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Anna C. Catalano
Sugar Land, Texas
Independent board director, wife, mother and daughter.
Interests: Leadership in all aspects of life, how people become inspired, and what moves them to action.
Recent Activity
As I sit at my gate today for my first commercial flight in over a year, I'm reflecting on the past year -- a year when we all had to deal with unexpected crisis, losing the freedom to visit with family and friends as we wished, learning to connect with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2021 at Shades of Leadership
I had the pleasure of hosting a virtual event for my college alumni club today. Every summer, at about this time, Joel and I host a pizza party inviting all of the Houston-area freshmen preparing to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to meet one another as they get... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2020 at Shades of Leadership
In conversations this past week, I was asked by three different people, “How are you staying so upbeat and positive with everything going on?” It was an interesting question, and when I was asked for the third time, I realized it was worth thinking about. Life is a challenge these... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2020 at Shades of Leadership
The death of George Floyd has once again brought to light the topic of race, power, and bias in a nation whose strength has been built on peoples of difference. Although focus and protests are mostly around the institution of law enforcement, conversations for many have moved onto the general... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2020 at Shades of Leadership
The pandemic of 2020 will be remembered and studied for generations to come. Long after the political battles are fought and won, historians will study what went right, what went wrong, and who were the heroes and zeroes. As we begin to consider the “when” and “how” of emerging back... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2020 at Shades of Leadership
In the midst of the unsettling world of COVID-19, people are finding themselves in unchartered territory. Restaurants are shuttered, schools are closed, sports and performing arts events have been canceled, and routines once defined by daily human interaction now rely upon technology to stay connected. The term “social distancing” is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2020 at Shades of Leadership
Last month, I completed an incredible week of brain stretching. On September 17-19, we held the annual TWIN Global conference in Chicago, a carefully curated event of 300+ top leaders representing corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, academics, military, and the arts. We gather annually to explore, debate, and dialogue about how to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at Shades of Leadership
It was announced this week that the last of the S&P 500 companies that had an all-male board named its first female director. Although this news might seem ridiculously mundane prompting an “it’s about time” reaction, to many of us who have been pushing for the advancement of women in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2019 at Shades of Leadership
At a recent Texas TriCities NACD peer-to-peer dinner, hosted by Grant Thornton, a group of directors gathered to hear about and reflect on the impact of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. At this year’s event, Grant Thornton organized a curated experience of the massive conference, to help streamline and focus... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2019 at Shades of Leadership
On the eve of International Women's Day, I had the opportunity to speak to the inaugural gathering of HollyFrontier Corporation's WiE event (Women in Energy) at its corporate headquarters in Dallas. A local gathering of over 100 employees, combined with satellite offices connected via technology, resulted in 800+ members of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at Shades of Leadership
I read yesterday that Herb Kelleher passed away. He was founder/leader of Southwest Airlines, and touted as one who redefined the airline industry. He was someone whose leadership style was simple, authentic, and seldom replicated in a world confused by multiple stakeholders, media priorities, and political agendas. Many years ago... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2019 at Shades of Leadership
As a board director for over half of my professional career, I often get called for advice on how to get on a public board. “Can you introduce me to your recruiter friends?” “Which networks should I join to meet the right people?” “Would you look at my resume and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Shades of Leadership
As we near the end of yet another International Women’s Day, I look back on the past year and feel encouraged about the progress that has been made. As someone who has been advocating for the advancement of women in business for over three decades, I have often felt frustrated... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at Shades of Leadership
When I recently prepared to speak to a group of female entrepreneurs on the topic of women in business, I found myself once again pulling out presentations I’ve given over the past 25 years on the topic. Unfortunately, the slides and comments didn’t take long to update as data over... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2017 at Shades of Leadership
My husband and I had the opportunity to tour the National Air Force Museum this week in Dayton, Ohio. It’s an amazing place, with four large buildings containing the history of our nation’s military aviation journey from the Wright Brother’s bi-winged flyer to today’s unmanned drones. We spent over four... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Shades of Leadership
I’ve come across quite a few people lately who are in the midst of making big decisions. Issues around career, family, moving, etc., seem to consume many conversations. Maybe it’s the life stages people are in (although these seem to transcend the generations), and maybe it’s just that we are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at Shades of Leadership
(This was a speech given at Evanston Township High School on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The punctuation was meant to help me with pauses during the delivery, not for grammatical correctness -- so please don't ding me for that! Enjoy!) Congratulations, National Honors Society students of 2017! What an accomplishment... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at Shades of Leadership
I spend a great deal of time working with organizations undergoing significant change. Mergers, acquisitions, and new CEOs, create change in organizations that can be disarming, threatening, and in the worst case, debilitating. In periods of change, leaders are often asked to assume new roles, take on greater scale, and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2017 at Shades of Leadership
One of my earliest leadership lessons came from my father. When I was about 9 years old, I went to work with my dad on a Saturday morning. He was a research chemist, and spent much of his “off time” in the lab. I enjoyed going to work with him... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at Shades of Leadership
The Cubs win…a curse is broken, a goat is laid to rest, an interfering fan is forgiven, and new slogans describing a team need to be created. Those who witnessed Game 7 of the 2016 World Series saw the best baseball game ever played, and watched sports history made. Although... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2016 at Shades of Leadership
I first published this blog post following the events of a church shooting in South Carolina. This week’s events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas, remind me once again that after decades of rhetoric, marches, legislation and educational efforts, our nation continues to be divided by the color of our skin.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at Shades of Leadership
The UK referendum on exiting the EU reminds us that democracy has its advantages and limitations. Although there was an unusual record 70%+ turnout that resulted in a 52% decision to exit the EU, we learn that on the following day, the most searched phrases on the Google in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2016 at Shades of Leadership
I had a wonderful opportunity this week to participate in an event at the Houston Grand Opera. A select group of opera fans were invited to spend an hour sitting with the HGO Orchestra as Artistic Director Patrick Summers walked us through a rehearsal, playing through two pieces from “The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2016 at Shades of Leadership
There are times when I long for the days of getting news only three times a day. First thing in the morning, we’d find out about what happened overnight. In the evening, we’d learn about the news of the day – particularly from overseas after collecting stories during our workday.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2016 at Shades of Leadership
I had breakfast yesterday with four other women -- all of us associated with the same company. Three of us are directors on the board, and the other two were the top two women in the company. We three directors arrived early for a board meeting, and thought it was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2015 at Shades of Leadership