Katia Robillard: Vice President & General Manager, Citoyen Optimum

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Bio:

With over 20 years of experience in the field, 15 of them in a public relations agency setting, Katia Robillard is a communications expert who knows her industry inside and out. This marketing communications specialist is a seasoned strategist known for the sound and accurate advice she provides to her clients on a daily basis. She strives constantly to do more for her clients, proposing effective and often bold creative tactics to help them stand out. As Vice President & General Manager of Citoyen Optimum in Quebec, she helps agency clients achieve their communications objectives and inspire a team devoted to helping its clients succeed. A born intrapreneur, Katia introduced the public relations marketing practice to Citoyen Optimum when she arrived eight years ago. She has generously shared her managerial skills and talents with the agency, working first as an account director before climbing the ladder to fill positions as vice president, chief of operations, and now head of the Quebec team.

What do I do best?

I have a very entrepreneurial mindset. I like to build and to develop the business side of things. I really get a good sense of accomplishment when I am able to not only to build things but to put people in relation with each other, to do great storytelling.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I try to surround myself with people that are as passionate as I am about life and the things they do and love. That really drives and motivates me. Winning and finding solutions or ways to make things better individually or as a group is very important to me. I think what helps in making this possible is that I’m a tenacious, positive and honestly quite hard to discourage person.

What are my aspirations?

I have a thirst for learning and I’ve developed, as years went by, a humble side that brings me to not only question myself and things in general, but to do so with openness as to how the industry changes and in light and respect of people’s intricate differences. I’m a strongly determined person and success is important to me so I’ve always given myself goals and milestones to achieve to become a better professional. Today, at 40 years old, I’m new in my current role and I want to develop myself in it as much as I can, so that’s my priority. Ultimately though, I believe that nothing is impossible, as long as you have faith in your capacities.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest professional accomplishment is definitely to have built the Marketing PR practice at Citoyen Optimum. On another hand, the fact that, as a woman, I’ve entered a high level position professionally brings me a great sense of pride, too. It certainly goes to show that hard work and perseverance really do pay off.

My Most Challenging Moment?

I’ve lost my father at 24 years old. That definitely changed the way I see things. As a result, I have had to get responsible quite early in life. I have an important role in my family, and so it feels natural for me to be considered as a pillar for people in general and in the organization I work for.

My Motto?

“Life is short and has to be lived fully.” I’m always on the go and I like to work hard, but in my personal life, I want to ensure that I also live to the fullest. My friends, for example, are important, and so I make sure to spend quality time with them at least once a month. One core concept that I like to cherish relates to true passion, as it needs to operate at work. It’s something that drives me every day.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My admiration for Coco Chanel has no boundaries. As a fashion lover, her biography has deeply inspired me. She was a bold and strong woman. Closer to us, and though she isn’t with us either, is Corno, the late Quebec painter. What she has created really resonates with me. It’s colorful and powerful. Also, her business model also transcended our frontiers, which I find amazing.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Definitely New York, Chicago and San Francisco, in no specific order of preference. When I travel, there has to be a good foodie and fashion scene, as well as an interesting culture to discover.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

High heels make me feel empowered. I’m actually a stiletto pro!

My Current Passions?

The things I do when I want to treat myself include going to the restaurant on Friday nights and enjoying a good glass of wine. Get a pedicure or a massage, too. Also, art stimulates me. It’s something that runs in the family. I like to visit museums, to listen to music in my car or when I have people over for dinner, and go to the theaters to watch movies. Oh, and I never go on vacation without bringing a great novel to read.

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