5 Minutes With... | March 20, 2019
Kate Mortenson, President & CEO Minneapolis Final Four Organizing Committee
Kate’s vision and years of hard work will culminate in the coming weeks at the Final Four tournament in Minneapolis. Kate has worked to ensure the events surrounding the tournament are inclusive, with activities geared to reflect the diversity of Minneapolis. She has intentionally designed a repeatable formula that will deliver high impact (estimated to bring in $100 million to the metro region) and attendance as Minneapolis is in the world spotlight. Given her ability to forge key partnerships, attract great talent and execute complex layers of details, there is no doubt this is not the last we will hear about Kate’s leadership, which made Scouts curious to learn more…
Q. If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?
A. Mayor of Minneapolis, Editorial Writer or Radio Personality on MPR
Q. What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?
A. Be persistent, positive and “can-do”—sports events people have to be willing to do whatever is necessary in the moment.
Q. What is your mantra?
In encountering obstacles, “be like water”.
Q. How do you get yourself out of a slump?
I shift my focus from what I need to accomplish next to all that has been accomplished thus far, and I feel gratitude.
Q. What companies or leaders do you admire?
I admire leaders who are focused on where the new ‘high bar’ is set. I admire leaders who recognize the value that diversity done well brings to the results.
Q. What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?
There is a shift occurring within the ‘supply chain’ for large events. To avoid disruption and risk, events need not only be climate-proof in the built infrastructure, they also have to reflect organizational and brand values across their local operations.
Q. Who has been most instrumental in your career?
Our regional major sports event leaders, both on the fundraising and operational side, have been very generous with advice and insight over the last four years—giving me a peek around the corner in my planning. Otherwise I get a lot of inspiration from female leaders and have much appreciation for male leaders who make space for qualified, but new, voices at the table.
Q. What is your go-to celebration meal, drink or tradition?
When we have a significant piece of good news, our Final Four local organizing team makes a running loop around our small office. After work—my go-to for all celebrations, is my hubby.