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“If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing your job well!”
These are words Katherine Culbert lives by. The CEO of K and K Process, LLC learned this mantra the hard way early in her career after being named in a labor union grievance. Twenty years later, the GRIT Award winner recognizes she does not need to be the most popular person in the room to be a successful engineer.
Culbert has faced her share of challenges, while climbing the proverbial ladder. Being dismissed by others in power is chief among them.
“I was always being told I don’t know what needs to be done technically and with regards to business advancement,” she says. “So, I have worked very hard to prove my abilities.”
Rather than crumble under the criticism, Culbert met the challenges head-on. She went back to school for an MBA and is currently studying law. She became licensed, got certifications, developed and honed her skills volunteering at non-profits and, ultimately, become her own boss.
“Now that I am the CEO, I am proving to myself and others that my technical and business skills are on point.”
The partnership didn’t last, but the business did. “Having a partner was a challenge because we did not have the same commitment to the company.”
As a one-woman-band, she handles most of the technical tasks and all the business tasks. K and K Process, LLC works with smaller oil & gas companies and petrochemical plants to comply with process safety management regulations.
“My job is to protect communities, the environment, personnel and business assets.”
Talk about turning negatives into positives!
“It was very discouraging to be shot down with every idea I brought to the table.”
Clearly, that doesn’t happen to her these days . . . now that she’s at the head of her own table.