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Jessica Klodnick

Jessica (Miller) Klodnicki

Chief Executive Officer, KT Tape®

Jessica (Miller) Klodnicki serves as chief executive officer for KT Tape®, the leader in sports-related, drug-free pain and injury treatment. Prior to joining KT Tape, her work as chief marketing officer at the audio brand Skullcandy earned her a spot on the 2022 Forbes Entrepreneurial CMO top 50 list.

How do you define a great leader?

Some leaders believe their organization or team is meant to bend to them. Great leaders provide what the organization and people need from them depending on the situation; and it changes constantly. One of my first and favorite bosses taught me the importance of building trust, transparency and communication. The best outcomes I’ve seen are when leaders communicate as much as they can to every person, at every level – the good, bad and neutral. The more people know, the more empowered they are to give back to the business. If enough trust has been established, good ideas come from unexpected places.

You have been committed to intersecting your love for outdoor activities with your professional choices. How has that contributed to your success?

Early in my career, I worked for some amazing companies and loved those experiences, but as an outdoor enthusiast, I was always hungering to go to work in that space. I was finally able to move to lead marketing at Mizuno Sporting Goods, a dream job since I was an avid runner. Later, as general manager for Vista Outdoor, running Bell Helmets and CamelBak, I developed a love for mountain biking and I was able to establish a nonprofit to promote the activity among women. I had to make some sacrifices and take some side steps with my professional choices to achieve work/life integration. Because I did, every single day I come to work, I’m living and breathing my personal passions.

How did UWF lay the foundation for where you are today?

On the first day of professor Eileen Perrigo’s business communications class, she had us stand up and shake hands. She taught us that a strong, firm handshake is the first step in good business communications, which is something I have always remembered. Dr. Martha D. Saunders pointed me to public relations and marketing, which changed the trajectory of my entire personal and professional life.