During her final two years of studying towards a B.Sc. in Psychology at the U of C, Cathy volunteered at the Alberta Children’s hospital to gain practical experience. This lead to her first job as Coordinator of Volunteers at ACH and began a career working in the charitable and philanthropic community in Calgary and across the country.
Over twenty years her roles shifted from volunteer management to fund development and then leadership at several social benefit organizations, including the XV Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee. During this time she also completed a MBA in the evening part-time program at the Haskayne School of Business and was an active volunteer with organizations including the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Calgary Police Service and the Alberta Association for Disabled Skiers.
In 2001, Cathy joined Suncor Energy to manage the Suncor Energy Foundation, corporate community investments and, for a period of four years, the Aboriginal and Stakeholder Relations portfolio. Working with an internal board of directors, Cathy and her team granted upwards of $20M annually to charitable initiatives focused on social innovation and community development, leadership in the non-profit sector, energy futures and Indigenous youth. For the later, Cathy was recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. On her retirement in 2017 she was gifted the Blackfoot name Aahpii Pitahgii meaning “White Eagle Woman” by Elder Casey Eaglespeaker, who is also known as Sorrel Horse, of the Kainai First Nation, in front of community and Indigenous leaders from across the country.
Since retiring Cathy has continued her interest in the process of social innovation, reconciliation and philanthropy as Changemaker in Residence in the Institute of Community Prosperity, as an instructor and as an emerging author. She completed a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax in 2020 and has contributed chapters to two textbooks.
Cathy continues to be committed to the Calgary community and to success for young people. She takes her role as an aunt seriously and is unapologetic about spoiling her nieces. Until she can travel again, she is focusing her energy on more creative pursuits, including completing her manuscript.