CBI_Testimonials

Our Clients

Steve Allan

Board Chair, Calgary Economic Development

“Catherine, I want to thank you for your help in our recent search for Board candidates. As I expressed to you, we wanted greater diversity on our board but also required candidates with a record of achievement as well as specific and recognized skills.

Almost immediately, you provided us with an incredibly impressive selection of qualified candidates. In fact, the candidates you presented made our choice very difficult. I can’t imagine anyone with a better network, so I should not have been surprised by the quantity but, more importantly, the quality of the candidates you provided.

This is important work. There is nothing more important than getting the right people on our team to do the terrific work that our stakeholders expect of us. ‎On behalf of our board and our entire team at Calgary Economic Development, I want to thank you for the important contribution you have made to our success.

Thanks to you for your help.

Paul Crawford

President, Solex Thermal Science

It really makes my day when I come across an expert like Catherine. “Professional” and “personal” are the phrases that come to mind when I think about working with her. Mostly, I am impressed with her ability to truly connect with people and make connections. Catherine has done an outstanding job for us and comes with my sincere recommendation.

Kathy Osterland

I’ve used Catherine’s services for recruiting a few executive positions. Catherine and her team were extremely responsive to our needs and ensured that they were finding the right fit for the organization. It was the best experience I have had in dealing with a recruitment firm.

When I found myself on the other side of the fence and looking for a new opportunity, Catherine was there for me. She has an uncanny ability to match candidates with companies where they mesh almost instantaneously. I am grateful for her advice and assistance when I needed it. She truly cares about you as an individual and wants you to think about what makes you happy.

I recommend her, as an employer using her recruitment services and as a previous candidate she has placed. Contact her. You won’t regret it.

Nabeel Ramji

Director, Accessibility for All Albertans

Over the last couple of years, I have had the pleasure of knowing Catherine as a great friend. However, in the last calendar year I have worked with Catherine in a professional capacity where she provided excellent guidance and strategies towards the development of “Accessibility for All Albertans”. Due to Catherine’s unmatched energy, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, and personality, she has helped me transform my dream of making a difference into a reality. Words cannot express how grateful I am, as Catherine has been true inspiration! Thank you for all that you do, and continue to do for our communities.

Sophie Seraphino

President, Every Woman Foundation Canada

I have known Catherine for nearly two years through Rotary, and had the pleasure of getting to know her more in the past months. Most recently, I engaged Catherine to assist Every Woman Foundation in finding an Executive Director for our growing organization. I was impressed at the calibre of personnel she introduced us to. We have not only found an outstanding candidate for the position, but someone most suited to the job not only in skill, but also in terms of personality and experience. Our new ED is a perfect match for our organization. Thank you Catherine, for this and for so many things. You are not only a great friend, but an inspirational leader in our community, and truly fabulous at what you do.

Greg Manning

Horizon Coast Estates

Your passion for what you do fills the room with positive energy. I left this morning’s Career Transition Roundtable workshop with a feeling of cheer and an enthusiasm to stay active and eager in the process of attaining the career I can love.

Through watching the three of you and your teamwork, it is evident and inspiring to see that, as we grow, learn and work together, the connections and relationships we build are much more than a career network.

Charlene SanJenko

Founder & CEO, PowHERhouse

Catherine recently spoke at our PowHERtalks Calgary event in October 2016. She greatly impacted our audience with her story of overcoming adversity, insights and inspiration. Catherine has a natural ability to connect with an audience through authenticity and magnetism. I would work with her again in a heart-beat.

I have every confidence that Catherine will continue to inspire connection, action and joy from whichever stage she graces in the future.

Vanessa D’Souza

Marda Loop Community Association Director
McGill University Alumni 1821 Society
Alberta Children’s Hospital Physiotherapist

I have had the privilege of working with Catherine Brownlee for almost two years. Her determination in her work, her passion for the Rotary Stay-in-School Program mentorship, and dedication to community service is second to none. She skillfully synchronizes business and compassion with ease, confidence and with the utmost professionalism. CBI is a unique company that can bridge gaps in all industries, through the art of quality networking. Catherine is exemplary in leading her business while honouring the human spirit to work, play and give.

I have worked with Catherine in volunteer capacities at the Every Woman’s Festival with Sophie Serafino, Rotary Club of Calgary and Alberta Party MLA Greg Clark’s successful provincial election campaign in the Spring 2015. I have also attended her Career Transition Roundtable, where I gained significant depth to my practice and career development.

