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Positively Kenosha: Cassie Lau

Positively Kenosha: Cassie Lau

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Age: Middle aged

Occupation: Professor

Hometown: The Bronx

Current Residence: Kenosha

Tell us what you do to make a positive impact on the community: I volunteer for VITA, am the treasurer of the Kenosha Public Library Foundation Board, work on financial literacy initiatives, and am available for interviews/panels within the community on my area of expertise.

What do you appreciate the most about Kenosha County? The Lake and the access to green space along the Lake and rivers.

Who inspires you, and why? My daughter, because she is thoughtful and caring and always kind

Tell us about the greatest life lesson you have learned so far: To be honest and open; people will trust you and be there for you and you can look in the mirror without guilt.

What is the last good book you read or movie you’ve seen, and what did you appreciate about it? “The Gift” by Pete Hamill. Picking one book is hard, but I enjoyed “The Gift” because it explores the bond between a young man and his father, and while it’s far from a fairy tale relationship, the gift is the love the father has for his son. It takes place in the Bronx, and right now I feel cut off from that part of my life so this helped.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully right here, doing what I love, teaching/interacting with students.

What would others be surprised to learn about you? I come from a family with many educators among us but resisted the calling until the 2008 financial crisis. I was troubled by the negative view of the finance profession that the crisis perpetuated, and decided I wanted to help the next generation see the power for good in finance when done the right way.

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done? I may be living it right now, moving from New York City to Kenosha, and changing my profession from deal maker/finance executive to teacher.

If you could have dinner with any four other people (living or dead), whom would you invite and why? Mahatma Gandhi, Jacinda Ardern, my mother and my daughter. All four were/are committed to social justice; Gandhi was amazingly brave and successful in employing non-violent protest; Arden is liked and admired by the people she is governing and handles crises well. I miss my mother and daughter and know they would enjoy each other and Gandhi and Arden.

Tell us about your favorite teacher: Dr. Mike Grossman at the CUNY Grad Center. He is amazingly smart and dedicated, has a great sense of humor, and a slightly gruff exterior but is warm and kind underneath.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received, and what made it so special? My daughter. She has enriched my life immeasurably.

What would you do if you won $1 million? Donate to he Hunger Task Force, the public library, then give gifts to daughter/nieces/nephews, and have one high-end shopping spree.

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