Katie Gower, 35

1 Posted by - September 29, 2014 - 2014, Tampa 2014

Director of Business Development, Ed Taylor Construction

Katie Gower made a big career change in 2012. She decided to leave teaching and start a job in business development for a construction company.

It was such a good fit that in January 2013, she sought a bigger company to advance her career, which is how she ended up at Ed Taylor Construction. In the first quarter of 2014, Gower helped secure more than $1 million in new business for the company. It’s a testament to her persistence and the work she had done the year before, she says.

“Someone taught me a long time ago that persistence will outweigh resistance,” Gower says. “I will not give up on any opportunity.” Gower says she keeps in touch with people through her “send a smile tool,” where she sends happy email updates about holidays and other happenings. “People say ‘no’ at first, but you cannot let one ‘no’ get you down,” she says.

Gower is also a big proponent of networking; she serves on the board of directors for CREW Tampa Bay, a commercial real estate group for women. She advises others at networking events to let go of any insecurities. “Don’t be afraid to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself,” Gower says. “That starts the conversation, and it’s just that easy.”

Gower wants to let other women know that they shouldn’t just pick a career to match their children’s schedules. It’s possible to be a good mom and find the right company to do well in your career, she says. She’d also like to tell women to think outside the box when it comes to picking an industry. “I’d like to change the way people see construction,” she says. “Not a lot of women are in the industry. I want to pave the way.”

— Traci McMillan Beach

Q&A

City of residence: St. Petersburg

Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.

Years on the Gulf Coast: 20

Marital status/children: Single / 3 Sons (11,8,4)

Best place to network: Anywhere! I network for a living, so every place is an opportunity.  I truly enjoy meeting new people.

Coolest business experience: Witnessing the transformation of The Birchwood on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg. Ed Taylor was the general contractor and to watch as our team turned a 1920’s building into a modern hotel while preserving the historic integrity of the building was really exciting. Everything from doing the interior demolition by hand in order to preserve the exterior walls to repurposing old elements from the building. It was a fascinating process!

The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Persistence will outweigh resistance

One website that makes your job easier: Google Maps

One community group you’re most involved with: CREW Tampa Bay – empowering women in Commercial Real Estate

Favorite off-hours activity: Relaxing at the beach

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Oprah Winfrey and Audrey Hepburn

Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Raising three boys on my own!

What’s at the top of your bucket list: I don’t have one yet. When the kids get older, I guess I will create a bucket list.

What new skill would you like to learn: I’d like to learn to speak fluent Spanish.

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Jennifer Garner because she is a tough woman and a protective mom.

If I had a magic wand I’d: I would have all my boys in college and still be 35!!

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