Location: Newburyport, MA
Industry: Professional services
Founder and CEO
When Katie Bouton first started Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search and consulting firm that exclusively serves the nonprofit sector, she was met with negativity from those who doubted her ability to succeed. But Bouton, the company’s founder and CEO, says she did it anyway because she believes that nonprofits deserve access to top talent, and that your professional life can feed your personal mission. Bouton’s decision to open Koya was also prompted by her belief that many of the world’s issues could be solved through collaboration between the nonprofit and corporate sectors.
Quick Tip: “Done right, business can be a powerful tool for social change.”
During the early days of Koya, Bouton applied for a $15,000 line of credit at the bank. The loan officer told her that she should go home and ask her spouse for more funds to build her “business.” Though building Koya took longer as a result of this setback, Bouton has been able to sustain 30 percent growth each year. “Instead of walking away with my tail between my legs after that meeting, I went back to my desk and closed more sales,” she says.
Bouton works to create a diverse and inclusive workforce, and at home, she actively teaches her sons about gender equity issues. Additionally, Bouton is active with local nonprofits, offering pro-bono services, time and philanthropic support.