After she graduated from high school in 1979, Catherine Goodall worked for a short time at Beneficial Finance before landing a job as a receptionist at Workers’ Credit Union. She wasn’t sure what the future held, but never expected she would still be with the credit union, albeit in a much different position, some 35 years later.
The road to the top started with her receptionist position. Encouragement from a director prompted her to work her way through the organization in the back office and as a telephone payroll clerk for the bank-at-work program to a teller and an accounting position. “Working as a teller for five months gave me the foundation for future understanding of how to deal with members,” Goodall said.
Throughout her early years at Workers’, Goodall benefitted academically, as the credit union helped finance her education at Fitchburg State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting.
Throughout her tenure at Workers’ Credit Union, Goodall has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, always ready to assume any responsibility.
“When the former CFO was promoted to CEO, she stepped in to fill the void for eight months, essentially doing the bulk of the work of two high-level positions simultaneously,” said her nominator Jack Doolin, senior vice president of human resources at Workers’. “When the credit union decided to convert core processing systems, Cathy was one of the first to raise her hand to volunteer for the project. Then when the credit union’s Operations Steering Committee was formed a few years back, she stepped in to chair the committee.”
Goodall is also currently a member of the Pricing Committee and serves as the secretary of the Investment Committee. In these capacities, she is required to give presentations at meetings for monthly financial and quarterly regulatory process reporting, a task she found daunting at first. “I had to overcome my fear of public speaking,” Goodall said. “When we close the books, we have an officers meeting with the senior management team. I’ve been doing this for five years and it has helped me tremendously.”
Goodall attributes the success of her team and the growth of the credit union to the people with whom she works. “At every level they are all supportive, willing to do anything to help whether it’s an audit, a special project or fundraising,” she said. “This philosophy is ingrained in our culture.”
In addition to her many contributions within the credit union, Goodall is well known in the community for her participation in various charitable events. On a professional level, she lends her skills to the Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) to help prepare tax returns for those in need. She is a member of the Workers’ Relay for Life team, has participated in its local United Way Day of Caring and completed the 20-mile Project Bread Walk for Hunger. “Recently, though I thought I should participate more. It’s easy to give money, but not as easy to give up your time,” she said.
To follow through on this promise, Goodall became an active supporter of the YWCA’s Battered Women’s Resource. She assembles a team that competes annually in the organization’s Dance for Peace, a dance-a-thon that benefits a North Central Massachusetts domestic violence program. “We raised more than $10,000 as a group. This is vital funding that helps develop local solutions and provides services to victims, as well as shelter and court advocacy,” she said.
Goodall attributes her growth and development, both professionally and personally, to the credit union and in particular to the mentor who, 35 years ago, opened her eyes to the possibilities ahead.