“The best experiences in my life, personally and professionally, have happened when things didn’t go according to plan” – or as Katie Schibler Conn is known for saying – “when sh*t went sideways.” The founder of KSA MARKETING, Katie is an industry powerhouse in her element taking risks to deliver bold and per- formance-driven advertising campaigns. “The core of my job is to find clarity amidst the chaos and create a path forward that has everyone around us saying ‘Oh, hell yeah!’”
A classically trained marketer, Katie has more than 25 years of experience leading integrated marketing initiatives for global brands ranging from SKYY Spirits to PlayStation, as well as local clients University of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and many more. With a long history of forging meaningful client partnerships, Katie’s first account straight out of earning her BA in communications from Fairfield University was PepsiCo. The solid relationship would later set KSA Marketing’s growth in mo- tion when PepsiCo signed on as her first client 11 years ago.
Katie is a past president of the Association of Marketing Profes- sionals of RI, an active member of the Forbes Agency Council, an advisory board member of Enterprising Women, and was PBN’s Woman to Watch in Creative Services in 2021. “In 2019, I identified a growing need for workforce development recruitment campaigns and entered the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program,” Katie explains. “In doing so, I created an entirely new niche of adver- tising services in the marketing industry, running integrated adver- tising campaigns for workforce development organizations.”
Each industry move has been informed by her background, down to her upbringing in Canton, Ohio, surrounded by generations
working in manufacturing. “I witnessed the negative social and eco- nomic impact the loss of manufacturing has had,” Katie says. “This is why KSA’s focus on workforce development is so important to me.”
While Katie’s innovation in the field speaks volumes, her employees and business partner David Bradley’s praise may echo louder. “Katie developed and built KSA for over 11 years, a milestone few business owners reach, and even fewer women business owners,” says Bradley.
“Katie is a gifted leader who excites, inspires, and leads with bold vision. She is innovative and creative, bringing intense focus and enthusiasm to everything she does,” shares an employee. “She also invests her time and effort to help staff and clients grow in their careers, helping them realize their own impact and potential while inspiring and motivating them to do their best work.”
The “chief a*s kicker” works hard but also advocates for work- life balance for herself and her team (earning the company PBN’s Best Places to Work), spending downtime with family and volun- teering in the community. An active feminist, Katie also champi- ons women leaders. While KSA is among the only 2 percent of women-owned businesses that achieve more than $1,000,000 in revenue, she shares, “I am personally on a mission to increase this statistic and create more equity in the financial divide between male-owned and woman-owned businesses.”
After back-to-back years doubling in size, 2023 promises to be a big year for KSA, scaling internal processes, resources, and staff, launching a mentorship program, and creating a training hub for both technical and soft skills. Katie looks forward to watching it unfold, all while upholding the agency’s core values: “kick-a*s com- mitment, passionate tenacity, and bold courage.”
100 Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, 401-681-4900, TeamKSA.com
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