What’s in your purse: Katie Alston

Katie Allston

Katie Allston, Executive Director, Marian House

When you are the executive director of a nonprofit, you’re often carrying a lot of things related to your organization.

Katie Allston, executive director for Marian House, is no different. Right now she has raffle tickets Marian House is selling for season tickets for the Ravens. The drawing, for three seats, is set for July 30, and tickets can be purchased online at https://www.marianhouse.org/.

There’s also a brochure for a 5K run the organization sponsors in September around Lake Montebello. She also has a flash drive with a Marian House presentation saved on it.

“I once found myself thinking I was giving a very casual presentation in someone’s living room,” Allston said. “It turned out I was giving an hour-and-15-minute talk behind a podium in front of 200 people.”

She texted her staff to bring her the flash drive with the presentation that she now keeps with her.

One thing she’s kept in her purse for about a decade is her favorite giveaway from a conference. It’s a hairbrush/mirror combination that has an old Saul Ewing logo on it (the firm is now Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr). One of the firm’s attorneys helped the organization with some real estate matters, but she loves the brush and mirror so it’s been with her awhile.

Allston has a thing for frogs. Her wallet has a frog on it, and a friend gave her a small coin-like charm with a frog on the front and the word “smile” on the back.

“I think amphibians are cute,” Allston said. “I’m a huge Kermit fan and a Muppet fan growing up. So my fan-hood of Kermit turned into a general love of frogs.”

Her iPhone case often sparks some conversation since it looks like a cassette tape. She said people often wonder why there is a cassette tape sitting on a table.

Katie Allston purse

1. The purse: She bought it from a thrift store a few months ago. “It can’t be too big because I don’t want to end up with too much in it. But then it also can’t be too small. I have to be able to fit the basic things I need.”

2. Ravens raffle tickets: Marian House is selling raffle tickets for three season tickets for the 2019 season. The drawing is July 30; tickets can be purchased online.

3. Business card holder.

4. Magnetic name tag.

5. Wallet with a frog on it: She likes frogs. Kermit the Frog is her hero.

6. Her daughter’s journey badge: It’s not typically in her purse, but she had it because her daughter had recently earned the badge. She’s a Girl Scout leader.

7. Fruit snacks: For her 9-year-old.

8. Hairbrush/mirror: Her favorite chotskie/giveaway from a conference. She’s had it in her purse for about a decade.

9. Frog/smile charm: A friend gave her the small charm that says “smile” on the back.

10. Granola bar: When she needs energy while running from meeting to meeting.

11. Electronic donation cards: She gets them from her church so she has something, often to give to her children, to put in the offering basket.

12. iPhone: The case looks like a cassette tape.

13. Marian House stress ball.

14. Notebook.

15. Nail file.

16. Flash drive.

17. Bookmark.

18. Dry shampoo.

19. Chapstick.

20. Marian House 5K race brochure.

21. Medicine (in a Mentos container): Full of Advil, Tums, Benadryl.

Women Who Lead This article is featured in The Daily Record’s Women Who Lead: A Woman’s Guide To Business. The mission of the Women Who Lead (formerly Path to Excellence) magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success. Read more from Women Who Lead.

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