Beyond the Boardroom

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Kim Mazzuca

Author: Luke Straub
January, 2020 Issue

A firmly-established nonprofit, 10,000 Degrees is led by president and chief executive officer, Kim Mazzuca. Born in San Francisco, she’s transitioned to a North Bay lifestyle seamlessly, living in the region since 1995, first in San Rafael and now Petaluma. Mazzuca attended college in the city, too, earning her master’s degrees and completing doctoral studies at the University of San Francisco after attending SF State University. Along the way, she developed a passion for addressing systematic societal injustices that still marginalize vulnerable populations. As CEO at 10,000 Degrees, Mazzuca guided the organization in helping 25,000-plus students and their families gain access to higher education since 1999. Growing a community where everyone belongs is a continuing point of accomplishment for Mazzuca.

Beyond life at 10,000 Degrees, Mazzuca enjoys reading, cycling, hiking, snorkeling, and spending time with her family, including her partner, Anne, twin daughters Maura and Kaitlin, twin step children Megan and Tyler, and her puppies, Lucy and Sammie. In everything she does, her best quality—a love of people and a passionate conviction for a life of opportunity, health and happiness and justice for all—is her driving energy.

What's your favorite kind of candy? 

See’s candy. But my team at work might say Twix.

What books have made a big impact on you? 

The Myth of Moral Justice; Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl; Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity; Racing to Justice; Paula; Birth of a Chaordic Age; and Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.

What was the last time you pushed yourself to your physical limits? 

I’d like to think that I push myself to my limits every morning while riding my Peloton, but my last Tahoe and Tour de Fuzz bike races, I was pretty much done after 74 miles in five hours. 

Which do you prefer: city life or the relative quiet of country life?

Country life—a lot less traffic and closer to hiking trails and places to cycle. I can do both right outside my front door. I love going home to quiet, being surrounded by all sorts of animals—cows, goats, horses, turkeys, pigs, and being part of a community that looks out for others. I also love how the sun shines and reflects in the countryside.

Do you like to plan your vacation, or be spontaneous?

I’ve done both. But I mostly have to plan, given my work. Our trip to Iceland last May was planned spontaneously one night in January last year when on a whim, I said “Let’s do something different.” Usually, we’re off to Mexico or Hawaii. Iceland was amazig—a must-see before the glaciers melt.

When you think of living and not merely existing, what comes to mind? 

What I do every day. Starting with a good cup of coffee and taking some quiet time for reading and learning. Living means working hard, making a positive impact no matter how small, riding my Peloton to fully appreciate my health and stamina, spending time with people, loving others, being mindful of what I’m doing throughout the day. Feeling grateful. Connecting with my kids and partner. Calling my mother every night on my way home from work.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read? 

The Death of Truth; Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral & Drive Economic Event; The Sun Does Shine; Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

Where do you turn when you need a good laugh?

To my kids. I love to laugh and usually I turn to others, watching a Pink Panther movie with my daughters and sometimes “Shouts & Murmurs” in The New Yorker. I laugh a ton at our office’s white elephant gift giving during the holidays. Board games with friends and family and funny animal videos posted on social media are also a good laugh. My family also has a good sense of humor, so there’s no shortage of laughs when we’re together.

What's your favorite beverage? 

A Manhattan, of course. But I drink mostly water.




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