CATHERINE BUTLER

Company: Duke Energy
Position: Senior Communications Consultant
Age: 25

WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Charlotte, North Carolina.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?

Almost 22 years – spent four years outside of Philadelphia while attending Villanova University.

TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?

As one of the few people born and raised in Charlotte, I have a passion for the Queen City, Carolina Panthers football, great BBQ and the outdoors. Though I love Charlotte, in 2009, I decided to leave the South and attended Villanova University, located just outside Philadelphia, Pa. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, with a minor in Business, and returned to Charlotte in 2013 to begin working in Duke Energy’s corporate communications group.

Within six months, I was asked to be a part of the company’s crisis communications team, focusing on issues management and reputation management. In June 2016, I shifted roles, now leading the company’s financial, IT and cybersecurity communications and media relations, as well as executive support for Duke Energy’s Chief Financial Officer.

In addition to my “daytime job,” I am naturally drawn to volunteering and leadership roles for organizations such as United Way Young Leaders, the Public Relations Society of America – Charlotte Chapter, the Villanova University Club of Charlotte and Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am also an active participant in the Females in Action (FiA) women’s workout group, which focuses on fellowship, fitness and faith.

DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?

My participation in the Big Brother Big Sister Beyond School Walls program opened my eyes to the importance of being a mentor for a child in need. During my year as a Big Sister, my “Little” and I met about every two to three weeks for lunch. She and I connected in new ways each week, forming a relationship that I believe impacted her as much as it did me.

Each lunch meeting also included a program organized and led by the Bigs and their Littles. My Little and I, along with two other pairs, presented to the group on public speaking – this was a unique way for my Little to be exposed to the work I do every day and the importance of being committed to her education as she considered whether or not to pursue a college degree. Toward the end of the year program – I’ll never forget – she told me about her plan to attend college and study engineering, in hopes of one day joining a company like Duke Energy.

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY?

Over the past few years, my view of contributing the community has drastically evolved. I will always recognize the value of serving in the local community – whether at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen or mentoring organization – and have been able to contribute through my involvement in Hands on Charlotte and Big Brothers Big Sisters. However, I now also understand the ways in which contributing also includes advocating for more holistic change to ensure those who are most in need in our communities have an equal opportunity to receive a good education, maintain financial stability and have access to necessary healthcare resources. As I become more involved in United Way Young Leaders, I look forward to engaging with business, civic and community leaders to drive these significant changes and raise funds for these important causes.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTERESTS?

I am a devoted runner and recently began running in team relay races. I also love to cook, travel both domestically and internationally, hike and kayak, and volunteer in the local community. And, of course, I spend a lot of time with my lab/shepherd mix dog, Kane.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?

In five years, I see myself having an even greater impact on our community – through further outreach with volunteer activities and leadership roles at non-profit organizations, such as United Way. I also see myself continuing to develop personally and professionally in my role at Duke Energy, whether that is in a communications-related role or in an operational, financial or community giving-focused position.

CAN YOU SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

Take a hot air balloon ride (hoping to cross this off the list this summer!)

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?

Summer 2015 – my family and I traveled to France for about two weeks. It was one of the best trips I have ever taken.

WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?

I went cliff jumping while I was traveling in Greece – definitely one of the most thrilling adventures!

WHO IS YOUR HERO?

My mom. She has a more beautiful and selfless heart than anyone I know, always putting others before herself. She is a constant sounding board as I continue to grow personally and professionally and challenges me to be a better person every day.

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?

Grit by Angela Duckworth.

WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?

A Dog’s Purpose.

WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?

Carrie Underwood.