Meet Hannah Kay
The first thing you need know about Hannah Kay Herdlinger is that she is a Southern woman, born and raised, and with that comes a few signature characteristics:
She goes by her first and middle names together — Hannah Kay — which, if you’re in the South, makes perfect sense.
She is known to use the phrase “bless your heart” liberally.
And she prefers a hug to a handshake any day of the week because, let’s face it, we’re all friends here.
The next thing you need to know about Hannah Kay Herdlinger is that she is a powerhouse of a woman. Here are just a few examples:
She spent the early part of her career on Capitol Hill, becoming the youngest scheduler in the U.S. Senate.
She spent four years at Facebook, as a cross-functional team member.
She worked directly under Sheryl Sandberg as the director of operations for Lean In, the global nonprofit dedicated to spreading mentorship opportunities around the world.
She is the founder of Thread Talk, a for-profit, for-purpose company committed to spreading opportunity with comfort.
Which brings us to the last thing you need to know about Hannah Kay Herdlinger: She is a domestic violence survivor, and the company she has built sells blankets — gorgeous, super soft, eco-friendly ones — and donates a portion of the proceeds of each sale to provide domestic violence shelters across the country with the items they need to provide critical and life-saving services to men and women.
It all started back in 2014, when the abuse she’d been suffering at the hands of her husband came to a head. Her friends and family encouraged her to leave, and she did. In the process of packing up her old life and embarking on her new one, she visited a local domestic violence shelter to make a donation. What she saw there changed her life and set her on a path to empower other survivors like her and ensure that the horrifying statistics surrounding domestic violence — it impacts 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men every year — start to change.
Hannah Kay is now an active volunteer with the Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Speakers’ Bureau in North Carolina. She has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International and one of Charlotte’s Women to Watch in 2019 by Scoop Charlotte. She is a Lean In Regional Leader and co-founder of the Charlotte chapter of the organization, Lean In Queen City. She is also an alumnus of the Project Entrepreneur class of 2018, presented by the Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS.
All of that has become part of her incredible story — one she now tells at conferences, companies and organizations across the country to illustrate the profound power of connection and to lend a voice to all those who have experienced domestic violence in their lives. Domestic violence survivors often live their lives in silence, but Hannah Kay believes firmly that to change the world, we’ve got to speak up — starting now.
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