Posted August 5, 2013

Kimpton 3.O: Q&A With Kathleen Reidenbach

Kimpton Buzz

Kathleen Reidenbach is Kimpton’s new Senior Vice President of Marketing, an 11-year veteran of the company who is grand poobah of our brand image and master strategizer of our marketing campaigns. Fearlessly leading us into a new era of “marketeamwork” (not to be confused with “mouseketeer” work), she’s no stranger to leadership in marketing. For the last seven years she led our revenue management and channel marketing efforts, and under her guidance we’ve become as easy to find on the web as an Easter egg on a desert island. Married with two children, she’s our clear-eyed captain leading us into our next stage of growth and an inspiration to all of us. We pinned her down between strategy sessions and team meetings for her take on her love of Kimpton and the passions that fuel her.

Q: In typical Kimpton style, we like to keep it real. What does keeping it real look like in your home?

A: Workday routines entail circus-like antics to get kids dressed, ready for the day, and out the door for school. My son, who’s 7, is the most optimistic person I know. He meets every day with a can-do, come-all, come-anything attitude. My daughter, who’s 2½, is the one I have to watch. I’m lucky if I can keep her on her feet and out of Band-Aids week to week. I commute into the city on public transportation, which gives me a chance to regroup and catch up on e-mail and reading.

Q: What does the future hold in store for Kimpton?

A: It’s a momentous time in our history. We’re 32 years in now, and we have no plans of stopping. But companies can experience growing pains as they summit certain milestones; these are make-or-break moments. Our founder, Bill Kimpton, was a humanitarian and a man known for living a full and fun life, and my job is to ensure that everyone from employees to guests understand and engage with our brand, and that the experience is as relevant, inspiring and compelling as it can be. I have so much passion around taking us from 60 hotels and restaurants to a hundred. What are the infrastructure decisions that we need to make? How do we fulfill our higher purpose of helping our guests live life fully while in our care, versus putting life on hold until they’re home? My job is to ensure that as we add more locations, who we are and why we care about making our guests’ lives better remains intact.

Q: We talk a lot about our Kimpton culture. What has that culture meant to you?

A: At Kimpton there’s an investment that we make in terms of personal and professional development that’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. The investment that Kimpton has made in me — the courses I’ve taken and the one-on-one coaching that I’ve had — have made me not just more effective in my role at Kimpton, but a better mom, a better wife and a better friend. The Kimpton experience has meant the world to me. And that’s what we want our guests to feel, too — that they’re better for knowing and engaging with our company.

Q: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at Kimpton?

A: That I can be myself; that the corporate experience can be different. That I can bring my gifts, talents and point of view to the company and they will be welcomed into a healthy dialogue about what’s best for our guests.

Q: No doubt, Kimpton is a big commitment.  How do you refuel?

A: Ok, I’ll admit it. It’s all about paging through Us Weekly magazine on takeoffs and landings. It’s a great way to turn my brain off when I can’t send e-mail and there’s not much else I can get accomplished. At work, I’m surrounded by smart, funny and passionate people that inspire me, challenge me and make me laugh every day. I love it. So it’s not like refueling requires some epic feat. On weekends my house is filled with friends and kids running amok. I love to grill a wild salmon, make a big salad and share a glass of wine with friends. On quieter occasions, I love to read cookbooks. I’ll sit down with a stack of five and just read them and flip through the pictures and get inspired about things I want to cook.

Q: What person would you like to have dinner with and which Kimpton restaurant would you take him or her to?

A: My first choice is always to sit at the kitchen table with my husband and catch up. But, if I were going out, I love our Firefly restaurant in D.C. It’s a fun atmosphere, and I’m always at home there. Plus, I’ve never had a better pot roast in all my life.


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