Kathryn Christiansen, Executive Director
As the oldest of nine children, Kathryn learned at an early age to be first to the table, to be patient, have a sense of humor, and that if you want something you need to work for it. Being thrust into adulthood as a teen mother, and a divorced young mother of 3 a few years later, she has always been intent on not being a statistic, defining her own path, aligning herself with examples of success, and showing her children that you can in fact be anything that you want to be! Kathryn is best known for her ability to problem solve and as the eternal optimist. If there is a will, there is a way!
After years of struggling with her own self-worth while navigating single motherhood as the primary breadwinner, she knows firsthand the impact that mentors and a great support system have on achieving success and building the confidence needed to push past limiting beliefs and barriers.
With more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience she has seen her share of trial and error and understands the challenges faced by single mothers and women in the world of work. She has successfully launched more than a dozen companies, the WNG Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference, and has helped train and mentor hundreds of women.
Now as the Executive Director for People Helping People, a local grassroots non-profit that works with women in our community teaching them how to reach self-sufficiency through successful employment, her passion for mentoring women and single mothers is realized in her daily interactions; helping them find the strength to overcome challenges, re-invent, and not let their past define their futures.
Kathryn lives in Bountiful with her long-awaited Prince Charming and credits her success to her 4 children who tolerate crazy work hours, mood swings, and who provide her with inspiration to push through every day.
Her hope is for every woman to stand in their truth and live to their full potential.
“In order to kick-ass, you must first lift your foot.”
Sarah Anderson, Program Manager
Sarah has worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector for 12 years. She has worked with United Way 211, CASA, and the Social Research Institute with DCFS. This has provided her valuable insight into working with her clients. Sarah completed a dual Master’s Degree in Social Work and Public Administration at the University of Utah in May 2019. Sarah began her employment with PHP in 2018. She was recently promoted to Program Manager in Salt Lake where she is responsible for agency and client outreach, recruitment and management. She enjoys the outdoors in her spare time.
Abby Warr, Program Manager
Abby has worked in the nonprofit sector since she entered the workforce. She worked as an intern for a local community nonprofit in which she conducted extensive research into crime, homelessness, and affordable housing while lobbying during the 2018 Utah legislative session. She was a Legal Associate for the student-run nonprofit in which she worked with nonprofit attorneys and conducted life skills training for program scholarship recipients. Her volunteer experience includes three months teaching English in Colombia, building classrooms in Paraguay, and restoring a cemetery in Costa Rica. She graduated in May 2019 from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a Foreign Relations and Security focus, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with an International Politics focus. She joined PHP in 2018 and was recently promoted to Program Manager, where manages Phase 2-4 client activities, events, and fundraising activities.
When she isn't engaging in public service, Abby enjoys backpacking around foreign countries and hiking in the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City.
Kayleen Simmons, Founder
Kayleen founded People Helping People, a not-for-profit employment program which over the past 27 years has helped thousands of low-income women and single mothers become successfully employed. She has extensive experience in program and curriculum development, non-profit management, personal development, leadership, and life management training. As President of The Simmons Group, she was an author, seminar presenter, and private consultant for individuals and corporations. As an adjunct professor at Salt Lake Community College, she specialized in courses on leadership and team building.
She most recently served on the Department of Workforce Services Community Partner Advisory Group and the YPREP Council for the Department of Corrections. She also participated on the Women’s Summit Council, Utah Department of Corrections and the U-Share Utah Health Policy Project. She served on the advisory board for the SBA's Women Business Center and as program chair for the American Express Women and Business Conference.
She is the founder of Women Investing in Women and a founding member and past board member of Salt Lake 100 and the Corporate Women's Network; is past president of the Utah Professional Saleswomen's Association; a past member of the Salt Lake Rotary Club; has served on the SBA Advisory Council; the Board of Trustees for the Pioneer Theatre Company and Graduate Women in Business at the University of Utah.
As the Executive Director and Founder of People Helping People, Kayleen has received many awards and acknowledgements for her work with low-income women and single moms. Those awards include the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Non-Profit Trailblazer Award and the Cleone P. Eccles Legacy of Excellence Award from the Junior League of Salt Lake City.