Kate Ott


Kate Ott
Church Marketing University
What Does Your Company/Organization Do?
Church Marketing University is designed to help churches reach their city in a way that saves time, builds teams, and grows budgets. The goal is to help churches see more visitors each week and more lives transformed!
My greatest accomplishments in life will always be my two daughters: Schaeffer & Grace.
What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?
40 for me isn’t far away. I hope to continue to grow in kindness and grace toward others. To build relationships with those who may not think or believe like me.
BS Marketing & Business from Cornerstone University — 2003
Stevensville, MI
Where were you born?
Grand Rapids, MI
What was your first job?
My first professional job: I worked as a buyer for Hobby Lobby.
Best advice you ever got?
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Relationships are the lifeblood of leadership. Listen more than you speak. Empathy goes a long way. Learn first names, and never be above any job that needs to be accomplished.
Who inspires you most?
People with vision and heart. True innovators: those who embrace change and aren’t bound by perceived limitation. The pioneers and trailblazers of our time.

That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.
I love nerdy podcasts, Ted Talks and reading Harvard Business Review and Inc.  If we’re friends in real life, you know you’re going to get links sent to you all the time.
What do you love to do in your downtime?
Our family loves to spend time Up North at our family cottage; boating, kayaking, paddle boarding.
What book are you reading now?
The Day the World Came To Town, 9/11 in Gander Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
Volunteer activity you love the most.
I love volunteering as a swim meet timer on the deck at my daughter’s swim meets. You get to be right in the middle of all the action and to talk to the athletes. It’s also a throw-back to my high school swimming days.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
Gratitude. Whether it’s volunteering at my child’s school or church or donating financially to a treasured organization–I have an overwhelming gratitude for the blessings we have in our community, as well as an awareness of what is required to keep these programs or facilities running. Nothing happens independently in a vacuum. If it’s important to me or my family, I need to say so with my time, talent and financial resources.
What Superpower would you most love to have?
Is perfect spelling a super power? And, having the ability to override your iPhone autocorrect? As a writer, this is what I would choose.
What has been the most eye-opening thing about the coronavirus pandemic for you, personally?
Two things:

  1. My work & title are not the sum of who I am. I cannot be entirely defined by what I do. There must be a healthier balance with my family, friends, work, life.
  2. The importance of innovation, early adaptation and progression. As a leader, I must be willing to learn, grow and accept new ideas to lead my team well.

What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?
It’s very humbling.
The last many months have been some of the most rewarding and challenging of my career. In many ways this feels like a recognition of the ways those of us have been honored have shown perseverance and tenacity through this COVID season.


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