AUTHORITY MAGAZINE - Oct 13 - Kate spent the past 12 years helping drive POF to be one of the world's most popular dating apps.
Q: What led you to this particular career path?
A: I fell into tech completely by accident, starting in a junior role at a small tech company in the early 2000s where I met the founder of Plenty of Fish. I stayed and grew with that company for 5 years until 2008, at which point I was invited to join POF to help it scale.
Q: Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you at PlentyOfFish?
A: The most interesting thing is how we were able to run a company of Plenty of Fish's scale with so few people. Initially, my friends and family responded to my new job with "Oh…why?" and now people respond with "Oh…WOW!". To have lived and worked through that transition has been fascinating.
Q: Why do you think it is so important for a company to have a diverse executive team?
A: Working with people from different backgrounds will ensure more creative, innovative ideas and approaches. I am also proud to work for an organization that has a strong female leadership.
Q: What makes a great executive?
A: A great executive is someone who is capable of recognizing opportunity and setting a vision. It's less about monitoring work or assigning tasks, and more about empowerment. A great executive is someone who has a vision but trusts their team to execute on that vision.
Q: What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?
A: I did not imagine POF reaching the scale that it has. When I joined, it was a website run out of an apartment - and I was the first employee. 7 years later, PlentyOfFish would become Canada's 4th biggest tech exit. I did not think I would end up being an executive at a subsidiary of a $30B company.
Q: What are your "5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started"?
1. Expect to work a lot.
2. The job is never done.
3. It's lonely at the top. It's important to build your network outside of your day-to-day team and company.
4. Learning never stops.
5. Hire the right people.
Mark Brooks: I (under Courtland Brooks) was a contractor at POF when Kate came on board as the first employee. Markus was working out of his apartment and it became very apparent he needed someone to help him grow the company personnel and establish a company culture. Kate is a great heart and soul and torch bearer for the POF company culture.