TAI Member Spotlight — Kate Washut
In an effort to help Iowa’s technology community get to know each other a little better, we’ll excited to announce a new monthly series. Each month in The Table we’ll be spotlighting someone from one of our member companies with a questionnaire that ranges from silly to serious. Hopefully we’ll give you some insight into not only what makes the company tick but also who our member spotlight is as an individual.
This month we’re excited to get to know Kate Washut of Cedar Falls-based TAI member Far Reach.
Name: Kate Washut
Job Title/Occupation: CEO of Far Reach
Hometown: Des Moines/Cedar Falls
Twitter Handle: @kwashut
What would your entrance song be if you were a wrestler?
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
What does your company do?
Working with entrepreneurs and established companies, we create custom integrated software, apps, websites, and marketing solutions.
What’s your role at Far Reach?
I see my primary role as clearing the way for my team to do their jobs. What we do encompasses a lot of different things from UX design to marketing to web and backend development for clients across a variety of industries. We try to be as lean as we can, but this actually takes a surprising amount of work. People need to be empowered and supported to produce their best work. I try to ensure they have what they need to do just that.
What three things can’t you live without?
I’ll try not to get too philosophical here and stick with the basics: Sleep, coffee (to ensure sleep doesn’t upset the balance), and a good book that makes me think.
What would be your record choice for TAI’s Vinyl Fridays?
Oops! Wrong Planet by Utopia
What do you do and what makes you so passionate about it?
As CEO, my passion is creating a great workplace — one that attracts people who are passionate about bettering themselves and their work and where they’re supported and allowed to thrive. I’m convinced this type of environment will lead to happier employees and clients, and better overall results for the company.
What’s the best way to celebrate springtime in Iowa?
I walk to work whenever my schedule allows it. It’s a great way to gear up for and wind down from the day, and enjoy a little of the great outdoors as well, allergies be damned!
Hawkeyes or Cyclones?
Panthers! (How ‘bout a little respect?)
What’s the last book you read?
I’ve been reading a lot lately. Three that I’ve finished in the last few weeks include, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland; What to do When it’s Your Turn, by Seth Godin, and Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
What’s been most rewarding about working for an Iowa technology company?
For me, it’s the amazingly smart and passionate people I’ve been fortunate enough to have met and work with. I’m consistently blown away by the level of talent and generosity on display in the technology and startup communities in Iowa.
What’s your favorite local restaurant? Why?
In the Cedar Valley — where our culinary options are somewhat limited compared to larger metro areas — I would say it’s Rudy’s Tacos because of their commitment to sourcing their ingredients locally, as much as possible. The fact that they have the best margaritas in town doesn’t hurt either. ☺
What’s the most gratifying part of your workday?
Thanking someone for making a positive difference.
What was your dream job as a kid?
My ultimate dream job as a kid was to be a professional basketball player. Unfortunately, the WNBA didn’t exist at the time. My fallback was horse trainer, but being a city girl, that wasn’t really in the cards either. I haven’t necessarily given up on that one, though!
What’s one of your professional goals for 2015?
My #1 goal for this year is to embrace life’s uncertainties and ship important stuff anyway.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
Play it safe.