Alumni Profile: Falyn Katz '00
Director of Partnership & Business Development
When Falyn Katz first walked through LCC’s doors in 1995, she was already a trailblazer. In addition to being among the first group of girls admitted to the school, Falyn continuously pursued a unique path, and has built a successful career in non-profit business development and management.
Falyn notes that her high school years provided a strong foundation for this success, teaching her to become resourceful and persistent. “LCC played a big part in developing the person I am today,” she says. “I’m a strong believer in the combination of nature and nurture. I have had great role models in my parents, and also in my teachers and fellow students. I made incredible friendships with people who continue to inspire me — teachers like Linda Gendron and André Trudel really had an impact on my life. If it wasn’t for Monsieur Trudel’s etiquette class, who knows how I’d be handling myself in meetings!”
Because Falyn feels she absorbed much more than core curriculum during her years at LCC, she was prepared to tackle challenges in any business situation. “LCC teaches you a lot about life and how to conduct yourself in real-life situations,” she says. “I certainly was not the best student. I think I was most improved student in grade 8, but the athletics curriculum was important to me. I was the first girl to play on the boys’ football team, and basketball was a big part of my life. I was captain of the team for a few years. My coaches really helped me develop skills and instilled leadership qualities in me.”
After LCC, Falyn attended Marianopolis College before earning a B.A. in sociology from Concordia University in 2006. “I felt sociology offered diverse possibilities for a career path,” she recalls. “It taught me a lot about people, how they work, how they think, and about their behaviour.”
Unlike many businesswomen, Falyn did not seek out an MBA, opting instead for valuable on-the-job training, with work in telecommunications sales for five years at Bell and Rogers dealers, which she began while at university.
Falyn also worked at ADT, and launched two of her own businesses focused on device repairs and wholesale distribution. “Economic times were not kind to my startup ventures; however, I’m grateful for the experience I gained as an entrepreneur,” she says.
During a year as vice-president of sales at Jobbook.com, a website that matches job searching candidates with employers, Falyn not only increased sales by 100 per cent, but also developed strategic partnerships, created processes for internal and external sales teams and implemented training and onboarding programs.
“It was a cool start-up and a lot of fun,” she recalls. “I sold the site to employers, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation was one of them.” She ended up accepting a position at the Foundation as Senior Development Officer — Corporate Programs, which led to a promotion roughly a year and a half later to senior manager.
In this position, Falyn led regional and national new business development programs. She moved on to Solutions with Impact in 2015, where she carried out major fundraising events, including the Rally for Kids with Cancer and the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown, a program she is intensely proud of. “The event was created by Solutions with Impact in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I was fortunate enough to work on the event since inception with both the Foundation and SWI. In its third year, I increased sponsorship from two to nearly two dozen. The event raised about $1 million in 2015 for the foundation, and will be headed to Montreal in 2017 in support of the Quebec Breast Cancer and the Jewish General Hospital Foundations,” she explains.
In her current role as director of partnerships and business development with Prostate Cancer Canada, which she took on earlier this year, Falyn oversees personnel and leads a wide range of national corporate program development activities. “I’m still in sales; I just sell charitable partnerships, and I feel good about what I do,” she says. “What I’m enjoying most is the opportunity to continue to build and shape the Prostate Cancer Canada brand and develop creative integrated marketing campaigns that bring that brand to life.”
Falyn notes that the nonprofit sector is ideal for professionals seeking work-life balance. “In the health charity sector, they offer you the ability to grow, both personally and professionally, allowing time for a personal life,” she explains.
To current students, Falyn suggests really enjoying the years in school and all the opportunities being presented. “Appreciate your teachers, coaches, and the lessons that LCC teaches you, and take them with you as you continue to grow both personally and professionally,” she says. “Cherish the relationships you’re building, as they’re probably friendships that will last a lifetime.”