The March Volunteer of the Month is everyone’s favorite Roomba aficionado: Kate Penney Howard. Kate is so beloved by the other Angels that it is impossible to find someone who didn’t want to say something nice about her!
Kate first began volunteering for DNAngels after helping several family and friends solve their DNA mysteries. She began working as a volunteer on Grandparent and brick-wall cases because not only does she have the talent, but she also has the determination to take on low- centimorgan cases. Most people know that Kate is a wife and mother, but a lot of people do not realize that in addition, she is a full-time pastor with her own congregation.
Kate is loved for her warmth and compassion, but she is also enjoyed by many for her zany and off-beat sense of humor. “She truly is one of my favorite people to work with,” says fellow Genetic Genealogist Kelly Grace. “She makes connections I can’t always see, and she hates putting a case on hold as much as I do, “ Kelly Grace points out. “She also hits me with zingers when I least expect it and keeps me smiling.”
Lead Intake Specialist Anique Coney says she admires Kate for wanting to take a second look at potential client candidates who had been turned down for not meeting the minimum criteria for our assistance. “She always has a positive attitude,” Coney says about Kate.
Tara Dawn agrees that Kate is always willing to lend a hand and adds that she is very “kind and compassionate”⎯ two great traits for a pastor or a DNAngel!
Kate has been re-evaluating the on-hold cases, and she also works with the Paid Services Group. Additionally, she helps manage the day-to-day operations, and works with the AmerAsian Team to find fathers of children born in Southeast Asia to American GIs. “She has been a bulldog at cracking old cases, and has solved several, says Genetic Genealogist and Team Lead Aimee Rose Haynes. She also has been checking in on people who have declined to see if they have new matches and is always quick to jump in and help anyone who needs it.”
Kate has been married to the love of her life, Preston, for five years. She frequently ropes him into her DIY home-renovation projects. She loves gardening, canning, and a good intellectual debate.