In Memoriam: Kavya Krishna (April 7, 1984 – March 27, 2016)
As part of the 2011 SGE Immersion cohort and broader Johnson community class of 2012, we continue to think of Kavya and the lifelong lessons she left with us.
Kavya Krishna with SGE classmates Bart Bromberger and Rob Matelski
In 2010, when we first embarked on our business school experience at
Johnson, 270 people were brought together with a plethora of experience from
all over the world, yet we had a common goal: to advance our capabilities as
future leaders in business. Within this collective, we had the option to tailor
our studies to a specific discipline, which included areas such as finance,
marketing, operations, and sustainable global enterprise (SGE). The SGE immersion
was appealing to a group of us, including Kavya Krishna, for its multidisciplinary
approach to tackling business challenges that include elements of social and/or
environmental impact. Our SGE cohort brought together like-minded individuals
who wanted to use the power of business to positively impact the world, and we
did so by dedicating a significant portion of our studies to be equipped in
this endeavor. Through our semester-long immersion program, Net Impact
involvement, and our summer internships, we were united with a deeper common
Kavya Krishna was a special individual in our SGE cohort. She was the
positive energy that brought out the best in everyone, recognizing each
person’s unique skills and talents.
At Johnson, Kavya was a consultant with BR Consulting (a student run
consulting firm) and worked with a client that specialized in soil/organic matter
management. Within the SGE Immersion, she worked on a clean cook stove project for
Novozymes-Cleanstar developing a marketing and distribution strategy for
CleanStar’s ethanol cook stoves and fuel in Maputo, Mozambique. Kavya had a
particular interest in understanding how businesses can integrate
sustainability into their decision making.
Kavya interned with Vestergaard Frandsen (VF) in Washington DC during the
summer, working with two VF products – a portable water filtration device and
insecticidal malaria bed nets. She developed a marketing strategy for LifeStraw
in the US retail market and also explored opportunities related to donor
funding for water projects. Upon graduating from Johnson in 2012, Kavya joined
Deloitte as a strategy consultant based out of their Minneapolis office.
A few years after graduation, Kavya was diagnosed with stage 4 inflammatory
breast cancer, just months after having her first child. With no history of
breast cancer in her family, this diagnosis came as a shock to her family and
friends. She battled this disease with remarkable courage, grace, and optimism
in which we all admire. Unfortunately after a protracted battle with cancer she
passed away in March, 2016. While we mourn the loss of our classmate and
friend, we cherish the time that we shared with her and the lifelong bonds that
she instilled upon us.
Kavya moved so many of us with her selflessness, joyful spirit and her
deep inner strength. Even in challenging times during and beyond her years at
Johnson, she kept calm and instilled positive energy in every situation. She
also had a unique ability to connect with people in a way that brought out the
best in each individual, something that we can all respect and learn from.
As part of the 2011 SGE Immersion cohort and broader Johnson community class of 2012,
we continue to think of Kavya and the lifelong lessons she left with us.
By Selina Ang and Kavita Nehemiah, both MBA ‘12