At VIP our people are our greatest asset. Our success comes from our employees, and we value the contributions they provide daily. To show our appreciation, we have a series of Employee Spotlights where we highlight those employees at VIP that exemplify the culture and values we hold. For our next Employee Spotlight, we have Katherine Baken, Office Manager, answer some questions about herself and provide perspective on her background and what led her to this role.
VIP: Kathy, thanks for participating, please tell us about yourself.
Kathy: Thank you for thinking of me! I was born and raised in Rockaway Beach, NY, where my mother, a retired FDNY Lieutenant, still resides. For over 25 years, I worked in finance. I started my career in the Equity Capital Markets Group with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), a firm I still hold near and dear to my heart. That role taught me the value of hard work, respect, and loyalty. Prior to joining VIP, I was COO of the Equities division of Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods (KBW). I am excited to start this next chapter of my career, learning as much as possible about renewable energy, making a positive change in the world, and working with a team that genuinely values its people.
VIP: How did you hear about VIP?
Kathy: In my endeavor to be part of an organization making a difference in the world, I searched for positions focused on environmental change. I saw an opening with VIP on LinkedIn. After some research, I liked what VIP was doing and submitted my application. I am happy to say that I was contacted shortly afterward.
VIP: How did you get into the renewable energy industry?
Kathy: As I transitioned away from investment banking, I knew I wanted to be part of the conservation effort. I enrolled in an Ocean Conservation program with the Impact Academy, supported by the University of Richmond. I am still completing the program and I am constantly fascinated by the information I learn. I am most interested in the community engagement aspect of a conservation effort, and now I see how strongly this correlates with renewable energy.
VIP: What does the ideal company culture look like to you?
Kathy: Respect, Dedication, Loyalty and an “Everybody cleans the bathroom” mentality. Now, clearly, I don’t mean that literally. We’re not cleaning the bathrooms at VIP, but it is important to me that everyone I work with is a team player. We all do what is required to get the job done, regardless of the task at hand.
VIP: What goals do you have at VIP?
Kathy: “Rule the world” Madonna 1984. Just kidding!
Honestly, I am excited to be part of this firm in the beginning stages and having the ability to utilize my operational skills to build up the back-office aspects of the firm and as we grow continue to update and build on those policies to help create a top-notch organization.
VIP: What were some of your biggest factors in deciding to join VIP?
Kathy: The two biggest factors in deciding to join VIP were the type of company I was joining, and the people. Every conversation I had leading up to my offer was well thought out, and honest. I could hear the passion, drive, and even some team banter, and I knew I wanted to be a part of what they were building.
VIP: Thanks for taking the time to answer questions, last one: what do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
Kathy: When possible, I choose to spend time by the water, on the water or in the water. Yes, the ocean is my happy place! In addition, I am the Jupiter Community Co-Captain for Impact the Palm Beaches, a women’s philanthropic organization working to create change in our community. And, when time permits, I volunteer with Team Rubicon to help individuals and families after a disaster strikes.
Mostly, I spend lots of time driving from school to soccer to gymnastics, to cheer, and more. The term “Soccer Mom,” would be appropriate, but my daughter might prefer it if I said, “Gymnastics Mom!”
Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit about myself and I look forward to what the future brings to VIP!