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About Kathryn

Kathryn’s mission is to help you unlock and speak your impact so that you can live in your unique purpose. Join her in creating a movement of leaders making a difference in the world.

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My Impact Milestones

1985 - 2003
Lots of wonderful "doing": SummerFest La Jolla, UC San Diego Music Dept., the International Orchestra, San Diego Symphony
With a degree in Arts Management and viola performance, working as Artistic Adminstrator for the San Diego Symphony was a dream first job out of Conservatory. I saw my first "Save the Symphony" campaign, a musicians' strike, and a cancelled season. I was hooked! Over time, I moved from behind the scenes roles of operations and production, to managing the La Jolla Music Society's international summer chamber music festival SummerFest La Jolla; increasing increasing contributed income by 160% and earned income by 103% over the four years. It was their where I found the power of impact messaging and transformation possible when a group of people working toward a common goal.
1985 - 2003
Dec 2003 - Dec 2015
Vice President
It was at Arts Consulting Group where I found my passion in leading organizations through transition as a professional interim CEO. I led the Interim Management practice; recruiting, training and coaching interim leaders accross the country, supporting executive searches, facilitating board retreats and strategic planning and merger processes. The firm grew substantially during those 12 years. Interim Executive Director/CEO roles included: Linda Pace Foundation, UCSD's Artpower!, Interim Director of Development Strategy & Messaging - Mainly Mozart, Malashock Dance, San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, Starlight Theater, and San Diego Performing Arts League-
Dec 2003 - Dec 2015
Fall/Winter 2015
The Leap
I sensed a pulling. I knew it was time for a change... and so I hired my first coach, surrounded myself with other entrepreneurs who had already made their courageous leaps (including my sister), made lots of plans (that ended up changing)... and then re-edited my resignation letter and script to simply convey that I was going to be doing things that make my heart sing. My palms were sweating and I had a big grin - that has been with me every day since.
Fall/Winter 2015
January 8th, 2016
First Happy Friday email sent
Before I had a website, or knew what services I would be offering, I set an intention to help. That first email resulted in some shocking "hater" emails from professionals, and... my first coaching client! My committment to find and share my imperfect, authentic voice so that I can connect with those people I am meant to support, has connected me with inspiring leaders around the world, and has truly been transformational for me. (It's hard to believe that there are now over one hundred BLOG posts available for you now)
January 8th, 2016
Feb - December 2016
Led two incredible organizations through leadership transition:
Interim President & CEO - Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Milwaukee
Interim Executive Director, Santa Barbara Symphony
Feb - December 2016
Named Top Leadership Coach of the Year
by the International Association of Top Professionals
February 2019
Launched The Career (Life!) Breakthrough Academy
This was a milestone moment in my business. In just three years I'd developed foundational content that I'd tested and honed with my 1:1 coaching clients. I now had a proven process that was creating breakthroughs - helping in job searches, decision-making, negotiating salaries and networking! (And, I had my first "button" for leaders to simply click to join with instant access. )
February 2019
Summer 2019
The Book with Oprah & Melinda
What?! It's true. I'm honored to be a featured author in the best-selling book America’s Leading Ladies – Stories of Courage, Challenge & Triumph - a collaborative effort with Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, Mallika Chopra and 46 other accomplished women who share personal stories and empowering tools to aim high, speak our heart’s truth, and release self-imposed limitations on what we think is possible in our lives.
Summer 2019
March - Dec 2019
Appointed Interim President & CEO - Tucson Symphony Orchestra
This 90 year old organization had an operating budget of $5.5M, a dynamic music director in Jose Luis Gomez, an engaged board, and some big challenges. The best part: building a team of collaborative, innovative professionals excited to put our focus on the customer journey and reveal and share our impact. Momentum is building!
March - Dec 2019
May 1, 2020
Never Say Never! Appointed President & CEO of the Santa Barbara Symphony
When my new hometown Symphony called at the beginning of the pandemic asking for help.. I said YES! (initially as Interim and then in Jan 2021 - along with my Board Chair and Music & Artistic Director - committed to at least five years at the helm)
May 1, 2020

My Story

Hi, I’m Kathryn Martin.

I intuitively see your unique and true value, the many possibilities that exist for you to have the impact you are meant to achieve, and then, with a step-by-step process, help you reveal the tangible and actionable steps needed to get you there.

And, we need you to get “there.”  It’s why you are here.

My Journey.

I’m one of those people who knew since high school exactly what I wanted to do; to have a career in arts management – specifically to manage an orchestra – and I set out to successfully achieve that. 

I’m a “here’s where we are, here’s where we want to be, therefore here’s how we’re going to get there” kinda gal, and I’ve used this approach in all my leadership roles – whether managing intricate logistics of international tours and multi-disciplinary performances, recordings and managing academic and performance facilities, to leading million dollar organizations through times of transition (to date, ten and counting!), helping increase revenue and engagement, to leading the interim management practice of a national arts consulting firm, supporting Executive Searches, leading strategic planning, facilitating merger processes, board retreats, and more.

I got alot achieved with this results-oriented process. Goals were met.  Revenue increased. People did their best work. The challenges were often exhilarating, as teams of people worked together toward a common goal.

But there was a big downside.

