WOMEN OF INFLUENCE WINNER - KATHERINE RAMIREZ
Katherine Ramirez: Entrepreneur — Choosing small business over big business
Photo by Scott Paulus
Kat Ramirez, Owner, adBidtise Katherine Ramirez..."I thought to myself, I'm never gonna allow someone to hold me back because they don't want me.”
For years Katherine Ramirez went to bat for corporate America working in sales and advertising at a boutique agency in Knoxville, Tenn., where she helped companies like GMC, Ford and Buick reach customers.
After over four years at the agency, Ramirez decided to make a change and take a national and local television sales and advertising role with the former WB Television network. The network was a group effort between Warner Bros. and Tribune Broadcasting and represented Ramirez’s first role in television media.
It was in this position that Ramirez was able to work in sales for a variety of different markets including those in Albuquerque, N.M., Omaha, Neb., Madison and Milwaukee. However, after being passed over for promotions she pursued, Ramirez decided to play for a different team — a small business.
“I felt like I hit my glass ceiling, I got turned down five times and so I could see the writing on the wall,” Ramirez said. “At that point, I thought to myself, I'm never gonna allow someone to hold me back because they don't want me.”
In response to this realization, in 2014 Ramirez decided to start her business adBidtise, which is a consulting and advertising marketing service targeted primarily at small and mid-size businesses. The start of the business was predicated upon two things: first, it gave her the agency she desired within her career and second, it would provide resources for the women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned companies that lacked the skills to promote their own businesses.
Though in any year adBidtise would be tasked with helping small businesses grow, the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic meant that Ramirez doubled down in her efforts to aid other entrepreneurs.
During the hardest days of the pandemic, Ramirez started outreach programs that provided free workshops, webinars, and mentoring to small businesses to help them adapt to Covid-19’s circumstances. Even as her own business was affected, Ramirez said she found solace in helping others.
“I kept thinking okay if I'm struggling I know other people struggle too, so what are some things that I can do to help other people out of this?” Ramirez said.
Daniel Gomez, a San Antonio-based business coach, corporate trainer, executive coach, and motivational speaker, has worked with Ramirez, who does his social media, for over two years. He said Ramirez is great at gaining exposure and maintaining a brand for his company. Additionally, he mentioned how she used her resources to help small businesses during the worst days of the pandemic.
“She clearly cares a lot and uses her following to fight for small businesses,” Gomez said. “I know she did a lot for me and for other small businesses, and during Covid-19 is when we needed it most.”
Beck Salgado Editorial Intern Milwaukee Business Journal