Get To Know Our Graduates: Meet Katie Hartley
The graduates of our Excellence In Speaking Institute are such amazing people, we wanted you to get to meet them as well!
1. Tell us about yourself.
I am an avid animal lover who has been in the pet industry for the last 22 years. My professional career began as a veterinary technician at an animal hospital where I learned about veterinary medicine and had the opportunity to care for many patients from cats and dogs to iguanas, snakes and chinchillas! After almost nine years with the same animal hospital, I decided I was ready for a new challenge and moved into the pet food industry. There I learned how critical nutrition is for the health of cats and dogs and what an important role nutrition can play in the prevention and treatment of common diseases. The impact that I have seen nutrition have on so many of our beloved pets is remarkable. It makes me very proud to work for Royal Canin and to have the pleasure of leading a team of learning & development professionals.
On the personal front, my partner of 21 years Jim and I live in St. Louis City, MO with our two 15 year old Siamese cats who also happen to be brothers. Since Jim is a high school principal and I have 21 nieces/nephews we’ve decided to stick to four-legged babies and we are loving it! It allows him to conserve his energy for his over 850 students and we get to be the cool Aunt Katie & Uncle Dude to all my siblings’ kiddos!
2. What made you decide to go through our Excellence in Speaking Institute and how do you feel it impacted you?
I was the Director of Learning & Development for my company and I was in search of a presentation skills class. Excellence in Speaking was recommended to me as a possible solution so I decided to call the company and do a little research. So, I called Ty Boyd, Inc. and the sweet voice on the other end of the line said, “Thanks for calling Ty Boyd, this is Ty!” At first I was stunned that THE Ty of Ty Boyd, Inc was answering the phone. His voice was so kind and welcoming! I knew instantly this was meant to be. By the end of the call I had all my questions answered and felt like I had made a new friend!
I’ll never forget meeting the facilitators that first day when they arrived to set up for the training. These two lovely ladies introduced themselves as Anne & Molly and I remember just being so impressed with how approachable they were, but also how professional they were. I knew I wanted to learn from them! The Excellence in Speaking Institute is so much more than a class! The connection that Anne & Molly made with the participants and the way they coached them and created a safe environment for feedback was remarkable. As a facilitator myself, I was very impressed with how quickly they bonded with the class and made everyone feel at ease. I later learned that this was pretty typical for a class with Anne & Molly. They were just that good! The way the two of them played off of each other made it seem like they had been doing this for years! Turned out, they had! They revealed a secret to me at dinner one night; they were sisters and their father was Ty Boyd!
Anne & Molly not only taught me how to be a better speaker, but they made me want to be a better person. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to meet both of them before Anne passed away in 2017. She left this world a better place with her presence, her influence and her guidance. Although there will only ever be one Anne, Ty Boyd Inc. still has the best skilled facilitators who are so passionate about coaching, teaching and elevating others to see them reach their full potential! Having experienced this class and this company I can definitively say that my abilities as a facilitator and as a speaker have greatly improved!
3. What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
One of my biggest passions is cats! In fact, when I worked at the animal hospital I was known as “The Cat Whisperer”. They are such misunderstood pets sometimes and for that reason there are a lot of myths out there about owning a cat and even a stigma of cat owners. As a result more than 860,000 cats are euthanized in shelters every year in the US. I am on a mission to make cats cool and help cat owners understand their cat so we can keep them in the home instead of going back to a shelter.
When I am not snuggling two adorable and loving Siamese kitties on the couch, you can usually find me tending to my flower and vegetable garden. I find being outdoors and appreciating the sounds of nature to be very enjoyable! I also love to learn new things so I’ve married the two and I’ve been studying books on gardening and horticulture as well as teaching myself how to identify birds both by site and by song.
Additionally, I have been spending time with Brene Brown’s creations via audiobook. Taking advantage of Audiobooks has allowed me to greatly expand the number of books I’m “reading” and in turn is significantly increase my knowledge in a variety of areas. I’ve found that my 30 mile commute to and from work is a perfect time to catch up on my “reading” and a way better use of time then stressing about traffic!