Beautiful Minds: Kathy Eldon

Kathy Eldon Headshot

Many people use Gandhi’s refrain “be the change you wish to see in the world,” however, not many people embody this quote the way Kathy Eldon does. At the age of 65, she works full time as Founder and Chair of the Creative Visions Foundation. The Creative Visions Foundation focuses on creating innovative solutions to local and global challenges using both media and the arts. Kathy created the foundation in memory of her son, Dan Eldon, a Reuters journalist who was killed in Somalia at the age of 22. Dan’s death marked a dark time in her life, but she realized that the only way to get through the darkness was by encouraging good in the world, and from that the Creative Visions Foundation was born.

Between her work and lifestyle, Kathy has never felt more motivated than she does today. Not only does her job keep her active, but the amount of energy and stimulation that it requires forces her to take strict care of her health. She enjoys walking on the beach and stays physically active, even if she dislikes some of the exercises that her body demands. She also keeps busy by chasing after and helping to care for her early rising next door neighbors, her grandchildren.

Not only is Kathy’s work and lifestyle inspirational, but it reflects her as a person. She believes that everybody has something that is important to them and that it must be reflected into the world to inform, inspire and empower change. Kathy says she “wakes up every day excited about what life has to offer. Every day is an absolute adventure into the unknown.” She attributes part of her adventurous spirit to Dan’s philosophy, “there is no difference between exploring and being lost, it is just a shift of perspective.”

Kathy has two secrets to her inspirational aging process. The first is positive thinking.  Kathy, and her work through Creative Visions, reflect the long held belief that you have to create a positive vision of yourself in the world. You cannot just passively hope for this vision to come true, instead, you must go after it and create the circumstances that will lead to the outcome you desire. Again, she reiterates, “you have to be the change you wish to see in the world.”

The second secret is her parents and grandparents. Kathy watched her grandparents live to 106 and 100, and her parents to 99 and 98. They not only stayed active (her father played in his last national tennis competition at 92), but ate healthily, breathed good, clean Iowan air, and stayed active in their communities. Kathy uses their lives as examples, and now has a refreshing sense of age.  “I believe that I have 40 years left, I just have to decide how I want to spend it.” I think that we can all agree that whatever she chooses to do will be inspiring.


Written by Rachel Black, Communications Associate.

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