Around the office with Harmonica's Katy Saeger

A Q&A with the CEO of Harmonica.

You’ve worked with Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama. Does your workday start with coffee, centering your chakras or meditation?
Chakra balancing and coffee are never exclusive in my world. Mornings are joyful, lit up with my son, gratitude and an occasional B12 shot.

I do meditate and practice yoga daily. Years ago, Deepak taught me transcendental meditation, and I learned we can control the mind and our thoughts and how important that is.

What do you read or look at first in the morning?
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Second, Need2Know and Skimm and then Twitter and Instagram. Not always in that order.

What political or social leader influenced you the most?
Princess Diana. She was grace under fire.

What was your first comms job?
It was in San Francisco as part of the Y&R team for Clorox, Chevron and Rice-A-Roni.

But my second job with the San Francisco 49ers and Simon DeBartolo Entertainment taught me the power of highly strategic and refined communications, what it means to create and manage a campaign and how to prepare for and manage crisis. I was young, informed and I hope humble, in a fast-paced and high-profile landscape. I learned from the best.

How does your LA schedule differ from an East Coast schedule?
LA is a driving city, so I try to take calls in the car. I prefer this to email, which can bury me.

Our New York office has a great team synched up with all clients. Personally, I’m in NYC about every month, which is important. Nothing replaces an in-person meeting.

What was your most regrettable career moment?
Regret is tricky. I try not to get caught in the mind-trap of hindsight. This said, I do regret ever letting myself or others be bullied. And I celebrate today’s young women who are increasingly standing up for their worth.

Knowing Caulipower is a client — what kind of snacks are in your break room?
Our CPG practice is focused on "better for you" foods, so we’re stocked with healthy snacks that mirror our clients — coconut yogurt, Biltong, protein bars, kombucha, hummus and veggies, grain-free chips, CBD & vitamin infused tinctures, Manuka honey, wine and chocolate — and a freezer stocked with Caulipower. Our break room is a commercial kitchen, which makes gathering around food common practice.

What is your ideal day off?
Hiking with my son. I also love being at my house in Ojai, where we manage a tiny farm, a giant garden, a massive Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and a flock of chickens. It’s a lesson in patience, staying in the moment and keeping a sense of humor.

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