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Kate Vitasek

Kate Vitasek

    • International authority on strategic business relationships
    • Architect of the award-winning “Vested” business model
    • Author of six books on the art, science and practice of highly collaborative relationships
Full Bio
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Vested in Action: Logistics Outsourcing

Vested in Action: Logistics Outsourcing

Lauded by World Trade Magazine as one of the “Fabulous 50+1” most influential people impacting global commerce, author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek is an international authority for her award-winning research and Vested® business model for highly collaborative and strategic relationships.

Kate’s practical and research-based advice ignited a movement on how companies work together and five books, including Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing; Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft Are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships; Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships and The Vested Way: How a “What’s in it for We” Mindset Revolutionizes Business Relationships

Passionate in her quest to help companies transform their business relationships, Kate inspires and motivates companies around the world through teaching, speaking and workshops on Vested’s five proven “rules” for achieving transformational results.

Vested stems from award-winning research by the University of Tennessee funded by the United States Air Force to find a “better way to outsource.” The Vested business model allows companies to focus on desired outcomes and shared value to create an arrangement that is mutually beneficial for each. Rather than the “What’s-in-it-for-Me” mentality of conventional agreements, Vested’s “What’s-in-it-for-We” mindset invests both parties in the success of each other’s overall business, which in turn strengthens the sense of partnership and encourages a more lasting relationship. By sharing expertise and aligning their goals, both parties are able to drive innovation, adapt to changing needs and mitigate risk while working towards mutual success. Many well-known companies have adopted a Vested framework, including Microsoft, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble.

Awards and Recognitions

Kate has appeared on Bloomberg radio, CNN, NPR and on Fox Business News. Her work has been featured in over 300 articles in publications like Forbes, Chief Executive Magazine, CIO Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Journal of Commerce, World Trade Magazine and Outsource Magazine.

Kate’s groundbreaking work with Vested has also won many accolades. Vested was named one of “Outsourcing’s Top 2012 Trends” by Globalization Today, one of the “Top 50+1 Most Influential Trends” by The World Trade Magazine and one of the “Tops Trends in IT Services” by Vanguard Marketing International, Inc.

Kate herself has been recognized by The Journal of Commerce as a “Woman on the Move in Trade and Transportation” and as a “Rainmaker” by DC Velocity Magazine for her insights and contributions. Globalization Today named Vitasek to their list of its “Powerhouse 25” outsourcing industry leaders. She was recognized by Logistics Quarterly and Supply Chain Digest as a “Woman in Supply Chain,” honored as a “Woman of International Influence” by Global Executive Women, and named a top 10 finalist for “Best Entrepreneur—Service Business Under 100 Employees” by the American Business Awards for Woman.

Prior to joining the University of Tennessee, Kate’s storied career included positions with P&G, Microsoft, Accenture, Stream International and founding Supply Chain Visions, a boutique consulting firm recognized by ARC Advisory Group as one of the “10 Coolest” Boutique Consulting firms.

To book Kate Vitasek call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

The New Economics of Commerce: Evocative Insights That Will Change the Way You Think About Business

The 21st century demands businesses rethink their approach to commerce. Kate Vitasek provides what may seem paradoxical — a lighthearted yet evocative overview of some of the best academic research into how companies should be approaching the economics of commerce in the new millennium.

Audiences will leave this presentation with insights including:

  • John Nash’s equilibrium theory proving businesses can turn 1+1 into 2 (or more) by working collaboratively to optimize results and solve tough business problems.
  • Solow’s Law explaining why brains are better than brawn when trying to improve your business’s balance sheet.
  • Coase’s Law reminding business how to avoid the ever-fatal “Priceberg.”
  • Oliver Williamson’s advice on why being nice to suppliers can help reduce costs better than a “Pit Bull of Procurement.”

Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships

For years, businesses have worked under the assumption that the goal of negotiation is simply to get the deal. Hundreds of books have been written on “getting to yes”, “getting past no” and “getting more” — the prevalent assumption being that once you get a signature, you’re done, Yet these strategies and tactics focus merely on getting the deal, not making sure the deal provides sustained value in the future. In today’s ever-dynamic and interconnected world, business success depends on strategic relationships built to endure long after the deal is done.

Audiences will leave this presentation with insights including:

  • Why “getting to yes” is no longer enough.
  • Why they must challenge the way they’ve traditionally played the “game” of negotiations.
  • The proven five-step approach to negotiating a relationship, not just specific deal points.

The Vested Way: How a “What’s in it for We” Mindset Revolutionizes Business Relationships

As the world marches towards reinvention, Vested partnerships aren’t just the best way to achieve business success; they’re the only way to work together to create success for a future we can no longer prepare for or envision. In this evocative speech, Kate Vitasek reveals why a “What’s in it for We” mindset has the power to revolutionize business relationships. Audiences will leave inspired to seek out the business equivalent of a Sherpa to help them climb their own “Mt. Everest” — achieving success with business relationships many thought were impossible.

Audiences will leave this presentation with insights including:

  • How everyone can go home a winner in a world of “winner takes all.”
  • How cooperation, not competition, guarantees the best results for everyone involved.
  • How to apply John Nash’s Nobel Prizewinning equilibrium theory.

Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft Are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships

The 21st century demands businesses innovate, create value and get sustainable results. Kate Vitasek shares the real stories and real results of organizations using a Vested approach to redefine how they “win” in their business relationships. Whether it’s a relationship with suppliers, employees or a foreign government, Vitasek shows how the Vested concept has helped organizations develop award-winning and sustainable results.

Audiences will leave this presentation with insights including:

  • How giants like P&G and Microsoft are redefining winning.
  • How McDonald’s inspires their suppliers to invest millions and create innovations that keep them on the top of the business rankings.
  • How the Department of Energy turned a highly toxic weapons sites into a wildlife refuge.
  • How a small business with big ideas is helping their clients increase productivity by 300%.

Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing

Many outsourcing deals are structured with fundamental flaws in the business model that prevent transformational results. The University of Tennessee’s research into leading companies that are challenging conventional outsourcing proves outsourcing is not a dirty word. Rather, it can help organizations transform their business — if they create highly strategic and Vested supplier relationships. Kate Vitasek shares the game-changing rules for outsourcing from her research and book Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing.

Audiences will leave this presentation with insights including:

  • What Vested Outsourcing is.
  • 10 critical flaws inherent in most outsourced business relationships.
  • The Five Rules of Vested Outsourcing that transform how companies outsource.


Kate is happy to draw on the above popular topics or create a customized speech or workshop for your event that draws on her vast experience as one of the world’s most influential experts in global commerce.

Whether you’re looking for an inspirational and motivating conference speaker with a fresh perspective on business, or a customized workshop to point your team in the right direction, your group will walk away motivated and armed with actionable steps to improve their own business relationships. 

Speaking Topics:

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