I was burnt out. I had to travel more than I wanted to. My children and husband always had to help hold down the fort so that I could go help others. My income and schedule were determined by someone else. Over time, new ideas seemed to be met with resistance. The aspects of my work that I valued did not seem to hold the same value to the firm.  I was frustrated and unhappy. And perhaps more compelling to me, I was seeing that when consulting projects were completed – no transformation had occurred.  Yes, the work resulted in the promised deliverables, but I realized I was wanting “more.”

It often felt like I was on a hamster wheel.  The visionary leaders I was supporting had purpose and the missions of the organizations had meaning, but how was I making a difference? What was my impact? 

I decided I needed to take charge, make a change, find my voice, reveal my purpose, and (only) do things that made my heart sing.  

That all sounds great, but what did that mean? (and how would it pay the bills?!) Remember, I need a “Point B” goal so that I can reverse-engineer the steps to get there.  

For the first time in my life, my goal was “squishy.”  I knew I could “do” many things, but what did I (really) want?  I had seen so many leaders get the jobs they wanted and then not be happy. or always waiting for the right time to make a change.

And, imposter syndrome was kicking in big time: “What do I have to offer that’s unique, and that people will want?  What if I fail?”

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to “do,” but I did know how I wanted to feel

And so, I went with that.  

In November 2015, after much thinking, surrounding myself with entrepreneurs who had already taken their own courageous leaps and hiring my first coach, I resigned from my job of twelve years.

I did it! 

In January 2016 I launched my business, connected with my first paying coaching clients and continued expanding on my Interim CEO work.

Every day, I (only) made the choices, thought the thoughts and used the language that would create the possibility for me to feel joy. I looked inward and found that instead of journaling or squeezing my eyes shut, looking at my impact on others was a powerful and predictable way to unlock one’s purpose. 

The process that I was creating was helping me, and it began helping my clients.

And then our son had a grand mal seizure,

and later that year (long story short) diagnosed with brain lymphoma.  I learned a lot that year. I observed that for the six months in the cancer ward – and as a new entrepreneur with a now thriving coaching practice – I was somehow effortlessly always by his hospital bedside, enjoying and appreciating the moments as they came. And then when he was resting, I would somehow effortlessly do coaching calls that would fill me up and replenish me. My heart was singing! This would have been unimaginable in my previous job. For the first time in my life as a working mom, I felt the ease that comes from being exactly where I was meant to be. And now, years later, that’s how my life is all the time – no matter what.

Where I Am Today

Looking back, I can say with confidence that the decision to follow my heart has changed my life, my family’s lives and the lives of the over 200 women and men I’ve now had the privilege to coach who are now living in their dream scenarios.

My husband retired early, we moved to our dream home in downtown Santa Barbara, four blocks from the beach and a short walk to the Symphony. 

My clients are having an impact in their communities, organizations, families, the world. They inspire and teach me every day, and many have become close friends.

My days are filled with deep, authentic conversations, and the breakthrough moments that shift and transform lives and businesses.

I teach others what is now the proven process I went through to find what I (really) wanted. To find my voice, my purpose.  To reveal and speak my impact. To know the causes and conditions necessary for me to show up as my best self. To use joy as both a compass and a litmus test for living in our purpose.
I no longer struggle in trying to toggle between my “professional” organizational consulting voice and my “intuitive” individual coaching voice; or think that they are two completely separate “sides” to my business, needing different “sides” of me.

I feel the exhilaration that comes from understanding it is all about helping organizations and individuals connect to and speak their impact, have clarity on what they (really) want, and then helping them get there.  All so that they – YOU – can help others.

My Mission.

When you “show up” as your best self, firing on all cylinders and feeling joy,and help those they’re meant to help, impact ripples throughout your family, business, community, and beyond. Therefore, it is your responsibility to Be that again and again. Even when voices in our head or other limiting beliefs show up.

What you do and BE matters.

My mission is to help you unlock and speak your impact so that you can live in your unique purpose, and make the world an extraordinary place.


Join the movement!

Kathryn’s Quotables

JOY is both a litmus test and a compass for creating the meaningful success we (really) want.
Kathryn R Martin
You are more than a Job Title. Your true value is the impact you have on others.
Kathryn R Martin
When you “show up” as your best self, feeling joy, your impact ripples throughout your family, business, community, and beyond.
Kathryn R Martin
How you BE matters.
Kathryn R Martin
Speak Your Impact, so that those who are waiting for someone just like you... can find you!
Kathryn R Martin
You have nothing more to prove. You are everything you need. You are enough.
Kathryn R Martin
What should you do? Instead focus on the impact you are seeking. It's all about your "so that..."
Kathryn R Martin
Your Assumptions Determine Your Path. Choose Wisely.
Kathryn R Martin
Joy is not a selfish act. It's an indication that you are living in your purpose and making a difference in the world.
Kathryn R Martin
Our Intention Creates Our Reality
Wayne Dyer
You have many choices of "vehicles" for living in your purpose. Let joy and impact be your guide.
Kathryn R Martin
This is an exciting time! Momentum is building! [now tell me why this IS true!]
Kathryn R Martin
Find your purpose by revealing your impact when you are your best self.
Kathryn R Martin
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