Katie Feser

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Production Manager
Click Bond, Inc.

Manufacturing provides constant opportunity to create elegant solutions for complex problems. Each day presents new challenges as our products, our processes and the needs of our customers evolve. It’s exciting and rewarding to work through the challenges and ultimately bring innovations to life.

In early 2018, Katie was promoted from Click Bond’s sales organization to a role as production manager, overseeing the company’s largest product lines. Right away, she knew her team would have to evolve to keep pace with the company’s rapid growth. Rather than expanding the team significantly to tackle this challenge, as other managers might have done, Katie strengthened the existing team by prioritizing the development of its current members. This approach resulted in a more than 50 percent growth in output.

Katie’s work as production manager has led her product lines to significant expansion, with continued growth on the horizon. Her team credits her leadership style, underpinned by curiosity, engagement and humility, as the key in achieving sustainable results that were unimaginable less than two years ago.

Katie serves as a mentor to many employees at Click Bond. One of her recent mentees was a young woman who had the work ethic, intellect, technical background and leadership qualities to succeed as Katie’s replacement in sales, but was lacking in specific sales skills and in confidence that she could handle the job. Katie carved out time after work hours and over lunch breaks to teach her the details of the job and encourage her to pursue it. Today, her mentee is excelling in the role.

As part of Click Bond’s Community Outreach Team, Katie regularly visits local classrooms and attends STEM nights and career fairs. She actively partners with the Discovery Science Museum, creating innovative exhibits that effectively engage youth in learning and STEM education. She also supports local students with contributions to their fundraisers, with one caveat: students must present a “pitch,” explaining why they need the funds and how they intend to use them. This approach helps the students think through their ideas, hone their public speaking skills and find confidence in themselves as innovators.