Catching Up With…Katie Bratcher Rhine

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, October 30, 2021

After having spent nine years working in Florida with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Katie Bratcher Rhine has moved on to overseeing a team responsible for the e-commerce 34 resorts in North America.

Rhine, a 2008 Longwood University graduate, is currently living and working in Denver, Colorado as the Senior Manager of Digital Operations for Vail Resorts.

“I shifted to ski resorts from the theme park industry,” Rhine said. “I oversee a team of website subject-matter-experts that support website infrastructure and e-commerce.”

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Rhine has also taken on a new business ad-venture with her husband of 10 years, Jason.

“With my husband’s support, we’ve been able to build my side hustle: Muddy Pup Pottery, a small pottery shop on Etsy,” she said. “I still enjoy making pottery in my spare time, and I’ve been able to build a home studio where I can make and fire my own clay.”

At Longwood, Rhine pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts focusing in ceramics, and then went on to graduated from West Virginia University in 2017 with a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications.

While growing up in the Farmville area, Rhine says she developed fond memories of exploring a mostly untouched forest owned by her parents and being in touch with nature.

“I have, as I grew older, I realized that Farmville and the surrounding area has a beautiful relationship with the terrain and the history of the area,” Rhine said. “I’m a huge fan of the local state parks, including High Bridge Trail, Twin Lakes and Holliday Lake.”

When it comes to what she misses the most about the area, Rhine said she wished her daughter could experience the same pure and authentic summer camp experience that she did while working summers at Holliday Lake 4-H Educational Center in Appomattox.

During her time in the area, Rhine said she had a lot of people in her life that impacted her growth in many ways.

“At a young age, my parents created a platform for me to explore my individuality and self-expression,” she said. “During those pivotal years, my mom taught me how to em-brace my creativity, my dad taught me about integrity and hard work, and my step-mom taught me to pursue my aspirations regardless of the hurdles.”

Throughout her career, Rhine has had help along the way as well.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have many leaders see my potential, help highlight my strengths and encourage my own professional growth,” Rhine said. “I’ve learned countless lessons from mentors, peers and employees, many of whom I have the pleasure of continuing life-long friendships with.”

Who she is today and the success that she continues to achieve, Rhine says, she owes to her family.

“I have to attribute much of who I am today to my husband and daughter,” she added. “My husband and I recently celebrated 10 years of marriage, and we’ve reflected on the challenges, joys and opportunities we’ve sup-ported each other through. I’m lucky to have found a partner that is patient, rational and kind and is hugely supportive of my career, hobbies and personal interests.”

With both her adventurous and creative side, Rhine does not wait for someone to hand her an opportunity.

“I find those good things come to those who make it happen,” she said. “I’ve learned through both my experience and the experiences of others that if a situation is not to my liking, I have the power to change it. Even when a challenge feels insurmountable at the moment, I’ve learned to trust that I or my partner at home or my team at work will find a solution and overcome the challenge.”