Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
I'm Kelly Pratt and I'm focused on building an online community called Athena Village.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I have, once again, become an Ellevate member because of the wealth of experiences and diversity of members!
How would you define your professional mission?
My professional mission is to create a space online for women who live with purpose and crave community. A place where we are recognized for all of our many dimensions and talents. And where we can be ourselves and feel seen, supported, and celebrated
What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?
I am very proud of my work with the MN Film and TV Board. We were the only nonprofit film commission in the country and had a tiny budget. But with some very creative grassroots marketing efforts, grew Minnesota to become the 5th most popular state for feature film location shooting in the 1990s. After our first film I asked the director why they chose Minnesota over other states he said "You were honest and straightforward in your answers." I loved that! I still get a thrill when I see my name in the credits.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
Oh my gosh! I started in business school – senior year my Psych Prof wrote "So, do it!" on a paper in my and I DID IT! – that is, sign up for a dance class, changed my major, and ended up auditioning for the instructor's dance company, helping to run his dance school and dancing semi-professionally for 8 years. Those 3 words – so do it! – led to a career in (among other things) arts administration, running a theatre, film industry, coaching, and now, I've created my own online community – Athena Village. Why? Because Creative Women Crave Community!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I know two people I've connected have really hit it off and become friends or collaborators!
Who are your role models?
Martha Beck – my mentor and teacher. I trained with her as a coach. Pamela Slim. Jane Fonda (she said once that she'd never stay in a relationship if she wasn't seen, supported, and celebrated. I love that!) Sallie Krawchek
What is your morning ritual?
Coffee, writing in my journal. And being the first one up!!
What would you say your personal superpower is?
My superpower? Listening between the lines and connecting people. I love to talk to new people and here their stories and ask questions... getting to the heart of the story. And then knowing who they would love to connect with!
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I don't try to maintain balance... but harmony. If all the aspects of my life are "singing in harmony" with one another I'm good! Balance is difficult to maintain. But harmony allows for my personal life to sing lead at some moments and let's my professional life sing back up, then my work life takes the lead... always harmonizing together. My no-fail tactic is to listen to my inner voice for anything that sounds off-key! 🎶
What is the best career advice you ever received?
The best piece of career advice I ever got was "never let anyone know you can type" 🤓 Ha! that was from my internship supervisor. An amazing woman who knew that in the 1980s if anyone spotted a woman who could type, she'd be pigeon-holed in a support role forever! Times have changed, but some things don't change. We still have to make sure our strengths as leaders are the first things that people see, but in a way that doesn't diminish our power as a woman.