Tower Systems CEO, Kari L. Carlson, interviewed by Women of NATE

September 2, 2021

Kari L. Carlson is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Tower Systems, Inc. with locations in Watertown, South Dakota, Winter Park, Florida and Angle Inlet, Minnesota. She has over 25 years of experience in the tower construction and maintenance industry and is involved in all the day to day operations of running a successful corporation and demonstrates a passion to conduct business with fairness and integrity. She holds a General Contracting License for the State of Florida as well as several other states and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. In 2008 Kari was elected by her industry peers to the NATE Board of Directors where she served as Secretary/Treasurer until 2017. Kari also served as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Tower Industry Family Support Charitable Foundation from 2014-2018.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I have been selected three times to be a horseback rider in South Dakota’s Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup. I participated each time with my Tried and Trued Buffalo Horse, Kodytoad! #BestHorseEver

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? 

  1. Its ok to be friends with your competitors. Though my Dad was my #1 mentor, I have had many others over the years that own competing companies and their guidance and friendship have helped to shape me into the leader that I am today.
  2. In order to be successful, it’s important to surround yourself with good, honest people that share similar goals and objectives.
  3. Stand up to bullies!  

What does true leadership mean to you?

Provide guidance, direction and mentorship to your team then let them execute the plan.

What is the first concert you attended?

John Cougar…before he became John Mellencamp.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? 

Is this a trick question? LOL. Spending time with my horses is a true joy.

What are some causes you care about?

Wounded Warriors, Honor Flight, Folds of Honor and anything that honors and supports our Servicemembers and Veterans!

What can you simply not resist? 

A hug from my Mom!

Are you inspired, motivated and involved?

Of Course.

What are you surprisingly good at?

Interior Design.

Motto or personal mantra?

If you climb in the saddle be ready for the ride!

How did you first learn about Tower Systems?

This is an easy one… I was born into it.

What do you find the most challenging at Tower Systems?

Finding enough skilled candidates to support our growing company.

What has been your favorite project at Tower Systems?

Any project that included Tim Brown, aka my retired work husband (he was also the first ever recipient of the NATE Outstanding Heights Award). He taught me A LOT!!!

Any favorite line from a movie?

Dracarys! (Queen Daenerys Targaryen, G.O.T.).

Best vacation you’ve been to?

Glamping with Jason at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana.

Favorite travel spot?

The Northwest Angle (Angle Inlet, MN).

To view the article as it appeared in the Women of Nate newsletter, please click here.

 

 

 

Tower Systems CEO, Kari L. Carlson, interviewed by Women of NATE

Kari L. Carlson is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Tower Systems, Inc. with locations in Watertown, South Dakota, Winter Park, Florida and Angle Inlet, Minnesota. She has over 25 years of experience in the tower construction and maintenance industry and is involved in all the day to day operations of running a successful corporation and demonstrates a passion to conduct business with fairness and integrity. She holds a General Contracting License for the State of Florida as well as several other states and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. In 2008 Kari was elected by her industry peers to the NATE Board of Directors where she served as Secretary/Treasurer until 2017. Kari also served as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Tower Industry Family Support Charitable Foundation from 2014-2018.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I have been selected three times to be a horseback rider in South Dakota’s Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup. I participated each time with my Tried and Trued Buffalo Horse, Kodytoad! #BestHorseEver

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? 

  1. Its ok to be friends with your competitors. Though my Dad was my #1 mentor, I have had many others over the years that own competing companies and their guidance and friendship have helped to shape me into the leader that I am today.
  2. In order to be successful, it’s important to surround yourself with good, honest people that share similar goals and objectives.
  3. Stand up to bullies!  

What does true leadership mean to you?

Provide guidance, direction and mentorship to your team then let them execute the plan.

What is the first concert you attended?

John Cougar…before he became John Mellencamp.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? 

Is this a trick question? LOL. Spending time with my horses is a true joy.

What are some causes you care about?

Wounded Warriors, Honor Flight, Folds of Honor and anything that honors and supports our Servicemembers and Veterans!

What can you simply not resist? 

A hug from my Mom!

Are you inspired, motivated and involved?

Of Course.

What are you surprisingly good at?

Interior Design.

Motto or personal mantra?

If you climb in the saddle be ready for the ride!

How did you first learn about Tower Systems?

This is an easy one… I was born into it.

What do you find the most challenging at Tower Systems?

Finding enough skilled candidates to support our growing company.

What has been your favorite project at Tower Systems?

Any project that included Tim Brown, aka my retired work husband (he was also the first ever recipient of the NATE Outstanding Heights Award). He taught me A LOT!!!

Any favorite line from a movie?

Dracarys! (Queen Daenerys Targaryen, G.O.T.).

Best vacation you’ve been to?

Glamping with Jason at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana.

Favorite travel spot?

The Northwest Angle (Angle Inlet, MN).

To view the article as it appeared in the Women of Nate newsletter, please click here.