WHO WE ARE
KDS is a team of experienced and dedicated nonprofit professionals, led by founder, Christina Kazanas.
We are a powerful collaborative of civically engaged activists, community leaders, and trail blazers. We are determined to help our clients achieve success in building safer, stronger, and healthier communities.
Christina Kazanas, Principal, brings over 20 years of grant writing, grants administration, public policy, and organizational management experience to KDS. She co-founded the company in 2010 after a career in legislative and budget advocacy, non-profit administration, fundraising, and project management. Her career has taken her into the fields of health care, public health, domestic violence and sexual assault, and municipal government. She is a generalist who understands the art of collaboration and storytelling in creating persuasive approaches to grant-based fundraising, utilizing organizations’ strongest assets to win grant awards. Her grant writing successes have helped to launch and support initiatives related to brownfields clean-up and redevelopment, economic development, transit-oriented development, public health, environmental conservation, open space preservation, health and human services, and public safety improvements. Christina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!), and a Master of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University in the City of New York (Go Lions!). She previously served on the board of directors of Community Capital Fund, a non-profit lender to high-risk small businesses. In 2019, she was elected to serve as Planning Commissioner in Stratford, CT, where she has lived for 7 years and serves on the Stratford Democratic Town Committee. She loves traveling, sci-fi movies, hiking, and occasionally just being still.
In the early years of her career, Kathy Hunter, Senior Development Associate, served the City of Bridgeport in leadership roles for the Department of Social Services, Department of Central Grants, Department of Planning & Economic Development, and Office of Housing & Community Development. From there she grew an organization whose mission is to end homelessness in Fairfield County, by securing state and federal grants as well as foundation and corporate funding. Her particular interest is in the intersection of housing and healthcare and the impact of the social determinants of health. Her education includes an MBA from Sacred Heart University and a Master's in Urban Studies from Southern CT State University. Outside of KDS, she works on the Woodbridge Housing Opportunity Study for creating an Affordable Housing Plan and serves as a Commissioner for the Town's Planning & Zoning. She is also working with her daughter to expand DOULAS4CT, an amazing coalition that is advancing equitable access to Doula care in CT. Other life interests include amateur tennis and bird watching from her back porch (which has become quite active due to the overabundance of bird feeders).
Phoebe Zinman, Operations & Communications Manager, has worn almost every nonprofit hat you can think of as an intern, volunteer, teacher, service provider, program director, administrator, event planner, marketer, and assistant development director. She has worked to advance social justice and community building for the MoMA, Dia:Beacon, Tribeca Film Institute, PEN American Center, NYU, CUNY, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, Brooklyn Arts Council, Planned Parenthood, among others. She got her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, and her MFA in Poetry from The New School and is passionate about using the power of the written word for good. She lives in Beacon, NY where she serves on the Howland Library Board of Trustees, and volunteers on Dutchess County election campaigns. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, art exhibits, finding queer community, and her adorable children and cats.
Cassandra Jackson, Development Associate, takes a multi-disciplinary approach to addressing client need with an eye toward creating an elegant, functional, and data-driven product. Drawing from a deep interest in leveling opportunities across demographically diverse communities she seeks to connect those who lack resources with those who benefit from abundance. Cassandra has experience in project and grants management in not-for-profit, workforce development, and cultural sectors. She holds her Masters in Business Administration from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In addition, Cassandra has consulting experience in matters of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) working closely with stakeholders to examine and reconsider policies toward more equitable practices. She and her family currently reside in New York’s Hudson Valley where she cultivates her garden and draws on her previous experience as a trained visual artist by working on passion projects in metal and fabric.
Call for talent!
KDS is looking for seasoned and successful nonprofit consultants in a wide variety of areas to grow our impact for our clients.