Katy Schmoll’s well-earned retirement

VP for Finance and Administration has focused on helping all staff

March 24, 2015 | After 17 years as UCAR vice president for Finance and Administration, Katy Schmoll has earned a quiet retirement. However, that’s not what she’s planning.

Katy’s post-retirement agenda includes marrying her fiancée, Tom Genovese, at the end of May; continuing her service on national organizations such as the NASA Advisory Council and local boards of directors such as the Boulder Chamber of Commerce; and continuing to sing Broadway tunes with Lafayette’s Center for Musical Arts.

In many ways, that matches her approach to overseeing Finance and Administration—getting things done while emphasizing the importance of enjoying life.

Asked what she will miss about UCAR, Katy doesn’t hesitate:

Katy Schmoll
Kathryn "Katy" Schmoll has served as UCAR Vice President for Finance & Administration since 1997. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.)

“I will miss the people, deeply,” she says. “The people across the organization are fabulous. And I’m very proud of putting together a strong team at F&A that is so highly regarded by our peers.”

Among her top accomplishments, she lists the UCAR childcare center and the Leadership Academy.

Katy played an instrumental role in establishing Children’s Creative Learning Center (CCLC) at UCAR, a premier center that has provided childcare and preschool services for hundreds of children from UCAR families and elsewhere. “It is one of the things that is most attractive to young professionals who are thinking of working here, to have that benefit available to them,” she says.

The Leadership Academy has graduated more than 168 staffers since it was established in 2003. The academy and the subsequent Executive Leadership Program have helped staff to advance professionally and work together across the organization.

“It’s important to have mechanisms to identify future leaders and to give them the tools they need to progress in their careers,” Katy says. “It’s also an opportunity, by mixing people from NCAR, UCAR, and UCP, to break down some of the walls between various parts of the organization.”

UCAR and NCAR have grown enormously since Katy arrived in 1997. She played a key role in acquiring the Center Green campus and expanding Foothills Lab to accommodate additional staff. When NSF opened competition for the management of NCAR for the first time, she led UCAR’s successful proposal in 2008. Recently, Katy has focused on the Operational Excellence Program (OPEX) to upgrade and modernize the organization’s administrative and business operations.

UCAR president Tom Bogdan praised Katy for her professionalism and support of staff, as well as her spirit of fun in promoting such events as HR’s annual Halloween event.

“She has done a superb job as our organization’s financial leader, as well as being dedicated to the health, wellness, and professional development of our staff,” Tom said. “We wish her all the best on this exciting, new phase she is beginning.”

Altogether, it’s been a long journey for the native Hoosier, who became inspired to work for the government as a six-year old when her mother took her to see then-Vice President Richard Nixon at an appearance in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She worked within NASA for 16 years, with positions that included science and fiscal management as a member of the Senior Executive Service. Her last position with the federal government before coming to UCAR was as comptroller for the Environmental Protection Agency.

 “I have the deepest respect for Katy's professionalism, many accomplishments, and deep commitment to not only this organization, but especially to the people within it,” said NCAR director Jim Hurrell. “She will be missed by all, but I wish her the very best in this new chapter of her life. I am losing not only a terrific colleague, but also a fellow Hoosier!”

Emily CoBabe-Ammann, director of UCP, added: “Katy has always been gracious and generous with her time and insight. She helped guide me through the complexities of the organization and our partners. She is going to be sorely missed!”

UCAR will begin a national search to fill Katy’s position. In the meantime, Melissa Miller, the director of Budget & Finance, will serve as acting vice president of F&A.

A party to thank Katy and celebrate her achievements is planned; watch Staff Notes Daily for updates.