Photo of Katie Gailes

Katie Gailes

Senior Director of Membership & DEI+B

Professional Bio

Katie Gailes is a proud native North Carolinian who has devoted most of her professional life to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs. She attended Bennett College for Women in Greensboro and the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. After a long career with IBM, Katie launched a consulting practice, which she ran full-time for six years. She was a counselor in the Growing American Through Entrepreneurship (GATE) program at the NC Rural Economic Development Center where she helped displaced workers in rural North Carolina start businesses. Through this program and her consulting practice, Katie trained or worked with over 1,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs. She went on the become the first Director of Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Wake Technical Community College where she co-founded the LaunchMyCity community-based economic development model. In 2020, Katie co-founded OUR STORIES: Brave Conversations on Race to help bridge the racial understanding gap through small-group, facilitated conversations based on personal stories and experiences. This program has trained over 250 people and now has active chapters in three US locations. Katie's strength is strategic visioning, messaging, and creative problem solving that makes a measurable difference in the lives of real humans.