SEEN caught up with Detroiter Katie Katz, a former development director for City Year Detroit and current wealth advisor at JP Morgan Private Bank. She tells us about supporting nonprofits in Detroit, her go-to work outfits and favorite local shops.
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Hayden Stinebaugh
1. Tell us about your professional background? I am the current executive director wealth advisor at JP Morgan Private Bank. I’m a former development director for City Year Detroit and partner of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP in the trusts and estates group.
2. Did you always want to be in the legal field? I am pretty sure when I was little I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.
3. What are you most proud of regarding your career? Any special moments that stick out? I am most proud of the small part I have played in helping individuals, families and businesses create positive change in their communities by working with them to set up their own nonprofit organizations.
4. You are very involved with the community. Tell us about the various organizations you support or are a part of? These days I am full on in for City Year Detroit and CitizenDetroit. Each addresses an area of critical need in Detroit – K-12 education and informed civic engagement, respectively.
City Year is a national education nonprofit fueled by service. In Detroit, 91 AmeriCorps members serve full-time in 10 public schools in Detroit. Working together with teachers, parents and administrators, City Year helps students and schools succeed.
CitizenDetroit is a nonprofit organization that organizes and activates engaged citizens in the democratic process with a vision to see Detroit be the most civically engaged city in the nation.
5. Who inspires you in the business world? My smart, kind and driven female friends who work the hardest to create socially-conscious businesses that are driven by more than just the bottom line: Rachel Jo Silver (LoveStoriesTV), Katy Cockrel (Detroit Blows), Deirdre Skiles (Detroit Rose), JJ Curis (Library Street Collective), Nia Batts (Detroit Grows), Amy Kaherl (SOUP), Natasha Hollyday (Selden Standard), Kate Williams (Lady of the House) and the list goes on…
7. Speaking of giving… what are some of your go-to shops for holiday shopping? I don’t do a ton of holiday shopping, but Detroit Blows gift cards generally do the trick for most occasions. Nora is amazing for a special gift of home goods, fragrances and jewelry by local artisans — all beautiful.
8. What’s on your gift wish list this year? A handheld steamer.
9. What do you enjoy most during the holiday season? Traveling to Minneapolis to spend time with my extended family and re-watching old SNL holiday sketches.
Now on to style…
10. Describe the head-to-toe outfit details you are wearing for the photo shoot?
11. Three words to describe your personal style? Classic, Minimalist, Tailored.
12. How do you make the corporate wardrobe “work” for your style? I invest in a few versatile, high-quality, timeless pieces each season and stick with what looks good on me. Because I am on the shorter side, I often dress in one color or pattern theme from head to toe — it always looks polished and flatters a shorter frame. Bodysuits are a must in my book. I also incorporate a few good vintage pieces every so often as an affordable alternative to new clothes, and I get almost everything tailored for a perfect fit.
13. Your go-to brands? Max Mara, Everlane, Levis, Nike, Wolford, Pamela Love for Shinola for jewelry.
14. Who inspires your style? Audrey Hepburn, Anne Katz (minus the socks and loafers look), Nordic Style Report.
15. One item you can’t leave home without? My original issue Shinola black leather envelope clutch.
16. You’re never full dressed without…hair tie and lipstick. I like Bawse Lady by The Lip Bar.
17. In regard to your personal style, where do you enjoy shopping? Anywhere in Metro Detroit? Heather at Max Mara at Somerset knows my style, size and wardrobe needs. Twice a year I head up to the mall to see her and usually end up with two to three pieces (hopefully on sale), and that’s pretty much it. I love Max Mara for work because everything I have ever bought from there goes together. They have the same fabrics, colors and cuts every season, it all lasts forever and it works for work and weekend. I have also found some gems at Lost and Found Vintage in Royal Oak and ChiChi and the Greek in Pontiac. For off-duty staples, I like Bird Bee, Détroit is the New Black, Mama Coo’s and Eldorado General Store. Online (where I do the majority of my shopping) I love Everlane (great shoes), Need Supply and Reformation.
On to your Local Love List…
18. You grew up in the suburbs. Why did you decide to plant your roots in Detroit? I got a job here, for one, which in 2008 was not such an easy feat. Honigman hired me right out of law school, and I had an incredible professional experience there. As a young attorney, the firm, and especially my mentor Chuck Nida, encouraged me to get involved in community organizations and helped me to develop subject matter expertise in succession planning and philanthropy. Secondly, my family is here, and it’s important to me to stay close to them.
19. What do you love about the city? The diversity of people and ideas and the genuine efforts made by so many to effect positive change.
20. When not at work, we can find you? Jabs Gym in Eastern Market.
21. Your go-to for breakfast, lunch and dinner? My 365 favorite: Supino Pizzeria. Pizza, red wine and Katie’s cannoli’s — nothing better.
22. It’s 5 p.m. Happy hour spot? Queens in the summer and Candy Bar inside The Siren Hotel in the winter.