“The line we use in Civil Air Patrol is ‘Semper Gumby,’ which means always flexible. That’s what we are.” — Raj Kothari
2020 was a rough year for many. While majority of the world followed stay-at-home orders and did their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, others were stepping up to the plate and running headfirst towards the challenge of addressing the growing pandemic.
An investment banker isn’t likely to be the first person to come to mind when you think of a health care hero, but that’s the case here at Cascade Partners.
Rajesh “Raj” Kothari, CFA and Managing Director at Cascade Partners was the winner of the 2021 Crain’s Detroit Business Administrator/Executive Health Care Hero Award for his work with the Michigan Civil Air Patrol during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Raj has been a member of the Civil Air Patrol since he was 13. After a visit from CAP to his middle school he quickly became enamored with the community service aspect of the organization, as well as the many lessons in leadership it provides.
His role as the Commander for Michigan Wing Civil Air Patrol, which he has served as since 2018, took on new meaning when his team worked to manage and lead efforts to distribute nearly 2,500 test kits, 6,000 samples and more than 100,000 pieces of PPE in more than 100 air and ground sorties to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and correctional facilities.
The Michigan Wing also helped harmonize resources for the supporting agencies at the 1,000-bed TCF center in Detroit and the 250-bed Suburban Collection Showplace Regional Care facility in Novi, both of which were designed to accommodate overflow from hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
This was a first not just for Raj, but also for Civil Air Patrol, as they had never been involved in a pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, majority of CAP’s activities involved search and rescue efforts for plane crashes and even natural disasters, like when the Tittabawasee River flooded Gladwin County in 2020 or the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
Raj’s designation as a health care hero is well deserved and a testament to the culture he has helped build at Cascade Partners for over 10 years. From the start we’ve operated off a culture that’s committed to actively engaging with and serving the communities in which we live, work, and play. Our team members’ community involvement includes Leader Dogs For The Blind, Habitat for Humanity, The United Way, Detroit Rescue Mission and Soldiers Angels.