Lead Dawg: Katie Comer

Katie Comer serves Georgians in need through fundraising for the American Red Cross

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast, destroying billions of dollars in infrastructure and costing many residents their homes and livelihoods. In response, the American Red Cross raised more than $300 million in donations to help families recover from the storm.

It was at that point that University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences alumna Katie Comer (BSA – Agricultural Communications, ’13) knew she wanted to help make that kind of impact on people’s lives.

Now the director of development for the American Red Cross of Georgia, Comer helps build the organization and assist thousands through life-changing disaster relief throughout the country.

“Whether I am leading a fundraising team, deploying to a disaster or working with a donor to make a generous gift that could impact those who have lost everything, I knew working for the Red Cross was where I could make an impact,” Comer said.

Her passion for service and leadership started in elementary and middle school with Georgia 4-H. 4-H’s youth development programs gave Comer a strong foundation in service that has helped guide her to her current role.

“I grew up in 4-H, so I have learned about leadership and serving others for most of my life. My time in 4-H led me to UGA, where I continued my service-learning experiences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,” she said. “The best decision I have made in my life thus far was joining my local 4-H Club in Carroll County.”

As a development director, Comer manages a team of fundraisers and helps develop strategies to meet the organization’s state fundraising goals. Through dedication and hard work, she has helped to raise millions of dollars to support the Red Cross mission.

For her extraordinary contributions and leadership, Comer received a 2018 National American Red Cross President Award, the organization’s highest honor for employees and volunteers.

Comer said her time at UGA and her experiences as an agricultural communications major with a minor in women’s studies prepared her for the road ahead.

“Having the opportunity to attend the University of Georgia and be around dynamic people from different backgrounds opened my eyes to a big world,” Comer said. “The world is big, but every day through the Red Cross and my work I see how much kindness fills it.” 

By Sadie Lackey

Katie Comer headshot
Photo contributed