Kathryn Olson is a philanthropic leader, serving on the boards of civic, women’s leadership, and environmental non-profits. She is a former C-Suite Executive having been a Corporate Officer and Chief Marketing Officer / SVP at Nordstrom, Wrigley, Leapfrog and Shutterfly. She has deep functional expertise in marketing and strategy spanning multiple channels of distribution, product categories and go-to-market models.
Kathryn Olson is the Board Co-Chair, and former Chief Executive Officer, of the Women’s Sports Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring girls access to sports. The WSF achieves its mission through advocacy, research, grants and a grass roots “get active” program in underserved communities. The WSF was founded by Billie Jean King and has worked with over 1000 champion athletes and awarded over $50 million in educational and cash grants.
Prior to focusing on non-profit initiatives, Ms. Olson served as SVP, Chief Marketing Officer for Shutterfly, the leading internet-based social expression and personal publishing service. At Shutterfly, she was responsible for developing Shutterfly into a premium brand and driving record levels of revenue through results-driven integrated marketing, merchandising and customer experience. Prior to her time at Shutterfly, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a developer of innovative, technology-based learning products and related proprietary content dedicated to making learning effective and engaging at home and in schools. At LeapFrog, Ms. Olson oversaw the worldwide marketing efforts for the expanding global education enterprise and launched the “Toy of the Year” in 2005.
Prior to LeapFrog, she was Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, achieving a record high 60% market share for the $1Billion confection portfolio. Prior to Wrigley she was the Executive Vice President of Marketing for the digital unit of Nordstrom and a member of the team that launched the highly regarded Internet apparel site, championing a multi-channel brand integration philosophy. She spent a decade at The Quaker Oats Company, during which she advanced through a series of progressively more responsible management positions, including two years as Director of Marketing, Gatorade Europe.
Ms. Olson works with various organizations within her hometown of Mill Valley, recently developing a new logo for the city. She currently serves on the board of the Marin Theatre Company, an award -winning theater producing new American plays. She just completed a term as President, Environmental Forum of Marin, an educational organization providing community-building programs that inspire and advocate for the natural world.
Additionally, she previously served on the board of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), an industry association dedicated to marketing and brand building, representing more than 300 companies that collectively spend over $100 billion in marketing communications and advertising. While in Chicago, she was on the board of Chicago Communities in Schools (CCIS),
an organization dedicated to meeting the social, emotional and health needs of public school students by connecting existing social services with the students and their parents. She also served on the Women’s Board Executive Council of the Joffrey Ballet.
Ms. Olson has been named a “Game Changer” by the Sports Business Journal and one of the “Most Influential Women in Business” by the San Francisco Business Times.
Ms. Olson graduated from the University of Illinois College of Commerce and earned her MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.