Kathryn “Katie” Hiatt Baxter
Photos by: Jessica Bachmann

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it..”
– “Ferris Buller’s Day Off”

Kathryn “Katie” Hiatt Baxter is serving as the Planning and Development Director for the Junior League of New Orleans Board of Directors. In this position, she utilizes her forward-thinking capability to advise the board on long-range planning and integrate the Strategic Plan into everyday planning and operations. She cultivates funding sources and leads the volunteer team that formulates JLNO’s partnerships, community projects, strategic plan and fundraisers. She looks forward to elevating the work of the Council’s leaders by giving them the foundation, support and confidence they need to successfully lead. The Junior League is full of passionate women, so she is excited to amplify their enthusiasm and empower them to do great things for JLNO.

Since joining JLNO in 2010, Katie has served on multiple councils, making her well-suited to lead Planning and Development. She has chaired both the Donor Relations and Strategic Planning committees and held positions as Senior Outreach committee member, Kitchen Tour committee member and Provisional Advisor. Raised in Kansas, she came to New Orleans as a college student but stayed after Hurricane Katrina. She found herself drawn to the city beyond the Tulane University campus. She believed to truly become a New Orleanian, she needed to help in any way she could. Early in her JLNO career, Katie found that connection through Senior Outreach and listening what other members were doing. When Katie heard about a JLNO project which put meals in student backpacks so they would have something to eat when they got home, her perspective on what poverty and hunger look like changed. She remembers feeling grateful for organizations like JLNO who were looking out for those children. As a result, Katie has learned not to take the most basic needs for granted. It humbles her to hear stories of struggling mothers, including those who must miss work because they can’t send their children to daycare for lack of clean diapers. Katie tries to instill this knowledge in her children. Every time she leaves the house for a Junior League function, she pauses to talk to her son about what JLNO is doing. She wants him to understand what volunteerism looks like and, more importantly, that it’s something she chooses to do.

Katie is Vice President of Operations for Firmidable, which is a legal-niche focused marketing and advertising agency. She worked her way up from Account Executive, working as both brand manager and liaison for client accounts, to her current role overseeing the day-to-day operations of the agency, ensuring its decisions, products and services support their growth and vision. What excited Katie most, though, is managing her amazing team. Empowering others and helping them live up to their full potential is something she truly enjoys.

Having earned a Bachelor of Science in management from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, Katie currently resides in Broadmoor with her husband Billy and two children, William (5) and Maggie (2). She loves how New Orleans feels like the biggest small town in America — how there’s always something going on or something to do without it taking a half hour to get everywhere. She appreciates giving her children the opportunity to experience different cultures whether it be through food, music or a festival. Family features prominently in Katie’s life. Her mother and sister inspire her with their ability to work outside the home, raise a family and donate their time to causes meaningful to them. She’s also constantly amazed at how many JLNO members work outside the home while raising a family, serving on multiple boards or volunteering with other organizations. That pushes Katie to be a better version of herself.

Kathryn “Katie” Hiatt Baxter