Katy Michael: 40 Under 40 2014

VP of global communications, Crocs
Age: 34

Katy Michael is the youngest VP in the history of Crocs. She is responsible for overseeing all global communications for the billion-dollar footwear brand, including internal and external efforts.

Since joining Crocs in January 2012, her achievements include driving its 10th anniversary celebration that year and successfully gaining high-profile coverage and accolades for the brand and its executives.

Thanks to Michael’s efforts, Crocs has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Reuters, and USA Today, among other outlets.

In 2013, she was part of the team that launched Crocs’ largest global marketing initiative to date, which saw the company celebrate International Comfort Day, in all 90 of its global markets. The campaign included the launch of new research that was widely picked up by a variety of top-tier media outlets and culminated in a donation of more than 20,000 pairs of Crocs shoes to those in need around the world and locally to families affected by the 2013 Colorado flooding.

Prior to joining Crocs, Michael revamped the internal communications team at Build-A-Bear Workshop, and increased the brand’s visibility in several markets.

She later became a VP at FleishmanHillard and, during her time at the firm, she successfully placed and supported water park provider Great Wolf Lodge and moving company United Van Lines on the CBS show Undercover Boss.

Michael also sits on Crocs’ compliance and ethics council and was responsible for developing its first sustainability report. What is remarkable is that she has achieved all this while living with Crohn’s disease.

"Despite this chronic illness, she emanates an unreal amount of positive energy during every meeting, late-night planning session, and colleague interaction," says Dan Hart, chief legal and administration officer at Crocs.

"Katy has helped nurture and grow the company’s communications department and brand platform and made everyone who works with her better. She manages to be everyone at once – colleague, friend, mother, and leader – and has done all this with the odds stacked against her."

 

• Michael, who has two young children, has been a longstanding supporter of organizations that help people with Crohn’s disease

• The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) honored her with the Woman of Distinction Award in 2011 for outstanding volunteer work

• In Denver, Michael quickly became involved in the local CCFA chapter, helping out with fundraising, corporate sponsorship, and communications

• She is heavily involved in Crocs’ CSR program, including volunteering with There With Care

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