Catherine, you are truly a mentor and role model for leadership in our communities!

Charles Adejujo and Modupe Ogunneye

Corporate Headhunters Nigeria Limited

Thanks to Catherine and her team of competent and professional individuals, we were able to successfully carry out a multi-city career fair with very short notice for our client, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited. Although we hadn’t met to discuss our needs and expectations in person, Catherine was a 110% percent dedicated to meeting our demands. With a desire for success and attention to the smallest detail, Catherine made sure that each and every request we made concerning our career fairs in Calgary, Houston and Abu Dhabi were effectively carried out within budget and delivered in a timely manner. When we finally got the chance to meet up with Catherine on the day of our events, we were very pleased to see that she had gone above and beyond our expectations by providing things that we hadn’t even planned for. The best part about working with Catherine is her enthusiasm and amazing personality. It was a pleasure working with her.

Mark Taylor

MBA, P.Eng

There is a quote from Confucius that is really applicable to the Career Transition Roundtable, “True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.”

I had the honour of joining some fantastic people at a recent roundtable led by Catherine. It was an intense morning learning about the various skills sets to get my career to the level I want it at. Getting a better understanding how human resources reviews my resume, how to effectively network and ultimately challenging me to define what I want to do with my life (not just my career) were just some of the tools I got from the roundtable.

I am exceptionally thankful for the opportunity to attend the roundtable as well as being given the tools to excel in my future opportunities. It was definitely a great experience and I can say that I do know quite a bit more than I did before I walked in that morning.

Dale Doering

In writing this recommendation for Catherine Brownlee as President and CEO of Catherine Brownlee Inc. (CBI), I have gone to the book, The Art of Doing by Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield, to review the top qualities of great leaders and determine where she fits.

Catherine’s moral compass, and the standards she holds herself to, drive her employees to follow her. She trusts her team to follow her vision. High morale is linked to productivity and her sense of humour encourages her team to laugh “in the face of danger” when a problem seems overwhelming. Clear communication is a skill Catherine exhibits to create a positive environment for greater productivity. Leading by example with commitment to the vision has her in the trenches working long hours to succeed. Her creativity allows for decisions that may have to be made on the fly, and her team looks for her guidance. During these hard times, she has the ability to remain calm and confident. Catherine’s intuition and ability to inspire people are great assets for the success of CBI. As you may conclude, Catherine fits the attributes of a great leader remarkably well.

Alla Karas

I met Catherine at my first networking event in Canada and asked her how I can volunteer for one of the opportunities she had at Prominent Personnel. Catherine trained me on Raiser’s Edge software and we worked together on updating the donor database. While taking the short breaks, we spoke about our families, careers, interests and our goals in life. Since then Catherine is my mentor on career transition and advancement in my new cultural environment. 
Knowing that it is not easy for a newcomer to establish in a new country, Catherine is guiding me how to network, where to go to meet people and how to prepare for information interview. I can’t thank her enough for how helpful and attentive she is to me.

Catherine has a phenomenal memory and remembers all people she meets. What I also admire about Catherine is that she has a great respect for all people who come to her networking events. She knows the secret of how to keep people’s spirit high and always give realistic advice specifically related to the area of their expertise. 
In an era when networking is the key to your success, I would recommend everybody who is in transition to use Catherine Brownlee’s Career Transition Roundtable to receive invaluable advice on how to find the right opportunity in Alberta and to expand your network. Catherine and her team members will gladly share with you their contacts and views on how to approach the job search in the current economic conditions.

And last, but not the least, I would definitely recommend you read Catherine’s book “Want to work in Oil and Gas?” This book is not only for those who want to work in oil and gas, but also about the art of networking, connecting with people and, most importantly, maintaining your connections.

Eric Kahler

I recently attended a Career Transition Roundtable hosted by Catherine Brownlee and her team, including Carmen Goss. They are powerhouses, both individually and as a team. They provided information that was spot-on with the present economic situation in Canada. I highly recommend Catherine and her team to anyone who is transitioning or simply trying to advance their career. Between the three of them, they know all the major companies and most people in the C-suites in town, and will bend over backwards assisting with connections. It is a real pleasure working with CBI.

Greg Clark

MBA, Leader – Alberta Party

Catherine Brownlee is one of the most remarkable people I have ever worked with. Her energy, enthusiasm and compassion are unmatched. She is a big believer in making our province a better place and she will work tirelessly to ensure our communities are better every day.

