2006 Distinguished Achievement Award - BusinessKate Kelly Hogan '85
As a business administration major and physical education minor, and as a three-sport athlete at St. Norbert College, Kate Hogan’s original postgraduate plans were to earn a master’s degree in athletic administration. Now, 20 years later, she still doesn’t have her master’s—but, she has become a master, a master retailer and marketer.
For the past 14 years, Kate has been director of retail operations for the Green Bay Packers. As such, she oversees the entire retail operations of the Green Bay Packers, which includes three stores (Packers Pro Shop, Game Day Pro Shop and Extra Points Store), the warehouse operation that houses all web and mail orders, the call center, and 10 novelty concessions stands or kiosks. Growth in the Packers’ retail operations has literally exploded under Kate’s leadership—the Pro Shop has increased from 1,500 to 6,500 square feet; what began with six employees now numbers 125 workers; and annual sales have skyrocketed from $350,000 to more than $17 million! As Packers president and chief operating officer John Jones said, this “growth in and of itself is remarkable … a real success story.” Of Kate, he commented, “She’s done a great job for the Packers,” and she “is one of the leaders in retail and the National Football League in terms of development.”
In addition, a Sports Illustrated columnist identified the Packers Pro Shop as the best gift shop in the NFL, and the NFL itself has cited the Pro Shop as a superior model for club retail and marketing. Further, the Pro Shop has twice been named Co-op Employer of the Year through a cooperative program with marketing classes at Green Bay’s Preble and Southwest High Schools.
All this bodes well for the Packers organization and its fans. But the work that Kate and her employees have implemented has also benefited the larger community. In particular, local charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics, Paul’s Pantry and the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids Project have been helped. And last year, a special project involved selling pink Packers caps. More than $1 million from these sales was donated to 12 different Wisconsin charities for breast cancer research.
Helping others is a big part of Kate’s life. She serves on the Cerebral Palsy board of directors and on the Brian LaViolette Foundation board, is the president of the Langlade Elementary School PTO, and remains a parish member of Old St. Joseph Church at St. Norbert College.
Kate’s work and her contributions to her community have not gone unnoticed. In January 2006, she received the prestigious Torch Award from No Limits, a UW-Green Bay women’s athletics scholarship fund-raiser group. The Torch Award recognized a woman in northeastern Wisconsin who has participated in sports and who has been successful in her chosen vocation. In presenting this award, the associate athletic director at UWGB said that Kate was chosen because she “built upon what she learned in sports” and that she “is a giving, generous, gracious person.”
Of her time at St. Norbert, Kate says the “rigors of study, the feelings of accomplishment and pride, and the fun we had after, and even during, the studying was done was a wonderful example of how life can work.” At work and as a volunteer, making a positive difference in someone’s life means a great deal to Kate.
Kate wishes to acknowledge and thank her family for all of their support in her endeavors—her husband, Mark, and her two children, Bailey and Mitchell.