Kate Kearney’s First Year with MWA

MWA’s fearless Marketing Manager, Kate Kearney, joined us one year ago and immediately jumped into leading the marketing team, year-end planning, and what MWA lovingly refers to as “proposal-land.” Since day one, she’s never hesitated to lend a hand to project staff or mentor her team. Kate is actively involved with marketing both in and out of MWA, volunteering as Chapter President of Docomomo US Oregon and President-Elect of the SMPS Oregon Chapter.

In just one year, Kate deepened MWA’s connections with clients and teaming partners and brightened MWA’s office with humor. Kate shares her year with us to commemorate her time so far. Continue reading to hear her story.

What projects are you working on right now?

Marketing is a never-ending list of projects! Strategy, planning, and creating compelling, valuable content are my favorite types of projects.

What’s your favorite thing about working at MWA?

The firm does cool work. Before joining MWA, I was naïve about the architectural infrastructure that is part of our water, wastewater, and public works infrastructure. It has been fascinating to learn about and see the design thinking that goes into these projects that are often not top of mind when one thinks of architecture or architectural design. And for the housing and wellness architecture we provide, it is lovely to see people at MWA committed to providing high design and quality for underserved communities.

Also, my team has been an absolute favorite thing about working at MWA. We are creative and analytical in different ways, which makes collaboration and implementation fun.

“Kate has been a wonderful addition to MWA, bringing her vast knowledge of BD and marketing best practices to the firm. Her wit and enthusiasm for a fun and dynamic office culture add something special to the marketing team. It’s been a joy growing with her this past year, and I look forward to witnessing her successes at MWA.”

– Allison Plass

How do you maintain work/life balance?

Work/life balance is so important. For me, this was really highlighted during the earliest parts of the pandemic. Having the opportunity to work from home can blur the lines of when work transfers to rest and relaxation. Boundaries are important!

Sharing delicious meals with friends and family is something I try and do regularly. It brings me joy to share a meal around a table with everyone laughing and sharing stories. Also, I have been practicing some form of art my entire life, and I try to regularly weave that into my life outside of work. From painting and drawing to some interior design projects or gardening. Making beautiful moments around the house and yard is relaxing and a bonus when they aren’t expensive.

What do you hope to do more of in the next few years? 

Travel. I have stuck to the west coast for the last few years, and I am itching to travel outside of the country. So many places on my list to explore and visit again.

What is your next career goal that you would like to tackle? 

Great question. I had the opportunity to take a continuing education certificate course in Design Thinking with PSU recently, and I am looking forward to taking another certificate course or a continuing education course at PNCA. I love learning about ways design, branding and identity, and business development strategy intersect and then applying them in my role at MWA.

Is there a particular book/podcast that inspires you? Why?

To the reader that loves podcasts, I am sorry, but I do not really enjoy them. There is only one podcast I regularly listen to, and it is AEC industry-related. It is the Professional Services Marketing show. A great resource for us AEC marketers and business development professionals.

Now, books and magazines, I can’t get enough of them. My go-to magazines: W, Domino, the New Yorker, Elle Décor, and I love Emily Henderson’s blog. Two excellent nonfiction books I read this past year are Big Dirty Money by Jennifer Taub and Strongmen by Ruth Ben-Ghiat.

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