Katie Cobb is a highly accomplished business development executive, communicator and change agent with more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, marketing, community relations, media and politics.
Prior to becoming President of Barrow Neurological Foundation, Katie served as Senior Vice President for Advancement for Great Hearts Academies, Arizona’s largest Charter Management Organization. She led an advancement team of 13 across 23 schools in capital campaigns, annual fund and unrestricted investments along with driving marketing, communications and community outreach strategies for Arizona’s largest Charter Management Organization.
While at Great Hearts Academies, Katie led an overall restructuring across all functional aspects of responsibility. These efforts led to a 48 percent increase in overall advancement funding within the first year, a 39 percent increase in community investment annual fund growth, a 25 percent increase in tax credit receipts and an ability to drive open enrollment applications to 148 percent of goal. In addition, Katie created a new CMO network-wide funding stream that exceed goal by 13 percent in its first year including a sold out gala. She also led the rebranding of the organization through a new mission, positioning, brand architecture and naming convention, which has resulted in an innovative new web presence for the organization. She established incremental revenue streams through the development of a first integrated academic and athletic uniform program with a major branded national supplier representing over $2 million in incremental revenue to the schools and has created a new network-wide major gifts campaign while structuring a new board of directors major gifts program.
Prior to Great Hearts Academies, Katie was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The Phoenix Symphony where she oversaw development, marketing, education and community outreach, patron services, public relations, human resources, information technology and finance.
During her four-year tenure at the symphony, Katie helped engineer a dramatic financial turnaround for the organization, growing overall revenue by 74 percent, more than doubling contributions to over $7 million, and transforming a structural deficit into a $3 million surplus. She also led a successful rebranding effort with an innovative digital marketing strategy and an aggressive public relations and community engagement strategy that helped generate record single ticket sales. Her efforts garnered a substantial amount of local and national media attention and positioned The Phoenix Symphony as a model of effective management practices for other arts organizations across the nation. Katie was awarded an Emmy as a producer of a PBS Special with the symphony.
Katie began her career as Deputy Press Secretary for Arizona Governor Fife Symington, where she conceived and launched a number of successful public outreach campaigns including the popular “Governor on the Road” program, highlighting the Governor’s policies throughout the state; the “Great Salt River Clean Up,” one of the largest volunteer environmental events conducted in Arizona; and the “Welcome Home America” campaign for returning Gulf War Veterans. Katie also provided strategic communications, wrote press releases and media advisories, managed crisis communications and media relations.
In 1994, Katie was recruited by legendary television executive and political consultant Roger Ailes to join the New York launch team of “America’s Talking,” the cable network that would ultimately evolve into MSNBC. As the senior producer for commentator Chris Matthews’ first talk show, Katie covered numerous major news stories including the O.J. Simpson trial and the Contract with America. She also produced national stories for NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News.
Following Ailes, Katie accepted a position to open the Los Angeles bureau of Fox News Channel, where she served as a producer for several journalists including Shepard Smith, Bill O’Reilly, William LaJeunesse and Brit Hume. She also travelled with the press corps covering the George W. Bush campaign and produced numerous network specials on immigration, education and politics.
Moving to Arizona in 2006, Katie became a managing partner with Actual Media, a strategic communications, media and marketing political consulting firm. After becoming a client, The Phoenix Symphony brought her in-house in 2010.
Recognized throughout the Phoenix community as a change agent capable of making significant impact through her work, Katie was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer to the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council and is currently a Director of the Board of Directors of The Phoenix Symphony Association. Katie has also been recognized as one of Arizona’s 50 highest-ranking women by The Republic’s Who’s Who in Business.
A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Katie devotes her talents to numerous charitable and educational endeavors and is a passionate advocate for military veterans, education and the arts in Arizona.