In high school, Wendy Fraser received a college scholarship from a Kiwanis club. That motivated her to join Circle K when she attended Saint Martin’s University. And her connection to the Kiwanis family has been productive and valuable ever since.
Circle K turned out to be a great fit for Wendy. For instance, the program helped develop her leadership skills—even leading to service as the Circle K International president in 1989–90. “It gave me the ability to look at things from an international level, taught me how to motivate others, and showed me the impact of policy decisions,” she says.
Of course, a love of learning has always been a big part of Wendy’s values. Today, she has five degrees: B.A. in Management and Finance from Saint Martin’s University; M.S. in Human Resource Management from Chapman University; M.A. in Organizational Leadership, M.A. in Organizational Development and a PhD in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University.
Giving back through Key Leader
Back in 2004, Wendy was trained to be a lead facilitator for the first Key Leader event. The experience stuck with her—she continued to serve as a lead facilitator for 10 years after her training.
“Key Leader was full of amazing moments watching high school students develop and transform over a weekend,” she says. “I was so happy to be a part of it.”
One of her favorite Key Leader memories was inspired by a quadriplegic student who expressed his interest in doing the ropes course, though he was limited to ground activities. Wendy took action. After asking for permission from his mother and nurse, the course director had fellow students support him as they hoisted him up. “His excitement made it all worthwhile and it was transformational for all who witnessed it,” Wendy says.
Wendy still volunteers as a facilitator today for other leadership development activities. She is currently a co-lead facilitator for Leadershape, a week long leadership development retreat. Leadershape retreats are mostly offered on college campuses, with roughly 60 students going through the program. “It’s important to give back to the next generation,” Wendy says. “Plus, you build awesome relationships.”
In addition to her love for volunteering, Wendy also enjoys her job as a consultant. She is the president and founder of Fraser Consulting, LLC, which she has led for 14 years now.
“Owning your own business can be difficult at times because you’re responsible for everything,” Wendy says. “You must have plenty of resources and talents.”
For Wendy, it all goes back to the qualities that make a good leader: the ability to understand systems and how things interrelate. “A good leader is be caring, must have both humility and confidence,” she says. “They must be authentic, humble and open to learning.”
Wendy’s advice for current CKI members is to love what they do and remember that they always have a choice. She also reminded them to hold on to the joy they get from Circle K. After all, being part of the Kiwanis family is a joy that can inspire the people around you: Wendy has a daughter, Maren, and a son, Tristan—both of whom have been involved with Key Club and Key Leader.