The Ad Club
617.262.1100 | adclub.org
Kathy Kiely is the President of The Ad Club. After serving as a Managing Partner at Arnold Worldwide and a Managing Partner for Deutsch Boston, she took the helm at The Ad Club, one of the longest running and most influential trade organizations in the country. Kathy is celebrating her 12th year as President.
Who or what inspired you to start your own business?
I want to make this really clear; The Ad Club was founded over 100 years ago, so I did not start the Ad Club. I’m not that old! Prior to my arrival as President, there were so many other influential leaders in this post. I was honored to be asked to take on the role of President. Our industry: media, advertising, marketing, and technology, is changing at the speed of light. That is what inspired me to take the helm at The Ad Club. I wanted to form an amazing team, a stellar board of directors, and re-invigorate The Ad Club to represent the cutting-edge brands, media, and technology companies in Boston.
Is location important to the success of your business?
Absolutely. The location of The Ad Club is rooted in our mission: To put the spotlight on Boston and its marketing, media, and technology companies as well as the vibrant startup community. When I did my real estate search for our office, I would not look outside of downtown Boston. Our offices in the financial district are in the shadow of Hill Holliday, Trilia, Mullen Lowe, Digitas, Arnold, Havas, and Allen & Gerritsen. It is so easy to crowd source brilliant minds for our content with all of these folks in the neighborhood. If you really want to have a power meeting, just get on the last ferry to Hingham!
If you could give advice to other women hoping to start a business, what would it be?
I don’t like this question because every woman’s situation is different. I guess the most sweeping advice I would give is this: If you are averse to risk, don’t do it. If direct deposit is what lets you sleep at night, then stay in a more traditional environment. If you are okay sweating things like meeting payroll, hiring, firing, and the swings in the economy, then the joys will ultimately outweigh the fears. There is so much joy in feeling like you and your team have built something great.
Who do you consider your mentor?
I have to say my siblings. My two older sisters paved the way for me in business and my younger brother paved the way in entrepreneurship. They have always been my trusted go-to sources for advice. My children are my mentors for technology.