Q&A With Kate Solomon of the ABC Board of Trustees

1) The age-old Cincinnati question: where did you go to school?

I grew up in the Columbus area and have answered this question incorrectly many times – especially when I first moved to the area. I attended the University of Dayton for undergrad and Xavier University for my MBA.

2) What is your professional background?

I have spent the majority of my career in professional sports. I spent six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, moved to DeanHouston, a B2B marketing firm in the area, and then joined FC Cincinnati in January of 2016 ahead of our first year in the USL. I’ve been blessed to be with FCC from the early days and to see the incredible community support to bring Major League Soccer to Cincinnati so quickly!

3) Tell us a little about your family!

My husband and I live in Montgomery with our two children and enjoy playing and attending sports and exploring the parks around the city.

4) When you were in school: did you participate in any extracurricular activities? If so, which ones and what skills do you think you gained from them?

I played sports (mostly basketball), attempted to play piano and flute and participated in a few clubs and activities. We learn so many soft skills through sports and extracurricular activities – how to treat people, work as a team, face adversity and overcome challenges. Extracurricular activities also help us find talents and create confidence in ourselves. This is one of the many reasons I love ABC!

5) Outside of ABC, in what ways do you give (or in what ways have you given) to the community?

Most of my community efforts are focused around my role with FC Cincinnati as our VP, Community Relations and the Executive Director of FC Cincinnati Foundation. In building the club, we have been very intentional about being present and active in our community. We believe it is a responsibility of all professional sports teams and we have invested heavily in this space. In its first three years, FC Cincinnati Foundation has launched and grown quickly, investing over $1 million in the community each of its first three years and reaching over 30,000 children annually. Our work is focused around improving the lives of children through soccer with programming focused around soccer, education and character development.

6) What do you see as the greatest challenge for today’s students, and what do you think ABC’s role is in addressing that challenge?

With all of the uncertainty that children are experiencing related to the pandemic, creating opportunities for them to find a positive outlet and reliable support is key. ABC and its programs provide moments of normalcy and fun.

7) What is one of your favorite ABC programs and why?

I would be remiss not to say the soccer program, which we partner on at FCC Foundation. This program helps expose children to the game of soccer while incorporating the soft skills we touched on earlier. In addition to this program, it has been incredible to see the early adoption and growth of programming in the arts space with the Jazz Festival. Children have unique talents and interests and it is great to see so many children embracing opportunities to learn new skills and find a positive outlet.

8) What are some goals you’d like to see ABC accomplish in the future?

I am excited to see the growth into new programs and opportunities for kids. As noted with the Jazz Festival, children have unique talents and interests and it is great to see so many children embracing opportunities to learn new skills and find a positive outlet.

9) What is the most important thing you would like the public to know about ABC?

The public is very familiar with CPS and often not as familiar about the role that ABC plays in partnership with CPS. It is a classic example of one plus one being greater than two. Without ABC many of the opportunities available to these students would not be possible and together the two organizations can and do have a greater impact on the students they serve.