Special Person: Katie Kowski

Whether she was welcoming members to Friends of Acadia events, putting together membership packets, or shredding documents, Katie brought her signature enthusiasm—and plenty of dancing.

Katie Kowski, right, and JoAnne Wood welcome members to a Friends of Acadia event this summer.


This summer at Friends of Acadia, 24-year-old Katie Kowski stuffed a lot of envelopes.

In her role as development intern, she also helped gather and count donations from the Friends of Acadia donation boxes located throughout the park, delivered materials to the membership table at Jordan Pond House, applied appeal codes to member correspondence, and assisted Development Coordinator JoAnne Wood during trips to the bank.

And whether she was greeting members at our Annual Meeting, putting together membership packets, or shredding documents, Katie brought her signature enthusiasm, bright spirit—and plenty of dancing.

“Having Katie be part of our staff this summer was such a delight that I didn’t know I needed,” said Lynn Verill, executive assistant at Friends of Acadia. “Katie was such a great help to all of us in and out of the office, not to mention she was one heck of a dance partner at our Benefit with her key role of docent concierge.”

Katie’s natural talent for meeting people and making them feel welcome came into play at several Friends of Acadia events—and she made fast friends at every one of them.

“It’s been fun meeting new people I’ve never met, and I enjoyed helping FOA raise more money,” Katie said. “I like meeting other people because I say, “Welcome!” and people get happy. I’m the life of the party.”

Outside the office, Katie enjoyed plenty of adventuring around Mount Desert Island with JoAnne, who was not only Katie’s colleague this summer, but is also her aunt. Together they tackled an impressive summer 70-item bucket list that included riding the Island Explorer bus, playing mini-golf and making homemade popovers. They also ate a fair amount of ice cream and kept a journal to document which was best (as of this writing, Pugnuts Ice Cream in Surry was in the lead, but Katie noted that all ice cream is good ice cream).

“She finds joy in everything we do,” said JoAnne, be that setting up for a work event or luring officemates out for lunchtime crepes at nearby Sunrise Cafe (what Katie called “the crepe train.”)

Katie’s a talented treat-maker herself and has a small baking business, Katie’s Scrumptious Treats. She sells locally near her hometown (her signature offering is a “brookie”—a brownie chocolate chip cookie).

During her time at Friends of Acadia, the staff had the pleasure of enjoying some of her desserts. She even made mini Pop-Tarts for development meetings.
“Katie brought absolute JOY to our office,” said VP of Development Lisa Horsch Clark. “She was excellent at counting our money from the donation boxes, doing event prep, and welcoming guests to the office and gatherings. I hope we helped Katie gain new skills and made a memorable summer for her. We will miss her!”

Katie Kowski, back left, poses with Friends of Acadia staff at the check-in table during the 2023 Annual Benefit. (Photo by Julia Walker Thomas/Friends of Acadia)

“My favorite thing about working with Katie is her upbeat and positive attitude; she cares so much about others and makes sure everyone feels included and important,” Amanda Mogridge, development operations manager. “I loved the days when Katie was in the office, and I will miss her big, wonderful personality!”

Katie’s favorite part about working at Friends of Acadia and being on Mount Desert Island? She couldn’t decide. “I liked all of it. It was a good summer,” she said. “I’m really excited to go home, but I’m going to miss everyone.”
Katie’s tenure at Friends of Acadia came to a close in mid-September and she headed back to her hometown of Angels Camp, CA. But the impact she had on every member of our team will last a long time.

“I will greatly miss the morning greetings down the hall, the many high fives, her baking, and just everything she brought to our team,” added Lynn. “Katie is and forever will be part of our FOA family.”

SHANNON BRYAN is Friends of Acadia’s Content and Website Manager.