Career Day Speakers

Each spring, St. Catherine's welcomes back a group of incredible alumnae to talk with Upper School students about their careers. Students attend multiple sessions throughout the day, which serves as the kickoff to Reunion Weekend. if you are interested in being a speaker for 2018, please contact Laura Birdsey. See below for the bios of the 2017 participants.


Susan Christian Coogan '72
Assistant Director, Major Gifts, Darden School of Business, UVA, Charlottesville, Va.

Susan enjoyed a 15-year career in finance (corporate lending, investment banking and Assistant to the Chair of a major corporation) in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles prior to returning to Richmond with her family. Since moving to Richmond, Susan has worked in philanthropy for 25 years as both a professional and volunteer for various non-profits.  She has been a donor, a fundraiser and experienced philanthropy from a broad range of perspectives.  In addition to her current position at Darden where she is also an alumna, Susan has worked in advancement or been a volunteer fundraiser and/or board member for The Richmond Ballet, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, St. Catherine’s School, Theatre Rep and St. James’s Episcopal Church.  

Mary K. Martin ’82
Criminal Defense Lawyer, Richmond, Va.

Mary K. Martin is a trusted lawyer across the central Virginia area, where she has practiced for over 20 years. Mary K is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Washington and Lee University, School of Law in 1991.  Mary K. has always been a criminal defense attorney - beginning her career as a public defender before jumping into private practice and her own law firm.  She is a trusted figure for her clients charged with all manner of felonies, misdemeanor and traffic offenses and.  Mary K has dedicated herself and her firm to the principles of trust, hard work and expertise.

Annette Williamson McLaughlin ’82
Founder Career Coach- 360, Harrison, NY

Annette Williamson McLaughlin ’82 is an experienced career coach, learning professional and human resources strategist.  In 2013 she founded Career Coach - 360 which received the 2014 New York State Small Business Development Corporation’s Phoenix Award. Career Coach – 360 focuses on elevating people and organizations to the next level through three service lines: training, coaching and consulting.  Prior to starting her own firm, she has worked in a myriad of roles both domestically and in Japan including, VP of Talent and created Career Advisors, the Outplacement and Coaching Division, for The Response Company; Program Director for a Master’s of Science in Human Resource Management and Organizational Effectiveness at Columbia University;Partnership Director at Goldman Sachs.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Gilling’s School of Public Health and holds an MBA in Personnel and Employee Relations from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson’s School of Business.  She is an active community volunteer for education, health, art, environmental and technology initiatives that focus on her personal mission “to educate, encourage and empower anyone to hear options, feel valued and see a better future”.
Ronda Lawrence Bernstein ’87
Historical Consultant, Washington, D.C.

Ronda Bernstein came to St. Catherine's as a boarder from Memphis, Tenn. She attended Vanderbilt University where she received her B.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She worked as a structural engineer for Bechtel Corporation for three years before returning to school to obtain her M. Arch from Catholic University. It was there that she was introduced to and fell in love with the historic preservation field. Upon completing graduate school, Ronda had a NCPE internship with GSA, followed by jobs with several private architecture firms. She ultimately ended up working as a federal contractor for the National Park Service. After a detour into the political and non-profit worlds, Ronda returned to historic architecture by running the Octagon Museum for the American Institute of Architects. A licensed architect in the State of Maryland, she is now a historical consultant doing research for private and government clients as well as a licensed tour guide in DC and a Pilates trainer.

Courtney Page Ferrell ’92
Creative Thinking Partner. Speaker. Writer, Richmond, Va.

Courtney has built a successful career provoking organizations and individuals to think and behave differently. She has worked as a creative catalyst to the top executives of companies like Mattel, Colgate-Palmolive, NBC, Nike, Discovery Channel, and McGraw Hill. Her witty sense of humor, her drink-from-a-fire-hose energy, and her anything goes change methods have garnered her feature articles in Fast Company, O Magazine, INC magazine, Triathlete Magazine and Style. She is a TEDx speaker. A storyteller at heart, Ferrell is never far from her pen or an audience.

Sara Desvernine Reed ’92, Ph.D
Adjunct Professor, VCU, Department of Interior Design, Richmond, Va.

Dr. Reed is an adjunct professor in the Department of Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she teaches the history and theory of interior environments as well as research methodologies to undergraduate and graduate students. She enjoys working with students to develop their research interests and enrich their design practice through historical and theoretical analysis. Dr. Reed’s doctoral work at the University of Delaware focused on American material culture studies with an emphasis on American art and decorative arts. However, her dissertation expands further into the Atlantic world by examining domestic advice found in Cuban popular magazines during the 1950s and 1960s, uncovering ideals of modernity and domesticity during a critical time of shifting ideologies. She is the program director for a new study abroad program at VCU, "The Cuba Project: a design thinking workshop" which brings students from engineering, business and the arts together to examine problem-solving in the Cuban context.

