. Kara started at the Center in 1999 and has worked in fundraising, operations and wherever else she’s needed. Over 20-plus years, she has worked full-time, part-time and on contract in a variety of positions for a variety of departments.
“The job has changed tremendously,” Kara says, “and I have always appreciated the Mackinac Center’s flexibility in respecting my desire to serve my family while staying involved. In return, I am driven to work very hard for them.”
Kara is a native of Midland, Michigan. She studied English and speech communications at Northern Michigan University, where she also met her husband Keith. They moved to Milwaukee, where Keith got his master’s degree at Marquette University and Kara was hired in the advancement department.
“After our first child was born, we got tired of the long drive around Chicago back to Midland,” Kara says. “So, we began keeping our eyes open for positions opening up back home.”
Kara met Larry Reed, the Mackinac Center’s first president, through her mom, who worked at Northwood University when he was on the faculty. During Larry’s run for Congress, Kara volunteered as a youngster in his campaign office, doing mailings and other duties. When Larry was president of the Mackinac Center, a position opened, and Kara jumped at it. She started as a database manager.
Today, Kara’s position is operations office assistant, but there really isn’t a position title that captures all she does. Which suits her just fine.
Kara and Keith have been married for nearly 30 years and have four daughters, ages 14 to 24. They enjoy camping, especially in the Upper Peninsula. They also travel, having been to Poland and England.
Kara also volunteers locally at Phoenix Community Farm in the summertime, planting, weeding and harvesting produce. She leads the hymns at her local church and is an avid reader.