Katie Grycan

  • Account Manager

As an ENFJ (aka The Giver) Katie is empathetic, compassionate, and giving. In minutes, it’s clearly evident that she is genuine in her intentions. She deeply values being connected to others and for others to be connected to one another. So it's not surprising that she is remarkably adept at building strong relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Katie’s very perceptive, but optimistic. So, she chooses to look for the best in people. She’s capable and confident, but empathetic. So, she strives for cooperation and seeks to help others personally develop. She’s responsible with a high capacity for juggling multiple things on multiple fronts, but values harmony. So, she pursues solitude, reflection, and rest (often through yoga). She innately loves to organize and that includes all aspects of her life, everything from her own wedding planning to baby prep to vacation planning (including detailed itineraries) to dvds being organized by genre then alphabetical order. Most evident of all, however, is the fact that Katie likes giving affirmation, support and making sure that others contributions are valued. She loves to help others reach their potential. And that sort of altruism matters immeasurably more to the flourishing of humans than just about anything else.

Katie was born and raised on the outskirts of Cleveland, along with her younger sister, who to this day is one of her best friends. Born to Ed and Mary Jo, Katie and Kimberlyn were raised with a high value on family who did things together. “We went on regular family vacations to Virginia Beach and Florida. We did a lot of things outside. My appreciation for the beauty of nature and the outdoors came from that. We loved playing in the woods or the water and regularly went to the Metro Parks.” Katie went to Ohio University where she majored in Communications and Advertising. And through her tenure at a large agency in Akron, Ohio, she met her husband, Matt who like her (and her family) is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan. From as far back as she can remember, her family would go to the Cleveland Indians’ home opener every year. “We would get out of school for the opening and I never missed one until I had our first baby.” Also, and perhaps not so coincidentally, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the championship on her birthday.

Katie credits her desire and ability to connect with others to her dad, who is "gifted at the art of small talk... "I was shy as a kid, but even when I was little, I remember that he would talk to the person at the deli counter. He always wanted to interact with others and he made it fun getting to know other people. When we would see the same people over and over, I would have something to talk about with them…When we traveled, he would read the pamphlets and he would share these random facts. He’s the one that’s going to read the 'Our Story' on the back of the menu and then tell us about it." It’s interesting that Katie’s dad is actually an accountant. And she credits her nerdish love for numbers and spreadsheets from him as well. Katie’s mom, on the other hand, was in communications and marketing which is where Katie gets her strength in writing. In terms of character, Katie’s mom took the time to instill kindness in her girls. To understand where people are coming from. "I think she started that at a younger age than most. In 1st grade she would talk to me about how I could understand and get along with the kids that I went to school with or lived near. That really shaped me in how to care for others and how to adapt to them.” Katie, now a mother to Zachery and Madelyn, has realized the importance of helping a child navigate those social situations at a young age. "It made me reflect on what my mom modeled for us." Unfortunately in 2015, Katie’s mom passed away from breast cancer, but she left a legacy of persistence in the face of hardships and care for other humans, that Katie is modeling for her children.

  • Q&A with Katie


    Becoming a mom. For sure! I know everyone says that or feels like they have to say that. It changes your life so much. Seeing my kids experience and learn things for the first time. Watching them grow is amazing.


    Starbucks. It always amazes me that they took a commodity and made an experience out of it. And operationally, you get the same experience everywhere you go. That’s amazing how big they are.

    More recently, I would say, Love Your Melon. The organization started from the promise of wanting to provide every child with cancer with a hat.

    And I would also have to include Uncommon Goods who celebrates different ideas and philanthropy. With every purchase, customers are able to choose a partner charitable organization for Uncommon Goods to donate $1 towards.


    You can really tell that everyone here trusts each other. That speaks to the culture overall. Plus, it helps make great work. And when you trust each other, there is freedom.


    Continuing to grow and expand in ways that make you innately happy.


    Playing with my kids outside.


    Travel more. I’d probably try to live in Italy - visiting once just wasn’t enough!

    What aspect of work feels the least like work?

    Initial kick-off meetings. Or sitting with clients to talk about their objective or their project. Learning sessions. Investigating. I like that detective side of what we do. What is your best, or most memorable, work experience?

    When I first started at an agency, I remember my first real, “big” client meeting. We presented in front of a large panel of clients, including the mayor , and shared what we were going to be doing for their website.

    What component of your "normal" day brings you the most energy?

    When I wake up and have my first cup of coffee. It’s the start of a new day. When I wake up, I want to go. I want to get things done.

    If you could have one mediocre super power (it can not help save the world but it is unnatural), what would it be?

    All the laundry would be washed, folded and put away in its right place with a wave of my hand.

    What aspect of your Myers-Briggs personality type makes the most sense to you?

    I think the J makes sense. Although I love new experiences, etc. I do still like organization. I like to organize chaos.