Leadership is the gift of sacrifice for the benefit of another, and legacy is the inheritance you create for those who follow. Legacy leadership is possible when you operate outside of comfort . . . pushing yourself toward dreams that are bigger. Tom and Kathy Kahle embody that commitment and have been authentic and intentional while creating their legacy.
I recently sat down with Tom and Kathy Kahle and asked them how they would like to be remembered. Tom and Kathy’s response was that they have a strong sense of commitment to the Cincinnati community and they want that to be their legacy. They came to Cincinnati as a young married couple and were fortunate to be able to stay here as they raised their three children.
Growing up in Toledo, Tom’s home was open to anyone who needed a meal. His mother would always feed people and there was always an extra plate at the table with plenty of food to go around. Tom recalls how his mother used food to make a connection to their neighbors in need, and he saw the hope in their eyes as they shared a meal. Modeling his mother’s sense of connecting with others, Tom has always believed that food is a basic need and without it people can’t work and kids can’t learn. There is no circumstance or action that justifies hunger. Simply put . . . Hunger is Unacceptable!
Over 20 years ago, Tom connected with the mission of the Freestore Foodbank when another board member, Bob Edwards, asked him to join the board. Tom agreed because he saw how food had made an impact on the people in his life and the issue of hunger resonated with him. Through the years, Tom has taken on many roles including serving as Board Chair for two years, working on the Rubber Duck Regatta committee since its beginning, and leading the effort to establish the Freestore Foodbank’s Foundation. Other than their church, the Freestore Foodbank is the longest volunteer involvement Tom has had, and through that involvement he has witnessed the hope provided by the Freestore Foodbank to our community.
Cincinnati has been good to the Kahle family and now that their children are established, Tom and Kathy would like to give back to the community that they have called home. Their children understand the importance for their parents to make gifts through their estate so that they will continue to support organizations that they have been connected to in our community. Tom said, “When Kathy and I decided that we wanted to do something meaningful and positive as our legacy, we talked about what had shaped our lives and how important a charitable gift would be to an organization. We chose charities that have impacted our lives and are consistent and reflective of the values that we strongly believe in. The Freestore Foodbank has made a tremendous impact in the community, is administratively efficient, always has been an outstanding performer and
our belief is that everyone should be free of hunger. Those are true motivators for us and that is why we believe in the Freestore Foodbank.”
Tom and Kathy’s legacy…their gift…will enable their commitment to our community to live on through the great work of the Freestore Foodbank, so that our neighbors in need will continue to receive the Food – Connection – Hope to move towards self-reliance.