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Anna C. Catalano
Fulshear, 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
The recent news about the Harrison Butker commencement speech at Benedictine College has caused an uproar in the popular press. My inbox has been blowing up from people who know me as an avid Chiefs fan and a professional woman, asking me how incensed I must be that “Butker is... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Shades of Leadership
This week I had the opportunity once again to attend the annual 2023 NACD Summit in Washington, D.C. It’s something I attend every year, schedule permitting, to learn from amazing plenary and breakout speakers, reconnect with colleagues, meet new directors, and speak to aspiring directors who will sit in boardrooms... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2023 at Shades of Leadership
I recently had the pleasure of moderating a fireside chat with Toby Redshaw on an NACD Philadelphia Chapter program entitled, “The Acceleration of Tech and its Impact on the Board”. The topic of technology has been in the boardroom throughout my 20+ year tenure as a director. What started as... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2023 at Shades of Leadership
I had a wonderful reunion last evening in Honolulu visiting a former colleague with whom I worked in China almost three decades ago. At the time we had just completed negotiating a joint venture in the PRC, and I needed to identify someone who could work with the JV partner... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2023 at Shades of Leadership
I recently stepped off from a large public board. Some question my judgement – after all, getting on a board is something so many are trying to do. Why would I ever decide to exit voluntarily? The answer is simple: I’d been a director on the board for 16 years,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2022 at Shades of Leadership
The cleanest state you’ll ever find my house is on the day before I leave on a business trip. On that day, you’ll find me emptying out the laundry bins by working the washer/dryer all day, vacuuming the floors from grass clippings and leaves that the dogs have brought in,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2022 at Shades of Leadership
I recently went through a box of keepsakes from our storage unit. The box was one I had forgotten about – one of those things I’d been comfortable doing without, but once opened, transported me back to a time in my life I’d missed for decades. I found my old... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2022 at Shades of Leadership
In May 2021, Anthony Klotz, Associate Professor of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M coined the phrase “The Great Resignation”, speaking of the unprecedented number of resignations due to the impact of COVID-19. An article published by Harvard Business Review cited that approximately 4 million Americans -- primarily mid-career... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2022 at Shades of Leadership
As we usher in yet another New Year, a story hits the airwaves this week that causes me to believe that 2022 should be a year dedicated to seeking courage in the boardroom. We have spent a great deal of time in recent years talking about the importance of empathy,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2022 at Shades of Leadership
Written for NACD BoardTalk, July 14, 2021: Investors Have Spoken: What Can We Learn About ESG from the 2021 Proxy Season? The 2021 proxy season marked the apex of a tumultuous year in which companies tackled pandemic mitigation, work-from-home environments, and urgent conversations around racial inequity and the climate crisis—meaning... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2021 at Shades of Leadership
In 2018, I published a blog entitled, “Shortcuts to Board Leadership” as I was getting quite a few requests (and still do) about how to accelerate one’s journey to board service, particularly in the private/public company sector. I’ve shared it with numerous people who have hopefully gleaned some insight from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2021 at Shades of Leadership
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