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Katherine Kohler Thomson

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Katherine Kohler Thomson Obituary
Katherine Kohler Thomson, a resident of Manhattan Beach, died on August 6th. She was 51 years old. Kathy was a loving and devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and corporate leader.

Kathy was born in Detroit, MI and raised in Salt Lake City, UT where she was an avid skier and runner. Kathy earned a BS in Biology from the University of Utah and an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Loyola Marymount University. She moved to Los Angeles in 1988 where she made her home, raised her family and built her career. She was happiest when exploring and experiencing new places: restaurants, hikes, art exhibitions or cultures. Kathy had a habit of bringing as many people with her as she could on her adventures. She was a lifelong learner and continued to take on issues and challenge conventional wisdom until her last days. She was also known for her tireless work ethic and would not shy away from a challenge at work, home, while volunteering or even on vacation (much to her family's chagrin at times).

Starting early in her adult life and continuing to her last days, Kathy's body showed signs of weakness that her character never betrayed. For over 25 years, there were a series of diagnosis, countless hospital stays, constant doctor visits, and frequent fatigue but nobody ever heard Kathy complain. Her physical condition inspired Kathy early on to remain focused on her values, principles, and priorities.

Kathy had a successful media career having led some of the most transformative media companies in the world. Kathy was known for her quiet, inclusive leadership style bringing together teams of people to accomplish extraordinary results. Eddy W. Hartenstein, DirecTV's founding President, CEO and Kathy's mentor, described Kathy's management style as leading with a "velvet hammer". According to Hartenstein, "She was fierce, she was compassionate, she did not suffer fools well." She spent 15 years at DirecTV, rising from a financial analyst to become Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. She was Chief of Staff of The Los Angeles Times from 2008-2009, returning in 2011 as the President and Chief Operating Officer where she guided the latimes.com into the digital age. Between her two stints at The Times, Kathy was Vice President of Business Operations at Flo TV Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm. In 2013, Kathy went to work for SiriusXM satelite radio as the Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President. According to Jim Meyer, SiriusXM Chief Executive, "She built the SiriusXM marketing organization into possibly the best in all of subscription media."

Despite her professional persona, Kathy was a kind, giving soul who touched many people during her lifetime. She had a passion for community service and supported a number of diverse organizations. From their shared passion for the arts, Kathy and her family established a fund for K-12 arts education. With her daughter Lauren, she gave of her time to National Charity League. She was a member of YPO, a leadership organization of worldwide executives devoted to inspiring business, personal, family and community impact. She was also a Board Member for the Los Angeles Downtown Women's Center, an organization dedicated to addressing the needs of women overcoming poverty and homelessness.

Kathy was humble, kind, beautiful, intelligent, curious, sincere, powerful, honest, and caring to all. Despite all of her success, the most important part of her life was family. Kathy was a dedicated and loyal mother to her children, Nic and Lauren. She supported and encouraged them in their endeavors, hobbies and interests. She worked hard to ensure that her children received the most of their education and encouraged diverse life-experiences, so that they would become well-rounded and happy adults.

Kathy is survived by her loving and supportive husband of almost 24 years Michael, her beloved children Nicholas (19) and Lauren (16), her parents Dorothy Kohler and Roy Kohler, and her brothers Robert Kohler and Roger Kohler.

A celebration of Kathy's life will be held on Sunday, August 27th at 2:00pm - Casa Del Mar, 1901 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405. The event is open to all who knew and loved Kathy. The family requests no black attire.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Kathy's name to one of the following causes that were near and dear to her heart:

? Thomson Fund for Arts Education: https:/www.schwabcharitable.org/public/file/P-9547043 Step 5 Delivery Instructions and use Acct#6274-5705
? Alzeheimer's Foundation of America (AFA): https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/
? Chadwick School: http://www.chadwickschool.org/makeagift, and choose "other fund". Please specify the gift is in memory of Kathy Thomson.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Aug. 15, 2017
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