She got her start with the Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn when Carol Marsh, our founder, approached her about being a member of the founding board. From there, she watched the Museum flourish and was part of the process every step of the way. Cathy says one of the most rewarding parts of her position with the Museum has been “to see an idea come to fruition and then grow even more than we imagined.”
Since becoming president, one of Cathy’s biggest accomplishments has been the move to 5100 Museum Drive. At the time, there was little money to work with and the public wasn’t convinced of the idea of expansion. However, Cathy kept the faith and made a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee with the Museum’s designer, Becky Lindsay. There, they visited a children’s museum in the midst of closing and were able to procure its exhibits for use at the new location.
“These, along with the exhibits from the old Museum, was a such a blessing,” Cathy explains. “We also had some very generous people step forward to make this vision a reality.” With her passion and determination, this trip to Tennessee was the beginning of CMOL’s new chapter.
Handing over the keys to the Museum’s old location is also one of Cathy’s most fond memories. “We will always be indebted to them [Oak Lawn Park District] for letting us use the little brown building on the lake,” Cathy explains.
Aside from the big move, Cathy also had her hand in hiring Adam Woodworth, the Museum’s executive director. “He lives the dream of CMOL every day,” she says, “I am so proud to say that he’s our ED.”
Cathy has had an irreplaceable role in the growth of CMOL and the Museum itself will always be close to her heart. “It has enriched my life with new people,” she says. “It will always be a part of who I am.”
This coming January, Cathy will be passing the presidential torch to Kevin Mathers to continue in her footsteps. Her biggest advice to Kevin? “Keep the vision of the museum in your heart and your mind and you’ll do a great job!”