Whitney Dunlap McLeod '97
Director of Iron Dukes Varsity Club / Assistant Director of the Iron Dukes Annual Fund, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Whitney McLeod joined the Athletic Development Staff at Duke University as Director of Iron Duke Special Events in 2008.  In this role she organized and implemented all of the special events put on by the Iron Dukes office.  These events included banquets, fund raising events, pre-game celebrations for Iron Dukes members and ticket holders and on campus hospitality during post-season events for all 26 sports.
In 2016 Whitney moved into fundraising as the Director of the Iron Dukes Varsity Club.  The Varsity Club is an annual fund that raises money for each of Duke’s 27 sports.  Funds raised each year are used as each coach sees fit for their sport.  Additionally, the Varsity Club is the liaison with all former Duke athletes, and hosts numerous events throughout the year for former athletes and parents. Previously, Whitney lived in Los Angeles, CA where she worked at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2007-2008.  Prior to UCLA, Whitney worked in film for 3 years as a Production Assistant and in Extras Casting in both Los Angeles, CA and Wilmington, NC. Whitney graduated from Duke University in 2001 with a degree in Literature.  At Duke, she was a member of the Rowing Team and was a captain her senior year.  Whitney worked in the Athletics Development Office from 2001-2003 as an intern with Athletics Special Events.

Ada C. Montague '97, JD, MS  
Water Planner, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Helena, MT

Ada Montague is the state drought coordinator for Montana and is staff for the Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee.  Her work includes updating the state's drought management plan, assisting in local drought contingency planning, and monitoring water supply conditions for the state.  Her education started with a Bachelors of Arts from Vassar College where she studied urban planning.  After college she took three years to "go adventuring" -- she built furniture, wrangled horses, worked as a ski patroller, tutored English in a small Andean village in Chile, and traveled to Africa.  After this chapter she started a career in urban planning as a county land use planner in Montana.  This led to an increasing awareness and interest in water-related issues in the West.  She decided to go to law school and focused her studies on water law.  She graduated from the University of Montana in 2003 with a JD, an MS in Environmental Science, and a certificate in Natural Resource Conflict Resolution. 

Tatem Webb Read  '97
Director of Private Client Services, Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, Calif.

For the past nine years, Tatem has served as the Director of John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, the premier commercial art gallery for modern and contemporary art on the West Coast. Tatem has recently built a new art advising business affiliated with John Berggruen Gallery, and spends her time visiting galleries and traveling the country for art fairs on behalf of her clients. Prior to working for John Berggruen Gallery, Tatem worked in the financial industry for Deutsche Bank Alex Brown and Renaissance Technologies, then made a career change into the art world at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and Page Bond Gallery in Richmond.  She serves on the board of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, one of the nation’s largest artist residency programs and the MCM Foundation. Tatem holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Virginia.

Cameron Miller Rivinus ’97
Former Head of Commerce,  Brit + Co, San Francisco, Calif.

Most recently, Cameron Rivinus led the commerce division at Brit + Co, a millennial-focused startup dedicated to igniting the creative spark in women – a mission she strongly believes in. As a member of the leadership team, her responsibilities ranged from business strategy, identifying and developing new revenue streams, defining organizational structure, board management and venture capital fundraising. Prior to Brit + Co, Cameron has enjoyed an experience-rich career in publishing, brand advertising, nonprofit fundraising and consumer retail. Working for globally recognized companies like Forbes Magazine, The North Face and Gap Inc. prepared her for the rigors of successfully leading a division of a fast-growing startup and impressed upon her the importance of believing in a company’s mission. Cameron is also very involved in the Bay Area Discovery Museum, whose mission is “to ignite and advance creative thinking for all children.” Cameron graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in English and minor in Economics. She also earned her M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Laura Bojarski Lucas '02
Senior Manager, HR for Activision Blizzard, Santa Monica, Calif.

Laura Lucas is a Senior Manager, Human Resources for Activision Blizzard, where she manages HR for Activision Publishing's global Studio Operations organization and leads L&OD initiatives. Her primary professional experience lies in business transformation, organizational change management, and talent management. Laura has industry experience in the products, technology, and government sectors and has previously held roles at Capgemini Consulting, Microsoft, and Accenture. She holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management in Strategy and Human & Organizational Performance and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia.

Breese Anderson Romano '02
Lead Designer, Real Estate Sales, Owner, Cobblestone Development Group, Richmond, Va.

Breese Romano of Cobblestone Development Group is the creative half of the husband-and-wife team (Josh) responsible for renovating and building over 100 homes around Richmond since 2013. As lead designer, Breese draws from her long time passion for home design to breathe life and beauty back into each of their projects. More than house flippers, Cobblestone strives to preserve the historic integrity of older homes while making them more livable for modern families by using high-end materials, expert craftsmen and that intangible desire to create inspired living. Being a native, Breese is ever mindful of the beauty and historic significance of Richmond itself. The couple recently wrapped filming on an hour-long pilot episode for a show that’s set to air on HGTV in May. It features not only the work they do, but also shines a spotlight on what makes the City of Richmond so special. Breese has been a licensed real estate agent since 2013 with Richmond-based One South Realty Group. She and husband, Josh, are the parents of two children and a goldendoodle.

