Get to know Ayse Caglar

Q&A with our vice president of client strategy

Ayse Caglar joined KPS3 in September as our new vice president of client strategy. Ayse joins KPS3 from Sierra Nevada Corporation and Renown Health. Ayse works hard for our team and clients, and plays hard for her family and friends. So, let’s get to know our newest team member!

How do you pronounce your first name?

I get asked this all the time and it’s nothing like how it is spelled – mainly because of the letter “ş” which makes an “sh” sound that doesn’t exist in the English alphabet. The easiest way I’ve found people can remember how to pronounce it is “eye-shay.” Kind of like “I say…” but stick an “h” in there.

Growing up, I would have given anything to be a Jennifer or a Sarah, but now I wouldn’t change my name for the world – even if it gets butchered nine times out of 10.

What is one thing from business school that you use every day?

I’ll answer this in two parts: 1) measure what you will use and 2) reward the behavior you are seeking. I’m sure my business professor summarized this much more eloquently, but these principles have stuck with me over the years and the core idea applies to a variety of things.

In a world where we now have the ability to track and measure almost anything, it’s all too easy to go overboard and track all types of data – both data that provides valuable insight and data that just creates noise and dilutes the overall picture. I like to take a step back and think about how I’ll be using the information and the questions I need it to answer. I use that to guide how and what we should measure.

A similar principle is also relevant to employee engagement. It’s important to reward the behaviors you are seeking. For example, in its simplest form, are you looking for quantity or quality. Make sure employee incentive programs, reviews and metrics are actually rewarding and encouraging the outcomes you are seeking.

You used to support international communications efforts for Sierra Nevada Corporation, is there something in particular that stands out?

Given my Turkish background, the opportunities I had to support business growth in Turkey were personally very fulfilling and meaningful for me. It was at that time that I felt my personal life and my professional life collided. My work took me to London to attend the Farnborough Airshow where I had the opportunity to work with industry media from around the globe and Turkey.

Shortly after, I also attended Istanbul Airshow in Turkey, again working very closely with Turkish media. Whether you work in house or at an agency, as communications professionals, we’re often the storytellers of the companies and brands we represent and can recite USPs by heart and redirect to key messages with ease. But there was just something unique about doing this on an international stage and switching between two languages and cultures at a moment’s notice that was truly memorable.

What inspires you?

This one is easy. My family. Everything I do is for my husband and my two girls. I love seeing my daughters grow up with larger-than-life personalities. Most of all, I am captivated by their persistence and love of learning. I loved seeing the excitement and satisfaction in my daughter’s eyes when she conquered riding a two-wheel bike for the first time, the courage and confidence she had after skiing down the hill on her own the first time, or the personal satisfaction she gets from learning new things at school and acing a spelling test. When we’re young, we’re not afraid of failure. If you fall, you dust yourself off and get right back up. Somewhere along the line, as we get older, this fear of failure seems to weigh on us more. And sometimes the fear of failure inhibits us from persisting or even starting at all. My girls are a constant reminder that our work should never be done, there is always a way to be a little better than the day before, and that learning from our failures is just as important as celebrating successes.

And since they are 5 and 6 years old, they also remind me how important it to laugh every day. Every night at dinner, we each go around the table and share two things: the best thing and the funniest thing that happened that day.

What’s your one top-secret guilty pleasure?

Cheez-Its. I hate to admit it but I guess it’s public now. I try to eat healthy most of the time but Cheez-Its are my kryptonite. I think it’s something about the cheddar-y, cheesy, salty crunch. (really, no judging please)

What’s your next race?

My next race is a 10 Miler over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. I’ll be running it with by favorite running partner, my twin sister! This summer I’ll run the Rock Tahoe Half Marathon in June (the views of Lake Tahoe are absolutely stunning) and hope to run the Reno Tahoe Odyssey, a 12 person 178-mile relay across Northern Nevada and California, again. A marathon is on my bucket list… someday.

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