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Katie Munro Powell on curiosity and balancing both manufacturing and distribution sides of the family business

Episode: 52

Wherever you’re coming into a new place, look for opportunities to get curious, to ask questions, to be a learner – maybe even before you’re a contributor. ~Katie Munro Powell

Curiosity is the catalyst for Katie Powell. As president of Munro Companies, Inc. in Grand Junction, CO, she approaches leadership with an inquisitive attitude. Jason and Katie discuss the finer points of running both a distribution and a manufacturing division; as well her commitment to service, whether she’s in the C-suite or leading the Girl Scout troop.

The more time that I spent with the team, and the more time that I understood the value that a business like ours brings to our community and our customers and our employees, I got hooked on wanting to make the business better. Katie’s appreciation for the company her father and grandfather started in 1965 comes with a caveat: she didn’t get hooked immediately.

Instead, she struck out to find success on her terms, away from Grand Junction. Twenty years later, her marketing career at a crossroad, Katie dialed up her dad to offer her services – if he’d have her. Or, she’d chart a new course elsewhere. He was silent, she laughs. I want to say it was [for] two traffic lights. Not only was he thrilled to have her but, from day one on the job, he introduced his daughter as the future head of Munro.


Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.

This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.

Connect with Jason Bader on LinkedIn.

Connect with Katie Munro Powell on LinkedIn.


His faith in Katie paid off. Her career achievements outside the company, coupled with her willingness to onboard so thoroughly upon her return to the family fold, has propelled Munro into the 21st century. She set ambitious goals, prompting employees to challenge their limiting beliefs and punch above their weight. Then she identified the key differentiators of each business and honed in on the needs of their distinct customers.

Although the divisions complement each other, as separate entities, they offer Katie a unique perspective. When I have my distributor hat on, it helps me to talk to my manufacturing partners in a different way because I also understand what they’re after.

Double the business, double the challenges. As the market shifts away from natural gas and coal production, Munro’s distribution side has had to reevaluate. Still, Katie’s not about to abandon the rewards of leading with a learner’s mind. Wherever you’re coming into a new place, look for opportunities to get curious.

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