The day after Kaye Lenox left her job as president and CEO of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation in 2012, she embarked on the sort of retirement journey people dream about. After 14 years at the helm of the nonprofit foundation, Lenox headed north to Canada for a tour of the country’s historic hotels.
It was a memorable trip and Lenox, long an avid world traveler, followed it up with a journey to Seoul, South Korea, to visit her son. Though she was at an age where a retirement devoted exclusively to travel and cultivating her deep interest in art would have made perfect sense, Lenox didn’t stay away from the working world long. A lunch invitation from the Las Casas Foundation quickly led to a job offer to become part-time CEO of the nonprofit, which provides college scholarships and opportunities for local youth to learn about the performing arts.
Lenox concedes that it didn’t require a major sales job to convince her to end her brief retirement. “The thread through my careers is a belief in kids and education,” says Lenox, who spent 18 years as director of special education for Northside Independent School District and was founding board president of the San Antonio Children’s Museum before taking over at the Library Foundation, which raises funds and awareness to support the city’s public libraries. “If it has to do with kids getting better and more education, you can talk me into it.”
In the three years since joining Las Casas, Lenox has overseen a near doubling of the amount of money awarded each year in student scholarships and also spearheaded the growth of Camp Broadway, a summer program that gives local students the opportunity to receive 40 hours of training from Broadway professionals. When she’s not fundraising, cultivating her staff or participating in strategic planning for Las Casas, Lenox still finds time for travelling, often overseas. “We made the agreement I would work half time, and half time being defined as 24/7 when I’m in town,” she says. “But when I want to leave, they take me to the airport with a smile on my face.”