Business Women Spotlight: Kathy Winkelman

I’m excited about today’s spotlight. My first impression of Kathy Winkelman, Global Director of Operations, was that she was incredibly friendly and approachable. She never fails to ask how I am or say hello, and she always gives the genuine impression that she cares about the response. She’s incredibly good at what she does, with an uncanny ability to keep her finger on the pulse of all 225-ish locations at once. Cris Burnam, StorageMart CEO, had this to say: Kathy Winkelman is a special kind of person: self starting, ambitious, and always willing to learn. From an entry level position, she has risen to become StorageMart’s Global Director of Operations. She did this by pulling up from her bootstraps, when she didn’t even have bootstraps to pull on. That is why she is a such a respected part of our executive team.

What do you do at StorageMart? Everything. Officially I am the Global Director of Operations.

How long have you been at StorageMart? I have been with the Burnams since 1995. I started with Storage Trust and now am with StorageMart.

Is there a particular turning point that helped define your career path? My older sister told me once that I am the only one who can control my own destiny. I took this to heart and worked hard.

Who have you turned to for inspiration throughout your career? Many people. My family of course; I get a strong work ethic from them.

What do you believe are some qualities of strong leadership? I believe in people. I believe the good in the world.

Based on your experience, what is one thing managers or execs could do better to support and encourage women in the workplace? Do not think emotions are a weakness. Emotions are the passion one holds and moves them in life.

What is one thing a leader has done to help promote women in the workplace? I had a female boss years ago and she taught me what it was to be a strong female in the workforce. Her leadership style was amazing.

Tell us a bit about what you do when you aren’t busy being a rock star at work. I love reading, writing, and cooking. I enjoy going to Zumba class.