Since we have a brand new board, we've decided to resurrect this series so you can get to know us a little better. Today's post is with Peter Kotowski, Associate Director of Prospect Management & Research at Loyola University Chicago and Apra-IL's President.
1. What is the superpower that you use often at work?
Database knowledge! For the last three years, I’ve been one of the two members of Advancement responsible for training new hires on our CRM. Not only has this been a great way to begin establishing trust with fundraisers, a strong knowledge of the CRM has made it easier to extract data when prospecting or building portfolios.
2. What is one thing Apra has done for you?
The networking has been so helpful, especially when I was new to the field. The members of Apra-IL have always been so welcoming and happy to offer advice, suggestions, or benchmarking information. Being able to connect with such a wonderful network has been the best part of Apra-IL.
3. If the annual Apra International conference could be anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?
Somewhere cold! After having to suffer through a summer conference in Phoenix, I’m ready to fight the tyranny of the heat and have an Apra International hosted somewhere cold in January. Maybe Yellowknife, Canada?
4. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?
I tell folks I work in fundraising operations, supporting parts of the division who have to go and interact with alumni and donors.
5. If you were not in Prospect Research, what career would you have?
Academics. I spent over half my life planning on being a history professor. Now I just moonlight as an adjunct once or twice a year at Chicagoland universities.
6. If you could tell your 15-year-old self about your job, what would you say?
Don’t give up on math class once you get out of high school.
7. Why did you join the Apra-Illinois board?
The chapter was so helpful when I was an newcomer to the industry that I wanted to help provide the same networking, mentorship, and support to other newbies.
8. Why do you think Apra-Illinois and all of the local Apra chapters matter?
Sometimes the national chapter can be distant (and expensive). The local chapters often provide more immediate and helpful information.
9. What is your #1 productivity tip?
Lists. I’m a geriatric millennial so I love getting pen and paper and writing out my to-do list for the day/week.
10. Best advice ever received?
From a professor in grad school: “There’s no good writing. Only good rewriting.”
11. If you wrote a book about prospect development what would it be called?
My Neighbor Makes How Much?!: Ethics and Boundaries in Prospect Development
12. If you wrote a memoir on your life, what would it be called?
Alone in the Archives
13. What book are you reading right now?
My brother recommended Tenth of December, a collection of short stories by George Saunders that is weird and eclectic and nothing like what I expected.
14. Currently, what is your favorite restaurant in your city?
15. What is your favorite social platform to connect with people?
I still enjoy the manic energy of Twitter, especially around a big sporting event.
16. What is the last movie you watched?
A Christmas Story Christmas. A poor nostalgia grab that nonetheless had one or two heartwarming moments.
17. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Tolkien and Lewis. I don’t even need dinner. Just let me eavesdrop while they spend an hour at the pub.
18. What is your hobby?
I try to read when I have the spare time. Lately I’ve been trying to take up fly tying.
19. Are you a texter or a caller?
20. Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people who continue to advocate for positive change in the face of unrelenting opposition.