Married to Mark Cate - 15 years in August; two daughters: Bailey, 10 and Abbie, 7.
Occupation: Executive Director of Leadership Blount since May, 2004.
Leadership Blount Executive Director Cathy Cate has a job that each year allows her to see different people going through similar challenges and growing as individuals and as a group. The Leadership Blount experience allows a group of individuals to come together to learn about the leadership and the opportunities they have to serve in the community. “The fact that every class is very different, and they take on a totally different personality is fun to watch,” Cate says.
Here is Cathy Cate:
What was your first paying job?
“I was a lifeguard and taught swim lessons at Green Meadow Country Club - the perfect job for a teenage girl.”
What are you guilty of?
“Worrying about things I have no control over and eating too many sweets, procrastinating - and feeling guilty.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“Live in another country. Even if it’s just for a few months, I’d like to truly experience another culture.”
Do you think there is life on other planets?
“Yes. It’s hard to imagine that God, in all His infinite wisdom and power, created life only on Earth.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“Family pictures. I take a lot of pictures and have many albums and boxes full of family history. It would be so hard to replace those and recapture those memories.”
What are you reading currently?
“I’m guilty of reading several books at the same time and taking too long to finish them. Right now I’m reading a novel, ‘All Saints;’ a Bible study group book, ‘The Spirit Filled Life;’ and a book about getting our kids back into nature, ‘Last Child in the Woods.’”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“John F. Kennedy. I think some of the issues he faced as President, such as racism, equality, poverty, were and continue to be some of the defining issues of our country.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I’m a klutz. It’s not unusual for me to trip over the carpet or sidewalk. I’ve walked into a couple of sliding glass doors and once, as a cheerleader at Maryville Junior High, I did a beautiful toe touch and fell right on my backside in front of the home crowd.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Stable. I think that sounds very boring, but I guess the alternative could be much worse. I try to remain calm about most things and not get too flustered - or at least not show it.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I seriously thought professional swimming was an option. After I figured out that career wasn’t very lucrative, or even real, I wanted to be a doctor - that lasted until my first chemistry class at UT.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would spend more time just playing with my kids and less time worrying about what to cook for dinner, laundry and things that don’t matter. And I’d like to be about 2 inches taller.”
What is your passion?
“My family. Even at the lowest times, I admit that there’s no place I’d rather be than with my husband and daughters.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My father passed away after a very short illness three years ago. I’d like to have a long lunch with him, on a boat, and really talk to him like I used to as a kid.”
What do you hate?
“People using others for personal gain. I also have a true aversion to caterpillars…something about their feet freaks me out.”
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“ ‘The Sound of Music.’ I have many fond memories of my mom, sister and me watching that movie once every year. ”
Would you travel in space?
“I’d like to, but the idea of being trapped in a confined area, wearing the same clothes for days and floating at all times makes me a little nauseous.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“Early 1940s. Pictures I’ve seen of my grandparents during that time seem so glamorous. Even with all the turmoil in the world around them, the attitude of the country seemed upbeat and pure.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“Growing up, I wanted to be Trixie Belden: Girl Detective. She was a kind of like Nancy Drew, but cooler, and seemed to always be in the right place at the right time for adventure.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“After our second daughter was born, my husband gave me a pair of diamond earrings - one for each girl. I haven’t taken those earrings off in 7 years and still think it was a very sweet, thoughtful gift to mark such an important occasion.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Something along the lines of, ‘Act like somebody.’ I think she meant that no matter what the circumstances, you should act with self-respect and grace.”
Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“Yes, for chewing gum at Maryville Junior High. I’m not certain the punishment fit the crime.”
Who is your hero?
“My brother. He is serving in Afghanistan with the Army Medical Corps and until he was deployed, I didn’t think seriously about what a sacrifice he and all the other men and women serving are making to protect me and my family.”
What was your first car?
“A white Pontiac Sunbird with red cloth interior. A friend described it as red velvet cake.”
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“Depends on the glass and what’s in it.”