Congratulations Katherine Fordon, the winner of our 2018 Emerging Executive of the Year award. We will be honoring Katherine (and our other winners) at our annual Make Your Mark Awards on Thursday, Nov 15 at the Santa Clara Marriott. RSVP to celebrate with us!
Katherine Fordon is a Bay Area communications professional with 16 years of experience helping companies market and communicate their messages to their employees and the world. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, Katherine went on to work as a sports writer for the Longmont Times-Call (formerly known as the Daily Times-Call). A move to Chicago led Katherine into the field of public relations where she worked on the world-famous “got milk?” mobile marketing tour and represented well-known companies and organizations, such as Turtle Wax, Rubbermaid, GLAD, USG, John G. Shedd Aquarium and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), as well as Fortune 500 clients, including Whirlpool Corporation and Skil Power Tools (Robert Bosch GmbH). After agency life, Katherine spent almost a decade running her own communications consulting business, Katherine Fordon Public Relations (KFPR), helping Bay Area companies and agencies with their communications needs. Katherine is currently the Director of Corporate Communications for Wilbur-Ellis, a San Francisco-based company. Passionate about women’s rights and equality, Katherine is a board member of Women of Wilbur-Ellis, the Company’s first business resource group, a member of Watermark’s Emerging Executive Advisory Council and a volunteer for Courageous Women Association’s Career Development and Economic Empowerment Program. Katherine also serves as a board member for Diablo Valley Montessori School. When she’s not working, Katherine enjoys spending time with her husband and two children exploring all the wonderful food, music, culture and nature in the Bay Area and beyond.
Most Valuable Lesson
It’s a pretty basic and fundamental lesson, but more important than ever in our digital world: Never burn a bridge. Everything comes back to haunt you, good or bad.
Advice for 20-Year-Old Self
Stop. Breathe. And know that this is just a moment, is a small space in time where work or life – or both – are crazy. Life is constantly going to throw you curve balls and the innings never end. Just take them one at a time and lean into those pitches, don’t step out of the batter’s box.
Smartest Career Move
Walking away from running my own consulting business to go back inhouse with a single company. I was leaving behind freedom to choose my clients, choose the people I would work with, set my pay and decide my own hours. However, what I gained was so much more. I gained a team that is focused on a single goal. I gained exposure to markets and industries that I never would have in my own consulting business. I gained a boss who not only cares about my career, but cares about my family and my life outside of work as well.
Secret Ingredient for Growth and Success
Being myself. For so long, I tried to fit inside these personalities that I thought my manager or supervisor wanted in the role. Only when I truly was myself did I start to see growth and change. That growth and change, leads to success.