My Deloitte story
Katy Hollister, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer for Deloitte Tax LLP
In 1984, Katy Hollister graduated from law school and launched a career at Deloitte Haskins and Sells. Today, she is the Chief Strategy Officer for Deloitte Tax LLP and she leads the US Business Tax practice. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for both Deloitte LLP (US board) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (global board). Along the way, she has been a pioneer for workplace flexibility and, in 1995, was the first partner admitted while on a reduced work schedule.
When did you start your career at Deloitte?
I've been at Deloitte since 1984. I have always been in tax and always lived in Cincinnati, although I've had many opportunities to shift around what I do and where I do it. Currently, I'm a partner of Deloitte Tax where I am the Chief Strategy Officer and I lead our U.S. Business Tax service line. It's the largest and most mature service line in the tax practice, with the majority of lead tax partners and about 4,500 professionals located in the India and U.S. offices. Twenty-nine years with Deloitte is quite a milestone.
What is it that has kept you with the organization and growing in your career?
There is a tagline hanging on the walls at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas. It is "Where leaders thrive and ideas prosper." There is constant availability of opportunities to grow and change as an individual, personally and professionally. Change for me is like oxygen, and I need a lot of stimulus and challenge. Deloitte is a place where if you need, want, and are looking for that change, stimulation, and challenge, it's available. If you are the kind of person looking for an organization with this commitment to building leaders and to innovation and opportunity, Deloitte has to be it.
On what types of tax projects do you believe you've been able to deliver the most value and your best work?
The projects where I am operating just a tad outside—or maybe a lot outside—my comfort zone have probably most positively impacted my career. I like that feeling of being out on the limb a little bit, and by nature, I'm a builder. I like starting with a clean sheet of paper or taking something that already exists and thinking about where it could go. Complicated projects, like those that involve cultural change over longer periods of time or things you can't get done with the flip of a switch are the projects I gravitate toward.
What do you most enjoy about working at Deloitte?
This is a people job, and there is a very strong culture at Deloitte built on a set of seven core beliefs. What the organization offers to the marketplace is encompassed in the people it employs. Deloitte is big, but the culture is consensus-driven, team-think driven. People at all levels are respectful of others' opinions, and that leads into an appreciation for diversity and inclusion and recognition, which is recognized as a core strength and contributor to business value. I get a real charge out of working in teams with people from many backgrounds, whose strengths and passions complement my own. Defining myself by the impact I can have on my organization, clients, and team, and working with them to solve problems, expand their horizons, drive their careers, and access new opportunities is what I enjoy doing every day.
What would you say has been the ultimate highlight of your career so far?
It would be the opportunity to serve on the Deloitte LLP (U.S.) and the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (global) boards; without a doubt. I've had an opportunity to make a contribution to the governance of each organization, and in return, I've gotten back so much learning and development about how a large organization maneuvers through change, takes advantage of growth, maintains its culture, aligns its businesses, and pulls together. It has been absolutely fascinating to watch how all this happens—an absolutely phenomenal experience.