Kathryn was the second born of 8 O’Donnell Children. Her father, Dr. Francis O’Donnell was a pioneer Cardiothoracic surgeon and mom Eileen was a former nurse, super mom and community volunteer. The Irish Catholic family grew up in beautiful Buffalo, New York and spent summers sailing, water skiing and gardening and winters figure skating and snow skiing.
In 1971, Kathryn was recruited by her former husband to help convert a florist shop greenhouse into a retail plant shop on Main street in Buffalo, New York. The company grew, acquiring greenhouses in Lockport, NY and a nursery farm in Bonita Springs Florida and three retail stores. Pioneering innovations and discoveries in this new industry included use of deep Shade cloth, emitters, custom mixed soil, raised beds, propagation, experimenting with packing and shipping and trucking techniques.
Kathryn is committed to her daughters and 4 grandchildren, lifelong learning, coaching and mentoring others, community volunteerism, travel, photography and Bikram yoga.
She is proud to have taught blind and handicapped children how to skate with her sister Elizabeth.
Kathryn was instrumental in starting mentoring programs at the University of Buffalo, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program, Canisius Women’s Business Center and National Association of Women Business Owners of WNY.
In 2013 Kathryn won the national award from Green Plants for Green Buildings for giving the most CEU presentations to Architects, Interior designers and Landscape Architects and other business professional in the USA. She also gave a panel presentation at the 2015 ASLA national convention on Green walls.
Kathryn served on the New York State Governors council on Small business with quarterly visits to Albany to see if we could make a difference in public policy for small business in New York State. In 1995 Kathryn was a delegate the White House conference on Small business to develop an agenda for change to help small companies. She served many years on the local chambers of Commerce and Toastmasters International in leadership and committee positions. Kathryn spent 5 years leading the Buffalo Botanical Garden to become a Public Private Partnership and develop a museum plan for the collection. Kathryn currently serves on the Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable.
At Botanicus, we are all volunteers, bringing beauty and nature to the work place. I know that my team members, although they are compensated, they are choosing to invest their time and talent with Botanicus, in essence volunteering, to be on our team. The relationship with our customers are choosing us, volunteering to invest their resources with us. We honor the partnerships with our customers and work to provide a happy environment to enjoy with Botanicus team.
My granddaughter Ellery said grandma how can you write only 500 words about 46 years in business? Here is a few words from my colleagues..
Without her guidance I don’t think I would have known how to organize and believe in the giant leaps forward I’ve made. Kathryn has professionally given me a platform for life long success and personally made me feel important and listened to. The confidence I have now was always in me, but she helped me put it into action.
Her conversations are fierce and memorable. She encourages us to set and attain goals, to grow yourself and your business, as well as to challenge and cultivate others.
Her Deep Insights, Vast Experience and Poignant Critiques makes her, by far, one of the Top Innovators in our IP Industry! She has Helped me Greatly with my product development endeavors.