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Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon. High 92F. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Locally heavy rainfall possible..
Partly to mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms during the evening. Low 74F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.
Updated: September 10, 2022 @ 5:11 am
Kaitlyn Yates

Kaitlyn Yates
Name: Kaitlyn Yates
Age: 32
Current occupation: Director, Fiji Philanthropy
Immediate family: Spouse Jonie Yates, cat Michi
How would you describe yourself in five words? You belong among the wildflowers (thanks Tom Petty).
How long have you lived in Bakersfield? If you are not from here, what brought you to town? I intentionally chose to move to Bakersfield six years ago after spending a long, hot summer working in Lost Hills. I was immediately taken aback by Bakersfield’s proximity to world-class rock climbing, the wild and scenic Kern River and Kern Canyon, and the potential that Bakersfield seemed to be bubbling with.
I decided to plant myself here, grow, and contribute to making our community a little better every day. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Don’t be afraid of your own skin. It was made for you to live in.
How did you get to your current position? I grew up speaking, reading, writing, and living Spanish and Mexican culture. It has been the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. My lived experience taught me how to bridge cultures with language, but also that what you see on the outside is only a fraction of who a person is on the inside.
My strong linguistic background combined with my ability to work in challenging environments with cultures and people different than me have made my various roles at The Wonderful Co. exciting and rewarding, including my most recent role, which has required me to spend a significant amount of time living in Fiji working with local communities and nonprofits.
As a testament to the leadership of The Wonderful Co., they have seen my assets, passions, and potential and carved out ways for me to bring the best of myself to the team and I am always willing to say yes to the challenges they place before me.
What is the proudest achievement of your career? As a community development professional, I constantly remind myself that I am a capacity builder and that my greatest successes will always be when I can work with and for communities to achieve their definition of success and thriving, and not my own. When I see community members I have had the privilege of working with beginning to realize their potential and confidently living into it is when I feel most proud.
How do you find inspiration to do what you do? As someone who struggles with mental health challenges, inspiration can often be difficult for me to locate. However, when I integrate daily reminders of why I do what I do, it is a big help. I keep a small vision board of my personal and professional goals by my desk that reminds me of the bigger picture of what I am striving toward. I also keep a beaded bracelet on my left wrist, which I received in Peru while I was living and working there, to ground me and remind me that what I do is about people and there is no task too small for any leader.
Additionally, I have a picture of my team right in front of my desk so I never forget who I am accountable to each day to show up as my best so they can also be their best.
What local organizations or groups are you involved with? Why is it important to give back to the community? I am a founding board member with the nonprofit The Hub of Bakersfield and functioned as the chair of The Innovation Lab for three years along with Jorge Barrientos and Heather Laganelli. This program has produced over 30 Innovators across three cohorts who came together to learn about practical and tangible ways for residents of Bakersfield to cultivate the spaces we desire right where we live and not hope they manifest someday.
I have also had the privilege of serving as a board member for the Red Cross for two years, supporting their outreach work in rural Kern County.
Additionally, I am an entrepreneur and have been working for the past five years to bring an innovative endeavor to Bakersfield that will be a celebration of community and the natural spaces that drew me here in the first place.
What is your favorite quote? Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Brené Brown: “I am not here to be right. I am here to get it right.”
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