GTK-SWACommunity Leader and Civic Activist

Southwest Airlines has a unique Culture based on respect: recognizing the value of all our Employees, the importance of our Communities, and dedicated service to our Customers. The unique talents, experiences and perspectives our People bring to the table contribute to the success of our Company and to our 41 consecutive years of profitability. At Southwest, women make up more than 40 percent of the Company. Additionally, nearly 35 percent of the Company’s total leadership roles are held by women.

Our workforce at Southwest mirrors the communities we serve, and we’re passionate about giving back to those communities. Just like Linda Katz, we have a strong commitment to working with organizations that make a positive difference in the lives of girls and women throughout the country. We currently have more than 30 relationships with nonprofit organizations that invest in women’s leadership development, empowerment and recognition. Through those meaningful relationships, we are able to strengthen the communities in which our Customers and Employees work and live.

Linda L. Katz
Community Leader and Civic Activist

As a full time community volunteer and civic activist for more than three decades, Linda Katz is passionate about supporting the most vulnerable populations of women and girls.

Linda’s favorite quote is “When it comes to ‘saving the world’, or a part of it, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, women are the catalyst through which critical mass or social change will be achieved.” -from Megatrends for Women

Born and raised in Arizona, Linda’s family valued volunteering and giving back to the community. Linda and her mom volunteered throughout her childhood whether at a senior center, as a candy striper in the local hospital or participating in community service organizations.

As the mother of three adult children and four grandchildren (with her fifth grandchild due in August!), family has always been a top priority for Linda and her husband of 36 years, Mel. With Linda’s family in Arizona and Mel’s family in Nevada, the Katz family has a long history of being loyal Southwest Airlines customers. Linda appreciates the frequency, reliability and competitive pricing of Southwest Airlines flights; she believes, “Southwest Airlines has always helped to make the geographic distance between family members invisible.”

Linda and Mel moved to San Diego from Phoenix in 1977, together with their best friends and business partners, Catherine and Phil Blair. Mel Katz and Phil Blair are co-owners Manpower San Diego. Linda began working as a Divisional Manager for Bullock’s Department Store. When her first child was born, Linda felt fortunate to have the opportunity to choose to be a full-time mom and community volunteer. Linda’s first toe into the community service water was with Scripps Ranch Unit, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary.

Linda tells Giving Back Magazine that, “Families and communities thrive, when women and girls thrive, as fully contributing members of the community. Investing in women, as solution builders and leaders, accelerates a shift toward equality and justice and yields exponential returns.”

Dedicated to bettering the lives of the most vulnerable populations of women and girls, Linda shares some staggering statistics: “A significant population of San Diego’s women and girls lack economic self-sufficiency and security. While 1.6 million women and girls live in San Diego, 247,000 live in poverty; 80,000 live in extreme poverty.”

When asked about her proudest moments, Linda expresses her pride in serving as Founding President of the San Diego Women’s Foundation and Co-Founder of Women Give San Diego.

Having been involved with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest for 34 years, Linda is passionate about protecting access to safe and legal reproductive health care for women and men. “At the core, the issue is setting women up for success by allowing them to control their own bodies and their own reproductive health.”

When asked what passions drive her actions, Linda responds, “Equality and justice.”

Linda is excited to be serving as Chair, Barrio Logan College Institute’s annual fundraiser, “Opportunity for Impact” to be held on June 3rd at the new San Diego Central Library. Barrio Logan College Institute is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by preparing disadvantaged students to be among the first in their families to attend and succeed in college.

Serving as Honorary Chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals San Diego National Philanthropy Day 2014, Linda expressed her gratitude to Lidia S. Martinez and Southwest Airlines. “Southwest Airlines is one of the many valued community partners, hosting this wonderful celebration of philanthropy; honoring the rich diversity of our community. Lidia plays a vital role on our Honorary Committee, dedicated to being ‘intentionally inclusive;’ reaching out into communities historically underserved and often overlooked.”