What about your work, company or role makes you most proud?
I love guiding leaders to build their self-awareness and discover new tools, insights, and resources to help them modify their behavior and grow professionally.
What is your favorite binge-worthy show or podcast?
I am not a binge show watcher or much of a podcast listener. I prefer to read, but lately I have enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown and The Morning Show series. In addition, a couple of shows I find relaxing are This Is Us and The Good Doctor.
What was your first job? What lesson did you learn that you will carry with you?
In my first job at 16, I was a salesclerk at a local camera store where I sold Kodak Instamatic cameras and managed orders for film processing. From that role, I learned about customer service, a key lesson in life in terms of how to treat others and what level of support to expect. My first job out of college was a systems analyst role at AT&T. In my 28-year career at AT&T in a variety of functional roles such as Operations, Technology, Corporate Strategy and Finance, I learned the value of developing a broad set of skills and experiences.
Who was the best boss you ever had and why?
The best boss I had was the Vice President of sales and operations for a mid-market business unit at AT&T. She had a hands-off and very supportive management style allowing me to creatively build new processes and systems which created a career path to an executive role.
Can you share a time when you had to reinvent yourself, your product/service or your brand?
Following my career at AT&T, I had a couple of nonprofit executive roles in the education industry and then found myself out of a job during the financial crisis. After all the doors closed during my job search, I realized that my passion was to be an independent consultant. It then became apparent that if I wanted to build a consulting practice, I had to reinvent myself, create my own service and brand and focus on growing my network.
What’s your best “work from home” life hack?
I discovered that identifying the door to which the keys my key chain belonged by applying bright colored nail polish saved me time when returning home from daily walks.
What drew you to Chicago as a business or personal home?
I was born in Chicago and raised my daughter and son in the city. My children along with their spouses and 4 children now live in the suburbs, but I have remained a “city girl”. I love Chicago, and I am proud to call it my home personally and professionally.
Among the people you work with, who inspires you and why?
My clients inspire me. As they encounter challenges that may be new to me, I am inspired to seek out resources and acquire the knowledge I need to guide them in overcoming the barriers to their success.
Cathy reminds us of the value of mentorship and the great reward in helping others flourish in their careers and lives. We would love to hear from you and highlight your achievements and tips in our member spotlight. To be featured or to recommend another member of The Executives’ Club to share a spotlight, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org