We are thrilled to welcome our newest team member, Katie Fitzpatrick, as Director, Account Strategy! Katie brings more than 20 years of agency experience in strategic communications and account management to the team, and she’s already putting her knowledge to work for clients within our Professional Services & Public Affairs and Technology & Manufacturing practice groups.
Recently we sat down with Katie to hear more about her experience, why she loves agency life, how she likes to spend her time outside of work and more.
You’ve spent most of your career at agencies of different sizes and types. What is it about agency life (or the way agencies approach communications) that resonates with you?
Agency life has been my jam for the last two decades. I’ve worked at both small and large agencies, and the common threads are the people, purpose and variety of work.
I’ve been fortunate to work with and learn from many great leaders and colleagues over the years. There’s never a dull moment in this profession. I like that every day brings new opportunities and challenges.
What drew you to Bellmont Partners?
Bellmont Partners has a strong reputation in the local PR community, and I’ve been watching the agency grow and thrive over the years. I kept my eye on notable announcements, achievements and client engagements, such as the agency’s communications work to increase tourism to Duluth.
Additionally, I’d met Jen, Brian and other colleagues at industry events and gatherings at the Bellmont Partners’ office and was always impressed by their professionalism and kindness. I worked with VP Breanna Welke several years ago, and I’m excited to collaborate with her again at this point in our careers.
What are your initial impressions now that you’re digging in? Any surprises?
The BP team is incredibly organized, smart and welcoming to new colleagues. The proactive and collaborative nature of the different practice groups and account teams is remarkable. I’m already learning so much from my new colleagues and their respective areas of expertise.
One welcomed surprise is seeing how the structure and flexibility of BP’s culture truly works in concert. Established platforms, user-friendly processes and a high level of trust in the staff equates to not only consistent, great work for clients, but also flexible time for employees to volunteer in the community, get in a medical appointment or do a workout without feeling guilty. I’ve never really had this type of “work freedom” before.
You have a lot of experience across a number of communications disciplines. Which areas are you most excited about?
Over time, I’ve developed a strong base of traditional communication and PR skills that I’ve put to use across multiple sectors, including industrial B2B, financial services, agriculture and healthcare/insurance.
The types of work I enjoy most are brand campaigns and thought leadership programs that help elevate leaders and subject matter experts through written content and strategic media relations.
A rewarding campaign I proudly worked on was the TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America) Difference Maker 100. For its centennial celebration, the financial services company honored 100 individuals who were making a notable difference at their nonprofit or academic institution. It felt good in every way, including the stellar PR results and community goodwill that was built.
What can clients and colleagues expect when they work with you?
Once I’m immersed in an account and integrated into a new team, my goal is to bring new ideas and add value to the business. I’m not afraid to ask questions to better understand the primary goals or intended outcomes of a program. I’m results-oriented and work hard to help move the needle.
I will speak up, but I’m never the loudest in the room. I’m a good listener, collaborator, team player and like when people are comfortable enough to laugh during business meetings. Laughter can make hard work and long hours a lot easier and more enjoyable.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Outside of work, I chase my three kids around, attend their activities and keep everything going on the home front with my husband. I love to be outside, especially during the summer. My outlet is exercise. I like to run, bike and play any sport. Most recently, I’ve enjoyed coaching my kids’ soccer and basketball teams – a new outlet for my athletic side. Finally, we like to travel, and were fortunate to visit Utah, New York, Arizona and Texas over the past year.