Interview: Katy Merrett

With a career commencing in horticulture, and a dream of curating Auckland’s Botanic Gardens, it’s somewhat surprising that Katy Merrett should find herself as National Sales and Marketing Manager for a leading bathroom supplier.

We recently caught up with Katy to hear more about her career journey and her drive to make Athena Clearlite one of the top twenty best places to work in New Zealand.

Please provide your name, job title and company name.

Katy Merrett, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Athena and Clearlite Bathrooms

How long have you spent in your current position?

7 months – The big attraction of a Brand ownership model!

What job did you have before your current role?

General Manager Applico and group procurement (Electrical Appliances)

To date, what has been your career highlight?

Hard to pick one:

Double digit sales growth by extending channel distribution and product diversification. 

Setting a new bar in appliance retail packaging – “what’s on the box is in the box”.

People development, have a number of people whom have gone on to senior sales, marketing and supply chain management positions.

Who have you admired or learnt from the most in your career and why?

I have admired numerous people during my career, firstly my very supportive partner of 28 years who is very academic which is completely opposite to me has always been very encouraging and given me the confidence.

I also had an inspiration female leader in my career who went on to be a CEO of one of our biggest public companies who not only taught me the necessary business skills but was a great example of how to be a great leader. 

Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing when you were younger? If not, what type of job did you expect you would have?

I was interested in horticulture when I was younger and started my career in this field. I thought I would end up a curator of some botanical gardens!

What do you think is the most important quality or skill you need to succeed in your current role?

I think there are a few skills required such as communication, analytical thinking and creative thinking; outside the box is critical. Technology is also essential in today’s modern world.  Being inclusive and leading a cross functional team is also very important.

What’s one thing you hope to achieve this year, either at work or in your personal life?

We already have a great culture in our business but I would love to aim to be in the top 20 best places to work in NZ.

Do you have any tips or advice for those just starting out in the industry?

Subscribe to our industry organisations, get involved and network, there are plenty of people who are happy to share their knowledge and knowledge is power right!!