Kate Ertmann

Portland, Oregon, United States

Animation Executive Producer

Animation Dynamics, Inc.

Every day I get to dance back and forth between my nerdy side and my creative side. I've been able to create a position where I very rarely do things I don’t like to do, and get to do a lot of what I do like to do.

Animation Dynamics, Inc. (ADi) provides our business clients 3D animation services that give a visual to a complicated process, an internal structure or a future product that is only an idea on paper. We're a team of ten people who embrace bringing efficiency to our clients’ communication challenges.

I can say I never dreamed of being an entrepreneur, or really working in the animation business, but I wouldn’t change anything.

Here’s just a bit of what we may cover in our PivotPlanet sessions:
• Insights on the future of 3D technology and applications
• How to work with animators and other creative people - and make a profit
• The priorities in running a business in a young industry
• The “dance” of playing to your strengths vs playing to your passion vs playing to your responsibilities
• Employee retention outside of amount of salary
• Best-known methods in team communication
• And anything else you want to ask about the profession I love!


I grew up in the production business as a professional child actor in New York. I was in many commercials, soap operas and on Broadway. I decided to get my degree in radio/ television broadcasting. But five years after graduation, I started working with animators. When I really thought about what could be done in this computer-generated world, I knew that was the direction I needed to go.

As owner, president and executive producer of ADi since 2000, I spend a lot of time emphasizing the importance of communication, building trust, holding each other accountable within our team and spreading that out to our partners and clients. We have long-term relationships with our clients. I don't have a business degree, but I run all the operations of the company, and have learned the importance of knowing my cash flow, forecasting and all related aspects of bookkeeping. I'm in charge of strategy and company vision and bring that knowledge to supporting business development.

ADi has won many national design, interactive, marketing, advertising and, of course, animation awards over our 15 plus year history -- including a regional Emmy award. I've been speaking at conferences and in classrooms for the past few years, most recently focusing on our newest service, creating Ethnographic Animations.

I love to speak about leadership and the role of women in technology and design. I was one of the founders of the Portland Women in Animation chapter, and in 2011 I won a Business Journal award for being one of the Top 20 Most Influential Women in Business in Portland.

The animation business is still a young industry with lots of growth potential. I’ve learned a lot so I like to share the knowledge I have gained in this industry with my Pivot Planet clients. This is a great industry to work in if you feel you can excel in the business side of creativity. I look forward to advising you!