Create & Cultivate has tapped Kate Spies as chief executive officer.
The online platform, which produces networking events to unify women professionals and entrepreneurs, was founded by Jaclyn Johnson, who has stepped away as CEO and now acts as vice chair of the company.
It was in 2011 that Johnson hosted the first Create & Cultivate conference, attended by about 50 people. Today, the company has grown to include a membership program, a podcast, and has attracted celebrity speakers like Martha Stewart, Jessica Alba, Megan Markle, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kim Kardashian. A decade later, in early 2021, Los Angeles-based private equity firm Corridor Capital acquired a majority stake in the company, valuing Create & Cultivate at $22 million.
Spies said in a statement: “I have long been a fan of the brand and everything it stands for. Women are still underrepresented, underpaid and underfunded, and it’s our goal to change that. I’m excited to oversee this next chapter, and to expand our community across new channels and reach new audiences.”
Spies was formerly the senior vice president and general manager of Well+Good, a digital wellness publication and community.
Johnson said of Spies that, “Not only does she possess the skills and leadership to take this company to the next level, she embodies the Create & Cultivate ethos having been a champion for women throughout her career.”
Create & Cultivate has several in-person events planned this year, featuring a variety of keynote speakers, including a “Desert Pop-Up” in Palm Springs, Calif., on Saturday and its “Los Angeles Conference” in June. The platform’s last event was in Austin, Texas, attracting about 2,000 attendees.
According to the company, while Create & Cultivate “is most well known for their events, during the pandemic, their shift to virtual and more digital-based programming, allowed them to grow their media business exponentially. Spies will continue to drive the company in that direction, with a focus on growth across the media, content and membership areas of the business.”