Have Your CAEK
Have Your CAEK: Katie Lay | Chief Executive Officer | CAEK
By: Kylie Rowe | Britton Griffith Douglass
Kylie Rowe is the Vice President of Corporate Relocation at Dickson Realty, an ambassador for Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe.
Britton Griffith Douglass is Vice President for Reno Engineering, A Development Services Company.
Katie Lay of CAEK, moved to Reno on purpose. They were looking to relocate their headquarters from Fayetteville, Arkansas. While touring other cities they also considered the Bay Area, Southern California, Seattle and Salt Lake City. After an eight month search, they narrowed in on Reno for several reasons: the ease of travel through the Reno-Tahoe Airport; their company can make a positive effect on the growth in this community; and Reno is tax-friendly for their business and employees.
CAEK is a true treasure to have in the heart of downtown Reno. This software as a service, cloud-based HIPPA compliance company for healthcare is not only the tech savvy industry we are striving to attract, they are founded by four women. Established in 2013 with three sisters and Katie Lay, who is now the fourth sister by choice, Catherine, Anna, Elizabeth & Katie make up ‘CAEK’ and they embody the American dream and new Biggest Little City; they see their culture and company as a small business but with big goals and a huge impact on our economy.
Female-founded tech companies represent three percent of technology businesses across the nation. Being based out of Reno in a community of our size is attractive to companies like CAEK. “Reno really does have a small-town feel,” said Katie Lay, Chief Executive Officer. “You don’t get lost here.” In fact, a rare company like CAEK will stand out and draw positive attention to Reno, an impact CAEK reports as a top reason for their choice to relocate here.
Beyond the business reasons, Katie Lay described how wonderful it is to live in a place that embraces community. She moved with no personal expectations and fell in love with the people. Early on, she was welcomed into a group that taught her how to ski and to Katie’s surprise, she is already a fanatic. It’s been eye opening to find Reno as her home and realize how important it will be for the 70 employees CAEK will attract in the next year to find a support system and make this place their own.
Katie believes that what makes their company ‘blissful’ is the team. Being an entrepreneur is a difficult title to hold; moving your company across the United States has an entirely new set of challenges. In the days that seem like there are more obstacles than blue skies, you need to be surrounded with good people who will walk through the trenches together.
CAEK values their employees, their relationships and understanding the balance of growth, corporate change and being family-friendly. There is a support aspect in regards to the collision of your home life and work life. With three of the four founders being mothers, CAEK recognizes being a strong female business leader doesn’t mean you cannot balance being a mom as well; making expectations realistic help their team to expand and create a culture that allows focus on personal passions and career goals.
In other words, you can indeed have your CAEK… and eat it too.