Kati Quigley on Bold, Unbiased Leadership

Senior director of marketing at Microsoft shares perspectives on reducing stress, trusting her team, learning to be better leader

Author: David McMillin       

Kati Quigley

Kati Quigley, senior director of marketing at Microsoft, shares her ideas about leadership. (Photo by Brian Smale)

The events industry talks a lot about legacies in terms of the lasting imprint that meetings and conferences leave behind in host destinations. In addition to highlighting those impacts that continue to make a difference for communities around the world, PCMA is proud to celebrate the individuals whose leadership will continue to resonate for future generations. More than 100 meeting professionals and suppliers have joined the PCMA Education Foundation’s Legacy Society, a group with CMPs, CAEs, MBAs, and other distinguished acronyms attached to their names who have planned contributions to the industry’s future in their wills or estate plans.

Those Legacy Society members are currently making an impact, too. From serving as chair of PCMA’s Board of Directors in 2010 to engaging Microsoft’s expansive partner network, Kati Quigley has earned a spot as one of the most-respected voices in the events industry. The senior director of marketing for Microsoft Business Applications & Industry shares her thoughts on the importance of taking risks, the value of having the right team, and the lessons she learned in her role as a leader at PCMA.

What advice would you give the 25-year-old version of you?

The events business is strategic to an organization’s overall success — treat it as such. Enjoy the journey, stress less, take more risks and take the time to build strong relationships because it’s the people that matter the most.

What has been the biggest surprise twist in your career? Are there any unexpected turns that you wouldn’t have predicted when you started in the industry?

Moving from nonprofit to the technology sector was not planned but I’m grateful for both sets of experiences.

Who has had the biggest impact on you in the events industry?

My teams. I have been extremely fortunate to have some amazing people on my teams. They have ranged from deeply experienced individuals to ones just out of college and grad school. They have taught me and continue to teach me how to approach problems, how to be a better marketer, and how to be a leader from anywhere in the organization.

Kati Quigley

Then-PCMA CEO Deborah Sexton honors Kati Quigley in 2010 for her work as chair of PCMA’s Board of Directors as Quigley’s sons look on.

When you look back on your involvement with PCMA, what stands out as your favorite memory or favorite event?

The year I was chairman was an amazing time. I was able to grow tremendously as an individual by being put into a leadership role when most people around me were more senior. I had to be bold, be articulate, and be unbiased. All lessons that I still carry with me. If it was one memory in particular, then it had to have been the award I received when my kids, husband, and parents all got to be part of it. I will always cherish that night.

The events industry is evolving quickly. What’s the biggest — and most valuable — change you’ve experienced in your career?

I am so excited to see that it is finally being seen as a marketing discipline that is regarded as an integral part of the business. How it is regarded by companies and organizations now, compared to when I started in the business, is entirely different. It truly is the deepest engagement that you can create with your customers and members.

Quigley’s wisdom extends well beyond the office or the on-site environment. Quigley shared her story about adjusting her approach to personal and professional duties after a life-changing event.