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HERStory: Persistence

Goal setting, teamwork, decision-making and clear vision are some of the traits needed by strong business leaders. They are also traits of top athletes. Katie Baylor Tornow’s success demonstrates a unique ability to excel in both arenas. She credits athletics with providing a strong foundation to grow her career. “I’ve been an athlete most of my life and played all sorts of sports,” says Katie. “I started rowing in high school, rowed in college competitively and learned a lot about myself during that time. I had to develop strong organizational and time management skills to manage my workload as a student while performing as a competitive athlete.”

After college, Katie started a career in banking, eventually transitioning to a Director of Finance & Operations role in the financial services non-profit sector. She progressed to a Finance Director role at a national healthcare nonprofit. After 15 years, she shifted gears to focus on the small business sector in distribution and chemical manufacturing. Katie also found time to continue her education. “I recently received a Master’s Degree in Business Operations from THE Ohio State University – I am officially a Buckeye!”

“Throughout my career, I’ve always enjoyed working with board members and business owners to transition their vision into an action plan,” says Katie. This focus is critical for her current role as Chief Strategy Officer for Leaderpromos Marketing Agency. She creates a steady force within the organization while holding the leadership team accountable to achieve the vision of the CEO.

Katie shares more about her story and career advice.

My life story in one word and why

Persistence. Life will always have its challenges. Work hard and overcome.

What I love most about our company and brand

I love the creative approach we take to finding custom solutions for our clients.

The most challenging part of my role

In my role, I must juggle a lot of tasks, coach the leadership team, and navigate competing priorities. Staying organized and aligning those priorities with the business plan helps me stay focused.

Best advice for someone who wants to pursue working in a similar position

Stay curious!

Advice I’d give to my younger self

Never stop learning and ask questions.

Something I do beyond work that adds joy and meaning to my life

Weightlifting – give me a heavy barbell.