It’s not often I write about a person unless they’ve been indicted or they’re a freak with the last name Kardashian.
But today is different.
Today, Catherine Shafer is receiving the 2011 ATHENA Award in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The ATHENA Award “honor(s) exceptional woman leaders who demonstrate the highest level of professional excellence in their business or profession, has devoted time and energy to the community in a meaningful way, and most especially, has generously assisted women in attaining their full potential.”
Catherine is the owner of the ad agency, CDS Creative, and is the person I refer to as “the patron saint of non-profits.” I first met Catherine when I worked at Commonwealth Telephone Company in the 90’s and she came to us looking to have websites built for her clients. I remember going to our first meeting at her office in Forty Fort where the centerpiece of the place was a giant slide that connected the first floor to the second. Since that first meeting, we have remained close friends and has presented at several eCommerce Boot Camps that I put on and has been around to celebrate milestones in my own career.
Always full of life and packed with more energy than a can of Red Bull, Catherine has devoted much of her life’s work to helping out non-profit organizations – most of it on her own dime. One of her biggest achievements was bringing the Create-A-Thon concept to northeast PA. Two years ago I was part of this mind-blowing event where Catherine assembles a team of designers, programmers and marketing geniuses and for 24 hours straight builds websites, develops print campaigns, creates logos and entire marketing plans for select non-profits who apply for help. Last year alone, over $50,000 in work was done for free during Create-A-Thon.
In addition to Create-A-Thon, she volunteers her time with the Girl Scouts, and “serves on the board for several organizations including the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre, where she also provides marketing mentoring services, Volunteers of America, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and Catherine McCauley House. She is a Member of Circle 200, a regional organization for Executive Women, the American Marketing Association, the Society of Fundraising Professionals, NEPA, and the Nonprofit & Community Assistance Center. Additionally, she is a teacher in Communications and Marketing at Misericordia University and considers it a mission to mentor entrepreneurs working to grow a business here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
Although I’m not able to attend the luncheon honoring Catherine today, I’ll be there in spirit as she accepts this award honoring her achievements and contributions she’s made to many organizations over the years.
Congratulations Catherine! If anyone deserves it, you do!
I just hope you’re wearing a pair of funky socks.