Girl Boss 2019: Maddy Kulkarni

The same principles that sell snack foods to consumers can also help spur citizens to action toward positive change. That’s where Maddy Kulkarni’s passion lies.

Professionally, Maddy is a Global Marketing Leader for PepsiCo. But she’s making her name as a community leader through her side hustle: helping nonprofits market their good work. 

“When she sees an opportunity to use her skills to help others, she just dives in head first,” said Michael Thomas, executive director of My Possibilities, a higher education campus in Plano for adults with cognitive disabilities. 

Now Maddy’s diving into MPact, a fledgling offshoot of My Possibilities that aims to prepare adults with development disabilities for employment. As a founder board member, Maddy is working to identify potential partners: retail businesses that could benefit from hiring MPact’s students. 

That work is in addition to the nonprofit that Maddy herself founded, which she described last year in her TEDxPlano Talk, “Do Good, Better.” While volunteering for Social Venture Partners, she was surprised to learn of Dallas-area nonprofits working in a wide range of areas: promoting adult literacy, assisting veterans and fighting human trafficking, to name just a few.  

“I thought, ‘More people need to know about these organizations,’” she said. “Then I thought, ‘Wait a minute. I do marketing for a living. Maybe I could help here.” 

She launched Dallas Heroes Project, which highlights people behind nonprofits around the city and acts as a sort of marketing agency for community members and their local nonprofits. Most nonprofits work with limited, if any marketing budgets, she said; she helps them prioritize their efforts. 

She’s also passing on what she’s learned with marketing students who share her interest in serving; this fall, the NYU-educated M.B.A. will teach a new course on nonprofit and social impact marketing at University of Texas at Dallas.  

Maddy says her community service career began in high school, when she organized beach cleanups and car washes as president of her school’s National Honor Society. 

“My mom always pushed me to do community service,” Maddy says. “I developed this love for giving back to the community.” 

See all of the 2019 Girl Bosses >
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