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Cathy Cate

Douglas Henry State Museum Commission

In 2013, Cathy was part of the team at Lipscomb University that created the first statewide leadership program in Tennessee and was named the program’s Executive Director. Leadership Tennessee fosters
collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance connecting a network of diverse leaders and engaged citizens. In 2015, Cathy successfully created the framework for a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to expand the work of the program to broader audiences and more communities statewide. In addition to the Signature Program, Cathy oversees the community engagement work, including Vote TN and LT NEXT,
traveling the state in an effort to bring collaborative conversations to rural and urban communities statewide.

In 2021, Leadership Tennessee formed as a private, stand-alone 501c3. Cathy oversaw the formation of the non-profit organization and was named President.

Prior to her move to Middle Tennessee in 2011, Cathy served for six years as Executive Director of Leadership Blount County with a focus on educating local leaders on issues affecting Blount County and the East Tennessee region including education, sustained growth, health care and environmental issues.

Cathy has over twenty years of experience with the outdoor, leadership training and development company Mountain Challenge at Maryville College. Cathy’s expertise in developing course outcomes and facilitating groups in ropes course and indoor, leadership exercises has givenher the opportunity to serve a variety of corporate teams including companies
and organizations such as ALCOA, Ruby Tuesday, Inc., Pilot/Flying J, TVA, Clayton Homes, Tennessee Department of Transportation, University of Tennessee, University of Memphis and various youth groups in East Tennessee. Cathy also
served as Assistant Dean of Students at Maryville College in the 1990s and where she developed her passion for teaching and helping groups develop.

Cathy holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in American Studies and a Masters of Science in Higher Education both from the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has spent many years serving as a volunteer and in leadership capacities for organizations such as the Tennessee Association of Community Leadership, East Tennessee Regional Leadership, Family
Promise of Blount County, Junior Service League of Blount County, the Education Foundation for Williamson County, the Tennessee Residence Foundation, Complete Tennessee Steering Committee, Association of Leadership Programs, serving on the national board and as the chair of the 2021 national conference, Tennessee State Parks Conservancy and most recently the American Cancer Society TN Area Board, where she chaired the board development committee.

Cathy and her husband Mark have two daughters - Bailey, a graduate of Rhodes College and currently living in Bonn, Germany and Abbie, a junior at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  Cathy enjoys travel, photography, reading, hiking and training for and running half marathons.