Kate Kaplan

Strategy VP

Strategists are the worst; am I right?

All talking and no doing. All upfront vision, no connection to execution.

Not at Centerline.

Here, strategy is coupled tightly with the tactics that bring it to life. And it’s rooted in the reality of audience needs and business goals.

As VP of Strategy, I help companies connect to the people they do business with. Drawing on my background in user experience, research and cognitive science, I apply classic human-centered research and design approaches to marketing strategies.

After all, what’s at the core of exceptional marketing, if not simply an understanding of human needs, met with content of true value and distinction?


Wilson, NC

Biggest Influence

Dr. Stan Dicks at NCSU, who introduced me to a pathway on which a drive for understanding people and technology could turn into a career. Dr. Jakob Nielsen at NN/g, who without, there would be no already-beaten pathway leading to that career. Anyone, any day, who exhibits positivity, resilience and drive—even for a second—reminding me that I can, too.

Triangle Go-To Spot

I’m a big fan of places I can get a glass of good wine (The Wine Feed, Wine Authorities), post-up at the bar for a no-rush meal (Rockford, brunch-time on the weekends), have a steak served the way I ordered it (Rare+ at Vinnie's), or disconnect from digital to have some downtime (The Rialto, Falls Lake, NCMA). But mainly, my home, where I can be with my husband, my dog, my books, my thoughts and my wine.

Proudest Career Moment

Having a teammate tell me I am a source of light on stressful days. Joining Jakob Nielsen’s team at NN/g, working alongside people who wrote the books I studied in graduate school. As a UX lecturer, sharing experiences with professionals across the field—and actually seeing it help people. Being entrusted with new challenges with no obvious solutions, and figuring them out—daily life at Centerline.

Favorite Centerline Work

Our work partnering with National Instruments: learning about test & control, getting to know engineers, and redefining the e-commerce buying experience, from a makeover to a 7000+ product taxonomy to digital experience design