I’m Kate Gardiner, a media strategist and founder of the New York creative communications agency, Grey Horse.
My bio starts in 1989 at the fall of the Berlin Wall, which I remember watching on PBS Newshour from my home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I was three. Thirty-odd years later, Robert MacNeil still glimmers in my mind, announcing a turning point in world history.
Though I was barely able to string words to myself at that point, MacNeil’s words left a deep impression on me. Toddling along in the South Side of Chicago, I learned that the ability to tell a story is the power to move the world.
It naturally follows that I began my career as a journalist. In my early working years, I led some of the first experiments with social media as an audience engagement tool for publishers. I helped Al Jazeera, New York Public Radio, and Newsweek adapt their editorial and distribution strategies to the digital age, which ended up being quite valuable for them, and winning me a spot on the Forbes 30 under 30.
The real prize, though, was the rush I found in knocking the internet and humans against each other as flint to spark something new. Since that time in the early aughts, I’ve quit journalism, obviously, and made it my business to make a social impact using the most useful tools at my disposal: space, video chat, sheep shears, what have you.
I founded Grey Horse in 2008 to help mission-driven individuals, organizations, and movements make the greatest impact possible. Since then, I’ve built an all-female team that I’m fiercely proud of, and together we have represented global media organizations, bestselling authors, socially conscious non-profits, and some of the world’s most powerful executives.
Those clients have made New York Times Best Sellers’ lists and the shortlist for Academy Awards nominations, won Emmys and Peabodys and Online News Association awards. Through that reach, we’ve helped shift the needle on major issues like saving the ocean, binding arbitration, and #MeToo.
Direct impact is also satisfying to me, and in that vein, I’m an advisor in the Built By Girls Wave program, which offers 1:1 career guidance to young women and non-binary students, and I’m on the advisory board of the Armah Institute of Emotional Justice, an organization that uses creative tools to engage with legacies of untreated trauma.
You can depend on me to have my hands in a vast array of things at all times— and to be deeply plugged into the news and the people making it. Or maybe you need to make some news, in which case, I bet I can help.