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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 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
The recent events of South Carolina remind us once again that after decades of rhetoric, marches, legislation and educational efforts, our nation continues to be divided by the color of our skin. America, founded on a vision of freedom and opportunity, is once again portrayed as a land of hatred... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Shades of Leadership
Some of our earliest and most valuable leadership lessons come even before we really know what the word means. Lessons that our mothers teach us can often be minimized by seemingly more important business school courses, buzz-words and flavor-of-the-month programs introduced by human resource consultants, and the latest list of... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at Shades of Leadership
Every March for the past 35 years, we celebrate the impact that women have in America during Women’s History Month. As we take pride in progress made, we realize that the pace of change is slow. Recent studies show that women still earn only 78% of what men are paid... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at Shades of Leadership
I didn’t know what else to title this, because it’s so very basic. I heard a story today that reminds me of the importance of just not being rude. The story goes something like this: A hard-working college student has been told that he’s a candidate for a very sought-after... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at Shades of Leadership
I had the pleasure of speaking this morning at the HR Leadership Summit in Houston. The topic was “Engaging HR with the board of directors”, and the audience was very engaged. It’s a topic I’ve spoken around quite a bit, but never directly about. Therefore, preparing for the event was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at Shades of Leadership
The recent comments made by PepsiCo CEO, Indra K Nooyi, have once again fueled the debate on the topic of whether women can “have it all”; attain a high level of corporate success while enjoying a happy home life. As countless numbers of career women, who invested thousands of dollars... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at Shades of Leadership
I remember where I was 25 years ago today on June 4th. Driving from Chicago to a business meeting in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, I heard the news on the radio. I even remember the bend in the road where I pulled off to call home. My immigrant father from China... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at Shades of Leadership
Today is Mother’s Day, the one day we set aside each year to honor the most important person in our lives. Mothers are essential in our development as leaders, and as I look back on my childhood, I realize that things my mother taught me are among the most important... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2014 at Shades of Leadership
It is so disappointing to hear that the 2014 Coca-Cola Super Bowl advertisement, “It’s Beautiful”, has ignited a wave of criticism about having diversity “crammed down our throats” by a corporation. Give me a break, folks, it was an advertisement. Symbolism. It wasn’t a congressional proposal to re-write the National... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Shades of Leadership
The holidays are upon us. For many people, this is the happiest time of the year. Families and friends gather, eat great (and lots of) food, celebrate traditions, and catch up on the annual news. But for those suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia, this can actually be a very stressful... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2013 at Shades of Leadership
When I entered the full-time work force back in 1982 there was a strong belief that a big part of “success” was measured by how many years a person stayed with one company. Receiving the 25 or 30-year anniversary watch was considered an incredible symbol of accomplishment, and very few... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2013 at Shades of Leadership