College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Photo: Centennial Campaign

Development Office

2019 Business Instructional Facility
515 East Gregory Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217.333.6434
Contact us via email

Profiles in Leadership

Anna Catalano '82, Business Administration

1. What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced thus far as a successful woman in the corporate world?

The greatest challenge I faced while working in the corporate world was having people make assumptions about what I wanted out of my life and career. For example when I was expecting my first child, there were some who thought I would no longer be interested in an international assignment, and almost took me off the list for consideration! I had to be very proactive in letting people know what my priorities were, and how hard I was willing to work in order to be considered for the same opportunities.

2. Why is philanthropy important to you?

Philanthropy has always been important to be because I feel as though I have been fortunate in my life in ways I could never have imagined.  Giving to others is a way to share my blessings with others.  I also believe that true success in life is more about how you help others achieve rather than what you achieve for yourself.

3. What other organizations are you involved with?

I currently serve as a director on the boards of three corporations, and work an active schedule in advising and speaking. Outside of those “for profit” activities, I am an active parent at my children’s schools, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I am also an active participant in the local Alzheimer’s support group in Sugar Land, Texas.

4. Do you have any expert advice for other women who are currently in the process of trying to advance their career in business?

Listen to your inner voice and decide on what is important in your life.  Have a clear understanding of what you do well, and what skills you need to complement your capabilities.  Ask for help and advice from people you admire, and finally, define your own style of leadership that comes naturally for you!

5. List some of your credentials to date.


UIUC College of Business