Case Study

Colorado State University
Individual Coaching



Colorado State University (CSU) is one of the nation’s leading research universities with world-class research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies, and environmental science. It was founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, six years before the Colorado Territory became a state. CSU is the “university of choice” for Colorado residents – 30% of all of Colorado’s science, math, engineering and technology majors pursue degrees at CSU. It offers among the very best professional programs in the United States in veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, journalism, agriculture and construction management.

Kim Tobin, CSU’s Vice President of Advancement, wanted to engage an outside coach to work with her senior level executives. She recognized that a third-party person with the right experience would be a valuable asset to help her executives enhance performance and exceed goals. Kathy Drucquer Duff was hired as the coach to work with CSU fundraising executives, one of which was Mike LaPlante.

Process of Working with KDD Philanthropy

Kathy and Mike worked together for approximately one year. In the beginning, they had an initial call to determine the coaching focus and what areas Mike wanted to strengthen. As they continued the coaching process, Kathy coached Mike on specific tactics he could use to accomplish his goals. Mike had this to say about the benefits of working with Kathy:

When you’re at a higher level in an organization, you don’t always want to go to your boss and ask simple questions. Kathy provided a confidential space where I could ask those tough questions. She’s been great with providing me strategies to address certain situations that I haven’t been able to address previously.

Mike has been impressed with the breadth of Kathy’s knowledge and experience, and how that plays a key role in the coaching process.

Kathy has a pretty extensive toolbox. I know that anything I throw at her, she will have an answer or solution, or she will direct me to someone who can help. Most importantly, she cares about her clients and the people so much and really wants them to succeed.


Mike is now the Associate Vice President of Development at Colorado State. He attributes that promotion as a direct result of receiving individual coaching from Kathy.

She provided me the insights, guidance, reflection, personal assessment and helped me review my skillset. And that was a big confidence boost that helped me put forth my application for the role. She helped me put my best foot forward for my candidacy for the position.