Bucks County’s Natalie Kaye on relaunching a career and making a difference

    Some people retire to Florida. Others retire to care for grandchildren or to travel the world. When Natalie Kaye of Newtown retired from her corporate career at 55, she didn’t power down. Kaye powered up!

    Prime Time” is a bi-weekly series featuring people over 50 in the Greater Philadelphia area who are taking on new challenges. They are starting new businesses, dedicating themselves to activism, and becoming a part of the change they wish to see. Email us to nominate someone.

    Some people retire to Florida. Others retire to care for grandchildren or to travel the world. When Natalie Kaye of Newtown retired from her corporate career at 55, she didn’t power down. Kaye powered up!

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    “I took a year off to figure out what to do with the rest of my life,” says Kaye, now 72. “I wanted to be a part of the change the world needs.” Born in Brooklyn, Kaye traces her passion for social justice and tolerance to her childhood. “I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and it had a very powerful effect on me,” she says.

    These aren’t the values one normally associates with corporate America where Kaye made her mark. However, along with being a top-ranking software saleswoman servicing Fortune 500 clients such as DuPont, Merck and GE, Kaye was always deeply involved with organizations promoting peace and cultural diversity.

    Inspired at an early age by Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Kaye is recognized in the region as an advocate for tolerance and equality. She has a long affiliation with the Peace Center in Langhorne, helped develop the Human Services Communications Coalition in Bucks County, served as vice president of the Bucks County Committee for Interracial Harmony and, in 2001, made Newtown the first community in Pennsylvania to be certified as “No Place for Hate” and named a model program by the Anti-Defamation League.

    As if her plate wasn’t full enough, Kaye also served on Bucks County’s Human Relations Council, which she chaired for nine years, and the Women’s Advisory Council. But it was her position as the first coordinator of the Bucks County Community College Women’s Center that kick-started her second career.

    “I organized the Center’s performing arts and speaker series, including an amazing roster of talent,” says Kaye who created the College’s annual Woman’s History Month. When she left her position at the College, Kaye launched her own business, On Demand! Programs & Events, which provides programs that “inspire, enrich and promote positive change” for corporate and nonprofit organizations, including schools and senior living centers.

    Her business venture is a talent agency, speakers bureau and event planner wrapped into one. “I am working with many of the same talented speakers and performers with whom I worked at the Women’s Center.” Her range is impressive, from organizing fundraising galas and concerts to running educational retreats and pharmaceutical symposia. Kaye’s reach is far and wide. “I’ve done programs in Texas and Canada,” says the petite dynamo.

    Working with the Dementia Society of America, Kaye provides free programs for residents of Alzheimer’s units. “Music has such a powerful effect on people with dementia. They come alive again,” says Kaye who is the recipient of the YMCA’s Women Making a Difference Award.

    “Many of our events are free and open to the public,” says Kaye. She encourages music lovers of all ages to attend her concert series at Pine Run Assisted Living in Doylestown. 

    How does she do it all? “Passion,” says Kaye. “I have devoted my life to helping people appreciate and value their difference and celebrate our diversity.” While religious and ethnic hatred dominates the headlines, Kaye stands firm. As the current chair of the Inter-Faith Community of Lower Bucks County, she is doing her part to generate understanding between Muslims, Jews and Christians.

    “I have never understood why people can’t get along,” says Kaye. “If they could just appreciate differences, there could be peace in the world.”

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