Shawnee, OK - The board of directors of the Avedis Foundation has announced the appointment of Kathy Laster, Ph.D. as the foundation’s new president and CEO, effective July 1, 2018, following the retirement of Michelle Briggs.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Avedis Foundation, I would like to welcome Kathy Laster as our new President and Chief Executive Officer,” stated Mike Adcock, board chair for the Shawnee-based foundation. “Kathy brings valuable institutional knowledge of Avedis to her new position, as she has been a valued board member for many years,” Adcock continued.
A resident of Shawnee for 39 years, Laster brings more than three decades of business management, board leadership, professional consulting, and clinical practice experience to her new leadership role for Avedis. Most recently, Laster served as the CEO of Impact Consulting, an Oklahoma City-based executive coaching and organizational consulting firm she co-founded in 2008. As a licensed psychologist, she previously maintained a private psychology practice, Behavioral Medicine Associates, for 13 years in Shawnee. Prior to that, she held corporate management positions with AT&T and Southwestern Bell for 15 years.
In addition to serving as a founding board member for Avedis Foundation during the past six years, Laster served 18 years as a member of the Community Health Partners board, which was the governing board of the former Unity Health Center (St. Anthony – Shawnee), predecessor of the Avedis Foundation board.
“I am excited about the tremendous progress that has been made in our communities through the means provided by our Foundation,” Laster noted.
“We have big decisions to make as we carve out the next phase of our foundation’s history,” she continued.
“I look forward to carrying out the important work of the Avedis Foundation, helping continue to evolve its strategic vision and path forward, and leading a team effort with the foundation’s exemplary staff, the board, and our community partners to achieve great things for Pottawatomie County and our surrounding communities” Laster added.
Laster and her husband, Charlie, have two children, Kara and Luke. She earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Oklahoma, where she was awarded the Society of Consulting Psychology’s International Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in 2002. She holds an MBA, with honors, from Oklahoma City University, a Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Oklahoma State University, and an undergraduate degree in Communication Consultancy from Oklahoma State University.
Describing Laster as a caring and compassionate leader, Adcock concluded, “Her considerable experience in management, consulting and clinical work will help Avedis thrive as we begin a new chapter in our foundation’s journey to improve the health, education and quality of life for our communities.”