Margaret Norfleet Weismiller '02
Recruiter, Google, Inc., London, UK

Margaret has been with Google since 2007.  She joined the sales team in New York supporting brands including L'Oréal, Unilever, and Pepsi before moving over to staffing and leading the Google Cloud hiring team.  She then relocated to London with her husband and daughter in 2014.  As a recruiter, Margaret currently supports the UK's large customer sales organization.  She works with business leaders to identify and engage strong talent, with a special focus on developing a more diverse sales force.  Prior to Google, Margaret worked in advertising at Ogilvy in New York.  Margaret has a degree in English from the University of Virginia.

Sarah Garnett Winks '02
VCU Health, Assistant Professor of Radiology, Richmond, Va.
Sarah Garnett Winks is a Richmond native. After graduating from St. Catherine's School, she earned a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. She then returned to Richmond and received her medical doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. She remained at VCU to complete an internship in Internal Medicine, a residency in Diagnostic Radiology, and a fellowship in Abdominal Imaging. She is now an Assistant Professor of Radiology at VCU specializing in Abdominal Imaging and Prostate Imaging.

Katherine Akey '07
Artist, Washington, D.C.

Katherine Akey ’07 grew up between Virginia and Greece before moving to New York City for college. She graduated from the International Center of Photography at Bard’s MFA program in 2014 after completing her BA in Psycholinguistics at NYU in 2011. While in her MFA program she began focusing her artwork on Polar exploration, World War One and early aviation. During graduate school she was awarded a spot in the Arctic Circle Residency in 2015, a month-long artist residency during which she lived aboard a sailboat traveling the archipelago of Svalbard while making work. Since returning from that trip she has moved to Washington, DC where she teaches analog photography and darkroom to students aged 5 to adult; she also is a volunteer for the WW1 Centennial Commission and continues to make and show artwork in galleries around the world."

Mac McEachin ’07
National Security Policy Associate at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Mac is the National Security Policy Associate at IRAP, a non-profit that provides pro bono legal assistance to the world's most vulnerable. In this role, he works on congressional policy, legislative research, and serves as a liaison and subject matter expert to veterans groups and on military issues. He received an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Political Science from Temple University. Mac is one of first openly transgender service members, and will likely be the first to attend Army OCS next year. He previously served in the Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs NCO.

Kate Moore ’07
Founder, getFIT615, Nashville, Tenn.

Often finding herself restlessly practicing handstands during her 9-5, Kate started getFIT615 in March of 2014 with one goal in mind: get people to sweat more. getFIT615 hosted many free events around town with the intention of giving people an option to try new things. Then the opportunity arose for getFIT615 to move into the space below Shakti Power Yoga on Music Row and it felt like a no-brainer! Kate's goals through getFIT615 are to encourage students to love their bodies and appreciate them for all they can do! She believes that fitness is a lifestyle and that it's all about doing what you like with people you love. She uses functional training and will never do exactly the same workout twice. She keeps it fun, energetic and sweaty. Kate's goals are to share her passion for sweating, yoga, and laughter and bring her values of community, empowerment, inspiration and love into the gym and into your life!  

Blakely Sisk '07
Human Resources, International Justice Mission, Washington, D.C.

Blakeley has been working with non-profits since moving to Washington, D.C. after graduating from Auburn University. She began serving a neighborhood, grassroots community and has since worked with National Geographic and International Justice Mission (IJM) both in India and the US. IJM’s commitment to ending violence and slavery in the developing world led her to serve as a fellow for more than a year in Bangalore, India creating communications plans, marketing materials, and serving as the liaison between the field office and headquarters. ?She has since moved into a role in Human Resources in IJM's DC office where she has the opportunity to lead and build relationships by serving and supporting team members.

Marshall Moore ’12
Advancement Office, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, New York, NY

Marshall Moore is a recent graduate of Elon University and works at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in New York City.  Marshall first discovered her passion for the nonprofit world while involved with the St.Catherine’s Service League. She pursued this passion by studying Human Services, Poverty and Social Justice at Elon.  While in college, Marshall became involved with fundraising for Elon and interned at Success Academy Charter Schools, Benevolence Farm and UnBoundRVA.  Today Marshall travels throughout the country and abroad meeting with individuals in the Parkinson’s community.  She fundraises, speaks at support groups and encourages individuals to get involved in the Foundation’s on-going efforts to cure Parkinson’s Disease.

Audrey Scruggs ‘12
Business Consultant, The Educe Group, Bethesda, Md.

Audrey graduated from the College of William & Mary in May of 2016. Apart from her English major and Business minor, she served as an Orientation Aide, a sorority Recruitment Counselor, the Vice Chair of the Undergraduate Honor Council, and worked at a chocolate shop near campus. After interning for a nonprofit in D.C. during the summer of 2015, Audrey set her sights on the District of Columbia to begin her career after graduation. In June, she began working for The Educe Group, a talent management software consulting firm based in Bethesda, MD. The Educe Group works with clients that span all industries including higher education and healthcare. So far, Audrey has worked with the YMCA, Anheuser-Busch, Lear, Foundation Health, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as they implemented Saba Learning Management Software systems. At St. Catherine’s, Audrey played volleyball, ran track, sang in Choir and Censations, and served as a Peer Advisor.

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