Catherine Stern, husband Mike and daughter Gabi before social distancing! We welcomed Catherine as our newest member of our staff in March, just as we were all starting to work from home.
Hello, I’m Catherine Stern and I’m elated to be the newest member at the Community Foundation. My position as administrative associate mainly supports the community engagement team as well as assists with some marketing and communications functions.
I feel blessed to be part of this dynamic organization doing essential work in our community now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. It truly has been an adventure like no other, joining a new organization in a situation where I had two days onsite, personally met only five people, and then hit the ground running remotely.
My word for 2020 has become “pivot,” which is an opportunity for growth outside of my comfort zone of being a planner. Gone are the days of a set schedule and security of many other things; however, I quickly learned that I was not alone in this new normal journey. I’ve been able to reach out and work with many of the expanded team in different ways, much more transparent and direct than it would have been if in the office, allowing me a personal view of their much-valued roles.
The Community Foundation is the definition of servant leadership from each individual to the organization as a whole. The culture I have experienced from day one through month one has continued to be open, welcoming, and full of grace.
One of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa is, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” Those at the Community Foundation reflect this internally and externally! I cannot wait to meet everyone in person and am so grateful for technology affording an immediate virtual connection. We are stronger together while apart!
My career background has offered me a wide variety of opportunities. I am a split-brain creative which means I enjoy design work as much as I love analytical tasks. After earning my degree in graphic communications, I’ve worked for some fantastic companies designing ads, social media, catalogs, crafting kits, greeting cards, and much, much more. I have owned a design consultancy business since 2001 and have had the pleasure to do creative work for many local and national companies.
The analytical side of my brain received a true workout as assistant director of Housing at Lawrence University, managing 1,500 student housing assignments and meal plans. My favorite part of my last position was pairing the incoming students together as roommates. It was like completing a huge puzzle!
I have held an active Wisconsin Real Estate License since 2005, do professional organizing on the side, and enjoy all aspects of interior design. My husband Mike and I look forward to the Parade of Homes twice a year as he is marketing director for a boutique real estate firm in De Pere.
We’ll celebrate 16 years of marriage this September, and our greatest work of art is our daughter Gabrielle (Gabi – she truly lives up to her namesake and we love all the chatty moments we share). She turned 13 this year celebrating “quaranTEEN-style,” and is the girl that adds color to our world through her voracious love of reading, piano and flute talent, lacrosse involvement, and her sunny personality. We re-homed a Yorkshire Terrier named Gus two years ago, and he’s been a happy addition to our little family.
In my free time, I love to read, do creative projects, and am obsessed with Pinterest, the Eiffel Tower, and Disney. Coffee is my favorite hug in a mug, summer is my season, and I’m always up for a tennis match. I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and learning their stories – everyone has a story!
I look forward to hearing many of the heartwarming stories of donors, recipients, and community members through the work at the Community Foundation and am so grateful the Community Foundation has invited me to be part of their family.