Meet Katy Gambella, the New AFF-Charlotte Chapter Leader
AFF is excited to welcome Katy (Ranville) Gambella as the newest AFF-Charlotte Chapter leader! Katy is new to the Charlotte area but excited to build up the AFF community there to make a difference in her city. She works for Talent Market as the network engagement manager, helping to identify and place entry and junior-level talent in open roles at free-market nonprofit organizations throughout the US. Katy has been working in the liberty movement since 2011. Before she joined Talent Market she spent 6+ years at the Cato Institute.
Katy is a true Michigander. Her family lives in Michigan and owns a fantastic brewery in Mackinaw City — Bière de Mac Brew Works! She studied economics at Hillsdale College and now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband. They plan to visit every brewery in the region on a quality control tour. Check out Katy’s story!
What do you enjoy about your career path so far and why?
I was one of those people who graduated from college without a clue what I wanted to do. So, my career path has been a learning experience – mostly about myself. It has been fun to navigate my way through the liberty movement and figure out what my comparative advantages are. The big one for me is that I love to help others find their way. I understand the irony of guiding young people when I myself was clueless, but perhaps that makes me a little better at it, since I was once a recent grad without a clear path. My role at Talent Market is perfect for me, and I love that it almost entirely focuses on helping entry and junior-level people find the next best fit for them.
Why did you choose to work for a liberty advancing organization?
Honestly, it came naturally for me to work for a liberty organization because I went to Hillsdale College and studied economics. When I learned about IHS [Institute for Humane Studies] right after school I was so excited to intern, and then work, for them. At the Cato Institute I got to work with the interns and it was a natural segue way into my current role at Talent Market. I love the ideas of liberty and (like many college kids) thought I would enjoy the policy side of things. Turns out, I don’t. But it also turned out that there are so many opportunities in this movement that don’t require you to be a “policy wonk” and that is where I’ve found my niche.
How long have you been in Charlotte and what brought you there?
I’ve been in Charlotte since last October so it is still very new to me! My husband brought me here because of a job he got. We are also closer to his family in North Carolina, so that was a big deciding factor in leaving DC, which was home for both of us for seven years.
What has been your history with AFF?
I attended lots of AFF-DC chapter events during my seven years living and working in the DC area. The AFF-DC chapter is awesome because it brings a lot of great people together to have some fun and also have conversations about how we effect change in real life. While I expect the Charlotte chapter to be much different (DC is truly its own little world! Ha), I hope to bring that same sense of community for those interested in more conversation about how to effect local change.
What helpful skills do you hold that people could ask you for advice about?
Well, I help awesome organizations fill critical roles as a full-time job. So, if you are looking for a job or have questions about your resume/interviewing, or really want to get tied into the Liberty Movement more broadly throughout the United States, send me an email! [email protected]
What are you most excited about for the AFF-Charlotte Chapter Leader role?
Honestly, to make more friends but also to build a community that gives back to Charlotte. In the long-term, I’d like the Charlotte AFF Chapter to be a haven for people to come and discuss local issues that are important to them and how, as individuals, we can effect change for our city and community.
If you’re really a nerd, read Human Action by Mises (prepare yourself for it to take an entire year+ and have a dictionary handy). It changed my worldview. If you are looking to make a career shift, I can’t recommend Pivot by Jenny Blake highly enough. It changed my life. And, I’m that person who loves to read the top 25 books sitting on the shelves in the airport — sometimes they are terrible, sometimes they are awesome. I like the gamble and they are usually quick reads!
Draft Oat Milk Latte if I’m lucky enough to be at La Colombe. Normally, some sort of latte with a unique flavor depending on where I am. I avoid Starbucks.
Favorite places to travel?
Well this is an impossible question. In the United States: Mackinac Island and San Diego. Outside the United States I think the coolest places I’ve been to are Guarujá, Brazil, and Seville, Spain. I want to go everywhere, but especially New Zealand.
What is on your “Top 5 Fun Things To Do in Charlotte” list?
I’m still pretty new here, so I don’t know that I have a top five yet! But, the brewery scene is spectacular, and there are a lot of events happening all the time. I’m personally really looking forward to attending an NFL game — I’ve never been to one and I’m a huge football fan. With the stadium so close, no more excuses!
If you’re in the Charlotte area, be sure to join Katy for the AFF-Charlotte launch event on August 1 at 4001 Yancey.