“Being a CEO is more than holding a position of great power; it’s about serving that power to create a community in which people can thrive.”
From a young age, Katie never settled for conventional paths — from becoming the first girl in her upstate New York hometown to hold a paper route, to cycling all the way to Nova Scotia at just 17 years old, and embracing two weeks of snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains amidst subzero temperatures. These early ventures set a clear trajectory for what lay ahead – a constant drive to challenge limits and relentlessly push forward.
Katie earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics at Cornell University in 1983 before rising to success early in her career. With a passion for telling compelling stories and connecting with an audience through direct response television, Katie founded Williams Television Time, Inc. in 1987 – becoming the first woman to own a Direct to Consumer TV marketing agency. Just five years later, founded Williams Worldwide Television which would ultimately become one of the largest women-owned businesses in Los Angeles.
Katie continued to make her mark, earning awards across the cable TV, satellite media and online direct marketing arenas, including being honored with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Electronic Retailing Association. But what Katie is most proud about extends beyond these awards and recognitions is being a mentor and providing opportunities to women, men, immigrants, and people of color. Her heart is filled with joy as they’ve gone out into the world to start their own successful, impactful businesses. Another immense source of her pride is empowering underprivileged girls in India, watching over 60,000 of them grow from grade one all the way through graduation.
As Katie once stated, “Being a CEO is more than holding a position of great power; it’s about serving that power to create a community in which people can thrive and reach their fullest potential. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring a team of remarkable individuals, many of whom have gone on to run successful companies.
”Today, Katie continues to exemplify these values in her role as CEO at Ideal Living. Her journey underscores how dreams, driven by determination and compassion, can reshape industries, uplift communities, and transform lives.