Katherine James Schuitemaker
Katherine James Schuitemaker is driven to help life-changing ideas and the people behind them succeed. At williamsworks her focus is on helping client leadership develop strategies for effectively building the multi-faceted base of support – internally and externally—to achieve their vision.
Katherine’s 25-year experience in technology company executive, consultant and board roles ranges from scrappy, fast-growth entrepreneurial start-up ventures to designing and building globally-adapted impact programs for the Fortune 1000. She is especially passionate about ensuring the sustainability of organizations with complex, long-term missions, and building the governance, engagement, consensus, coalitions and leadership alignment necessary to achieve their goals.
Facilitating catalytic discourse is among Katherine’s specialties. For more than 30 years, she’s been able to uncover and draw out the magical equation that makes 1+1=3 when working with leaders seeking to create a shared vision—and the practical means to realize it—in collaborative ideation and working sessions. In settings ranging from global health (pioneering work with NTDs in agrarian Africa) to technology (co-developing Washington State’s first statewide technology commercialization roadmap) to non-profits (helping founders, boards, staff and donors move through philosophical logjams to alignment around a compelling and shared vision, mission and values) to philanthropic ventures (uncovering a game-changing intersection of passion, unique assets and unmet need), Katherine’s ability to design, lead, listen, synthesize and connect has been widely recognized through return engagements with changemakers around the globe.
Active in both private and public arenas, Katherine’s background includes work in more than 40 countries for commercial entities as well as with philanthropists, community leaders, educators, and federal, state and local officials in high-impact philanthropic organizations. Included among the latter are board chair roles at IslandWood (www.islandwood.org), a unique outdoor academic center designed to provide hands-on learning experiences while inspiring lifelong environmental and community stewardship for children, educations, families and adults; and Washington Technology Industry Association, a trade alliance of more than 100,000 members. Governor-appointed board and commission roles have included Washington Technology Center (www.watechcenter.org), helping to fuel the successful commercialization of innovative ideas born at Washington State’s research universities; Washington State Economic Development Commission; Governor’s Advisory Council on the Internet; and the Governor’s Digital Education Task Force. Katherine’s long-term contributions to the vibrancy of the state’s technology sector have earned her a Washington State Governor’s award of recognition. Seattle Magazine has categorized her as one of “The Visionaries” in its selection those who are making a difference in the city.