Despite facing significant obstacles in her early years, Kathy continues to be an example to all she meets of what a positive outlook on the present and optimistic hope for the future can accomplish. Having lost both of her parents by the age of 13, Kathy moved in with her brother, an Army chaplain at Fort Bragg. While her brother led services in the heart of the 82nd Airborne Division, Kathy assisted by playing the church organ.
At 16 years old, Kathy was enrolled at Duke University. Four years later, she graduated and became engaged to Joe Landing, a Naval ROTC student at Duke. In 1984 they married and moved to Charleston, where Joe was stationed as a United States Navy officer. It was then that Kathy took a risk and began building her business in the Lowcountry in the financial industry.