Katie is the Managing Director at Impact Hub Minneapolis – Saint Paul, a community convener and resource navigator for social impact entrepreneurs that operate a coworking space in Minneapolis – Saint Paul. Katie is responsible for operations and is engaged in entrepreneurial support and ecosystem development work.
Before joining Impact Hub Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Katie has worked in has ben part of six startups, including Folk School Warroad, an organization in northern Minnesota that provides locals with experiences in art, culture, local history, traditional crafts and appreciation of natural resources. She has also worked internationally with entrepreneurs in China, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and the Twin Cities.
In her spare time, Katie loves spending time with her family including her partner, Gabriel Harren, and 4 beautiful children.
I am an intentional, relational leader who fosters a culture of active problem solving and loves to ask, ‘What if we saw things differently?’. I seek to provide leadership that enhances organizational positions in strategic planning, innovation and community/business partnerships to drive meaningful, equitable change and growth opportunities.
Skilled in strategic leadership, change management, advocacy, public policy, risk management, building
coalitions, business development, financial analysis, operations management, coaching staff and system
I am a small business advocate with extensive commercial lending experience. I work collaboratively with partners to solve for the financing challenges faced by small business owners across the country. Through these efforts, I have established strong relationships with entrepreneurs, real estate developers, and investors. Together we can create a more equitable lending landscape where small businesses thrive.
I am skilled at developing and implementing lending strategies that connect lenders to borrowers. In 2006, I was named “2% Lender of the Year” by the City of Minneapolis and in 2008 was a Finance and Commerce Top Woman in Finance award winner. I promote open communication between myself, my co-workers, and our clients to generate trust and drive results.
My passion is to empower small business owners by improving access to responsible capital. I am always interested in new ways to achieve this objective and welcome the opportunity to connect with others who are working towards the same goal. Whether you’re a small business lender, entrepreneur, community development professional, or someone looking to support small businesses, send me a note and lets work together to create a more equitable economy for all.
Founder & CEO of We Sparkle Co., a Techstars-backed public benefit corporation building a stronger + more inclusive economy by equipping underestimated entrepreneurs with the AI-powered tools they need to succeed (purchase your own #SparkleAssistant @ https://www.wesparkle.co).
2021 Bush Fellow. Connector of people + ideas who specializes in digital marketing and design thinking. Experience working in public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree: https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2020/10/05/2020-women-in-business-michelle-tran-maryns.html
Advised startups Boosted Boards (BoostedBoards.com, YC S12), Skip Scooters (SkipScooters.com, YC W18), 26 Letters (26letters.co), Molly Fuller Design (MollyFullerDesign.com), Ova Woman (OvaWoman.com), Spinning Wylde (SpinningWylde.com), and Zaarly (Zaarly.com). Also served as a Stitch Fix stylist on the side. Contract projects include work with Greater MSP/Make It. MSP./MSP Hello and WORKSHOP (primary client: Google). Co-founded a Service Design Network (SDN) chapter in Minnesota that coordinated the Service Design Midwest Conference (www.sdnmidwest.com) along with the SDN Chicago chapter. #1 fan of music by UNENDINGS (https://www.unendings.com).
Led a group of high school students from China on a social entrepreneurship/social innovation ThinkImpact learning trip to Panama, where I taught them human-centered design thinking skills to help community members either improve their social enterprises or start new ones: https://www.facebook.com/piedrasgordaspanama.
StrengthsFinder: Futuristic, Individualization, Strategic, Ideation, Positivity
Keirsey Temperament Sorter: The Champion
16Personalities: The Protagonist
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
EOS: Visionary who loves working with an Integrator!
Organizational Development: Start-up design, Program design, Staff planning
Strategic Planning: Mission & Vision development, outcomes and measurements, tactical strategy formation, process monitoring
Philanthropy processes for effective giving decision making
Fundraising process development: design and training for multiple funding streams
Board development and effective Volunteer management
Entrepreneurship in nonprofit and for profit settings
Nonprofit management basics; Social Enterprise creation
Human Service program model design and implementation
System Change Strategy planning
Published Author: Social Entrepreneurship: From Issue to Viable Plan (2013), Business Expert Press and EduCase: Clemens Perk – available at csbsju.edu/cfe
Specialties: Certified to administer DISC Personal Profile and CREATRIX
As an experienced leader and team-builder, I cultivate relationships to drive success. My focus as principal of Wiser Paths includes leadership development, team-building, and strategic planning. I bring more than 25 years experience in nonprofit leadership, corporate philanthropy, community foundation philanthropic services, and consulting. I have served community endeavors extensively in the corporate, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and raised the effectiveness and cultural bar of many organizations in my career.
StrengthsFinder Top 5: Relator, Connectedness, Intellection, Empathy, Adaptability
As a fractional, interim or part-time marketing leader for healthcare businesses, I love to help my clients make money, faster, via smart marketing investments. I believe that marketing should produce value for an organization.
Key areas of expertise:
-Demand generation, focused on getting more new customers, more quickly and expanding revenue from existing customers
-Marketing and go to market strategy, planning and tactical execution
-Budget creation and management, from $0-$25M (annual)
-Trust-based leader, building marketing teams of 2-25+ from scratch and leading them through dynamic change
-B2B, B2C and B2B2C/channel experience
I’m an ideator, synthesizer, possibility seeker and problem solver. I’m an Entrepreneurial Intrapreneur; a strategic and tactical Operator and Program Leader, natural Chief of Staff and Business Development Operator with capacity to build and lead high-growth initiatives on both a micro- and macro- level; working seamlessly in the conceptual and tactical. Ideating and synthesizing strategic business growth initiatives, new revenue pipelines, leveraging cross functional teams to realize maximum potential while focused on the future. In my experience as a Chief Operating Officer, I honed my skill and passion of taking complex situations and turning them into possibility. Whether designing new cross-functional team workflows, maximizing efficiencies by identifying and removing friction points, developing new products, creating and negotiating strategic partnerships, incubating and accelerating new go to market paradigms, I deliver results.
My layered experience encompasses demonstrated entrepreneurial and collaborative leadership style, thriving at the intersection of emotional intelligence, ideation and optimism. I generate opportunities, anticipate and remove barriers, challenge the status quo in fast-paced, high-risk industries and startup ecosystem. I thrive in the ambiguous and cut through red tape. I love digging in while working with startups, Founders, CEO’s, Subject Matter Experts and Executive teams to enable innovation, strategic and cultural alignment to drive growth while asking both What if and Why Not?
Specific areas of expertise:
*Strategic Business Development
*Business Growth Strategy
*Cross-Functional Team Leadership
*Strategic Operations Management
*C-Suite Leadership and Communications
*Start-up and Founder Strategic Consultation
*Company Culture Alignment and Culture Ambassador
*Content Creation and Strategy
*Stakeholder and Board Communication and Engagement
*Customer Experience Design
My passion is contributing as a global citizen. I am a trail-blazing traveler, adventurer and cultural explorer; 10 plus years as international education volunteer in the developing world(over 30 weeks in 9 countries) as an ally with NGO’s to realize the UN Global SDG’s with a special passion for early education and technology democratization and community engagement.
My colleagues appreciate my leadership philosophy: People remember how you made them feel.
Never give up. There is always a YES!