If you've joined RevGenius in the last 6 months, it's likely that you've talked to or heard of Katherine McConnell. As the leader of the member onboarding team, she's been instrumental in ramping members, making them feel welcomed, and getting them everything they need to be successful. With a community of over 7,000 members—that's no small feat.
Katherine is also incredibly selfless. In fact, after we told her she had been chosen for Member Spotlight, she gave us a list of people she'd recommend and thought should be highlighted because of their contributions.
We owe so much of our current success as a community to Katherine, and we're so excited to highlight such an exceptional RevGenius member.
Below is our interview with Katherine McConnell:
Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hello, I’m Katherine McConnell, coming to you from #Vermont. I grew up on Long Island and spent my teenage summers living and working on Fire Island.
Yes, I love and really miss the beach, thus my ocean photo backdrop for video calls (less famous than Kristina Finseth’s avocados), but it's still my happy place. I currently work with startup accelerators to help as many early-stage companies as I can, and about to start a new, interesting project focused on female founders. I miss being in the trenches directly driving revenue every day, but I’m energized by the opportunity to impact such a wide variety of innovative businesses. Plus, I get to connect with inspiring founders, mentors, and startup ecosystem partners—all of which I love!
How did your journey lead you from the sports industry to your current endeavors?
It’s been a terrific journey so far!
- Started on a Wall Street trading floor doing bond derivatives (Monte Carlo, Black-Scholes, and binomial pricing models anyone 😉).
- Helped to launch the WNBA & New York’s team at Madison Square Garden, and was a McKinsey-esque internal consultant in the revenue strategy, analytics, and innovation group at the NBA.
- Switched to non-profits joining the Board of USA Volleyball & leading conventions in conjunction with the NCAA Volleyball Championship, and then ran Burton Snowboard’s Chill Foundation, which inspires youth to overcome challenges through board sports.
- Got off the full-time track for a while, did lots of volunteering, spent time with my darling nieces, and freelanced for startups.
- Felt the need to reboot my brain, and got in the mix with startup accelerators where all of these experiences can come into play.
Whew … what ties this all together? Love of creating what doesn’t yet exist, endless curiosity, unquenchable thirst for knowledge, ability to quickly learn new things … and revenue of course!
What are some things you wish you knew when you first became a leader?
- I had more proactively sought advice and mentorship/sponsorship.
- I had more skill and courage to have direct and difficult conversations.
- I had better training on the critical need to understand people’s whys and learning styles. As an example, early on as a leader, I thought my comprehensive team updates were ever so informative, but in fact, they were too much, so I had to better adapt my communication style.
What advice do you have for people looking to become entrepreneurs?
Gurus have obviously written tons of books on this topic; here are a few quick thoughts:
- Have excellent self-awareness.
- Be REALLY clear on your WHY.
- Identify a problem you feel driven to solve.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you and build a community.
- Understand unit economics.
- Don’t be shy, ask for what you need/want - advice, product feedback, funding, sales, etc!
What gets you out of bed every morning?
Learning and striving to have a positive impact on people, organizations, and communities! I’m so grateful to have had many fantastic opportunities and experiences so I aim to pay it forward.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
Being a catalyst! I try to make people and outcomes better by elevating others, sparking team excellence, and driving results. However, I admit that can sometimes come across as “exacting” (direct quote from an actual reference someone gave me - ha!)
Why should other revenue professionals join RevGenius?
I was lucky enough to join on June 4 as member #97! Many, many generous volunteers have donated time and skills to foster the explosive growth of the RevGenius community and develop a diverse offering of programs. Come laugh*, learn, connect, and flourish!
Like anything else, be clear on why you are joining, and be an ACTIVE member - what you put into it will be what you get out of it.
*Despite my love of Buzzfeed, I was never much of a meme person so imagine my surprise when the #meme channel became a favorite!