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Many recent graduates forge their own path far away from the nest, but Kendall Dennis Slutzky ‘01 is taking the road less traveled – one that finds her back in the fold.
by Donna Parker
There isn't enough time in the day to complete all that Kendall wants to accomplish but she always makes time for her philanthropic passion.
Kendall, who received a degree in finance from Trinity in 2001, started in the finance world working at Allstate and Northwestern Mutual for a financial planner. When she and her husband, Trinity alumnus Michael Slutzky '00, decided, decided to move to Colorado, her father, who is one of the top orthopedic physicians in the world for hip and knee replacement surgery made her an offer she couldn't refuse.
Kendall was able to begin work in an industry close to her heart as her mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at an early age. Kendall is now the director of clinical research at her father's Colorado Joint Replacement Center within Porter Adventist Hospital. She recently implemented an electronic database that houses patient records which will revolutionize orthopedic research.
When her mother's surgery was set to take place several years back, Kendall realized her 3-year-old daughter, Taylor, wouldn't quite understand why grandma was in the hospital or why she wouldn't be able to pick her up for some time. So Kendall searched for some children's literature in order to educate Taylor.
"I thought to myself, I can't be the only one looking for this type of book so I decided to write one," says Kendall.
And she did - two of them called My Grandma's Total Knee Replacement and My Grandma's Total Hip Replacement.
The children's books are now in several Denver-area hospital gift shops and available online at www.authorhouse.com. A portion of the books' profits go to Operation Walk (www.operationwalk.org), a non-profit in which her father heads up the Denver chapter, which restores the gift of walking to those in third-world countries.
"The books really helped Taylor understand what grandma was going through and at the same time I'm helping out a wonderful organization which gives back to people in need".
Kendall obviously has a very strong work ethic and one that was reinforced in college.
"I loved the way my Trinity professors would challenge us. They pushed us and wanted us to reach our highest potential. They reinforced that there is no end to what you can do, which is good because I continue to have ideas about how I can best give back to society."
While in school, Kendall was a student ambassador, assisting with the Phonathon and serving as co-chair her senior year. She actually won two trips to London based on her fundraising success. She took one trip and gave the second away to a friend.
"Trinity's student ambassador program allowed me to refine my desire for philanthropy and its impact will last a lifetime. The small size, caring faculty, and beautiful campus provided me with an individual focus from my professors, including Don Van Eynde, department of business administration and Scott MacPherson, department of music. Both of them were wonderful and provided me with such encouragement."
It was her sophomore year at Trinity that Kendall met Michael. They met through mutual friends and are dedicated parents to Taylor Ashley, who is now 5, and Jordan Paige, 2.
When not balancing work, Kendall loves to scrapbook and is determined to document her two daughters' childhoods via videos and photo albums. She is also in the process of making her own hand-made greeting card collection.
"I also love being physically active and just climbed my first 14er (14,000 foot mountain) in July. I am also a perfectionist, which gets me into trouble a lot with all the projects I love to take on," jokes Kendall, "but as you can see by how my life has evolved, I would do anything for my family."
You may reach Kendall at kendallslutzky [at] gmail.com.