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ICF Remembers Kay Cannon, MCC (1958–2018)

Kay Cannon, MCC, ICF Global Past President, passed away on October 29, 2018, at her home in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

Kay was an ICF Member for nearly two decades, joining in 1999 after the launch of her Executive Leadership Coaching and Consulting practice. In 2003, she earned her Master Certified Coach Credential. Her clients included Fortune 500 leaders, entrepreneurs and government and nonprofit executives.

As a volunteer leader for ICF, Kay played a vital role in advancing the Association’s high standards globally. She developed ICF’s Continuing Coaching Education standards and co-led ICF’s first coach credentialing initiative in non-English-speaking countries. In 2006, she participated in the historic 2006 Future of Coaching Summit, a gathering of global thought leaders.

Kay led the ICF Board of Directors through a comprehensive strategic planning process that established a vital map for the future of ICF and the coaching profession. During Kay’s 2007 term as ICF President, the Association achieved key milestones for credentialing (exceeding 3,200 ICF Credential-holders in October of that year) and membership (exceeding 13,000 ICF Members in November). Kay also presided over the publication of the 2007 ICF Global Coaching Study, a benchmarking piece of signature research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

As a member of the coaching team for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Kay played an integral role in the organization’s successful bid for an ICF International Prism Award. In 2014, Kay’s regional colleagues celebrated her impacts on ICF and the coaching profession by honoring her with the Thomas Leonard Achievement Award at ICF Global 2014—North America Midwest.

Kay will be remembered by her colleagues, clients and loved ones for her outstanding sense of humor, her ability to navigate tough conversations with grace, and her generous and supportive presence. Kay was an animal lover with a home full of four-legged friends. With her gifted green thumb, she served as a Master Gardener with the University of Kentucky Extension Office and a founding member of the board of directors for America in Bloom – Lexington.

Earlier this year, she married her partner, supporter and friend of more than 15 years, Lynn M. Griffis, during an intimate ceremony at home.

Kay held a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky, where she was a Singletary Scholar. A Texas native, Kay earned her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

A public visitation will be held Thursday, November 1, 2018, from 5–7 p.m. (New York) at Milward Funeral Home, 391 Southland Drive, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. The date for Kay’s Celebration of Life Service will be announced soon.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Kay’s name to Kentucky S.A.V.E., a nonprofit animal rescue dedicated to caring for, helping, training and placing homeless, abandoned, abused, injured and ill domestic animals throughout Kentucky. You may donate at or by mail to Kentucky Save, P.O. Box 517, Lexington, KY 40588.

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