Manulife Financial Outstanding Achievement Award - 2009
Vice President, Operations, York University Foundation
Like a devoted distance runner, Cathy’s career in university advancement displays the qualities of focus, commitment and dedication. Her 20 year career furthering the academic and research priorities of Queen’s University, the University of Toronto and York University is full of instances of building innovative systems, teams and best practices all for the long-term benefit of the institutions she serves.
At Queen’s, where she graduated with a degree in Politics, Cathy moved into fundraising during the Queen’s Challenge campaign. Then, as manager of capital projects she led a new faculty development model resulting in the launch of four targeted capital campaigns with combined goals of $46 million.
Cathy joined Toronto as a senior development officer and then moved to planned gifts. She took on the role of associate director, strategic planning and advancement services creating the first such department at the University. While supporting UofT’s $1 billion campaign, she led the team that implemented a custom-developed database which included the rationalization of several databases from across the university.
In 2002 Cathy moved to the York University Foundation as vice-president, operations. She was the first employee hired by president and CEO, Paul Marcus and has helped create the foundation from scratch. Today Cathy’s team is responsible for a wide number of program, operational and support areas and has played a key role supporting York University’s 50th anniversary fundraising campaign, York to the Power of 50.
Cathy and her teams at UofT and York have been recognized with numerous CCAE, CAUBO and CASE awards over the years.
Among all these challenges, Cathy still saves her best energies for her role as the only woman in the house full of men that she shares with her husband John Lynch and her two sons Conor, (11) and Liam (8).
Click here to read Cathy's acceptance speech.