I am fortunate to have worked with Catherine in her capacity as Executive Director of the Alberta Party. Catherine brings a high degree of professionalism and energy to the role and represents the Alberta Party very well in all she does.

Alison Jackson

Second In Command Grrrrl, The Huron Carole

Someone once told me that Catherine makes you feel like you’ve known her forever. And I have to admit that statement is spot on. It’s a confident and extraordinary sentiment she brings to all her client relationships. When she was hurled onto our Huron Carole 2013 Team on short notice and under the self-penned title of “Servant Grrrrl,” the magic began. From correspondence with our national sponsors, the cast, the crew, to the core group of other ‘grrrrls’ on the production team, her ease and skill at communicating was highly charged, precise and energetic. If there is another word for follow-up to a follow-up, she needs to invent it, because it’s one of her extraordinary trademarks. Thanks, Catherine – oh sister from another mother.

Esmeralda Mondor

Contracts Analyst, Inplay Oil

Attending the career development roundtable session has enabled me to communicate in a more effective manner. Catherine’s far-reaching approach and developmental experience impacted my career and added value to my organization. I highly recommend Catherine for anyone looking to enhance effectiveness in career development.

Mary Jane Turcato

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

I can’t tell you how much Catherine Brownlee has meant to the bridging programs and staff at the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association. Catherine is always very willing to speak to our classes about how to find and acquire employment in Calgary and has done so repeatedly over the years. Her professional look, her practical and down to earth perspective and upbeat demeanor enlightens and uplifts our students every visit. Thank you, Catherine, for your continued support.

Steve Allan

Chairman of the Board of Directors | Canadian Tourism Commission

I have known Catherine for several years through Rotary, and have had the opportunity to work with her on a number of projects, notably the Rotary Tom Jackson Stay in School Program. This positive experience led me, in my capacity as Co-chair of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative (CPRI), to engage Catherine and her team to pull together and help us stage an important event with a number of up and coming Calgary Business leaders. This was a critical step in our engagement process and was an opportunity to bring our key sponsors, Lucy Miller, CEO of the United Way and Mayor Nenshi, together with Adam Legge, CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and some high energy business leaders to introduce them to CPRI and gain their support.

Our challenge was that we didn’t have the resources to be able to bring this event together in a timely manner and in a way that would have the desired impact on these key stakeholders.

Catherine and her team brought their energy, enthusiasm and creative ideas to the table and pulled off this event for us in grand style. The event exceeded our expectations in terms of meaningful impact for the CPRI project, and we often talk about the meaningful engagement that occurred that evening. In fact, we will be going back to this group of young business leaders to build on the enthusiasm they expressed that evening, for ending poverty in Calgary.

We could not have achieved these results without the efforts of Catherine and her team and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this team to anyone who wants to engage their audience in a meaningful and impactful manner.

George H. Brookman

C.E.O. | West Canadian

Catherine is not only a well organized and persistent event co-ordinator; she also brings infectious enthusiasm to the role. A recent Rotary event involving individuals in both Canada and the U.S.A. required both patience and tenacity. She made it happen!!

Wayne Stewart

Candidate for Mayor, Calgary, 2010

Catherine assumed the responsibility for campaign management when we were in considerable difficulty and quickly brought order and organization to the campaign. She coordinated the activities of volunteers, created an effective process for managing data and developed and implemented a very successful communication plan. At the same time, she took charge of the fund raising effort and personally raised a considerable amount and planned and coordinated the execution of some very exciting events. Her efforts and the model she exhibited inspired the other campaign volunteers, building a highly motivated team for the final push to the election.

I am very pleased to provide these words in support of a person whose highly developed skills and positive attitude make any work place better for her presence.

Richard Pootmans

City of Calgary Alderman

To the fortunate reader who is considering working with Ms. Catherine Brownlee, it is my pleasure to have the opportunity to sing Ms. Catherine Brownlee’s praises.

As a friend of our family and co-worker in a volunteer cause, I can vouch for the fact that Catherine distinguishes herself as a significant force for improving lives of Calgarians.

Her vast network includes leaders in industry as well as those in the not for profit and media areas. I know that her contact list is not simply a catalogue of names and addresses, but a referral system of accomplished citizens who know her well and look forward to working with her.

One of my memories is from last year when I attended a private reception that included an eclectic group of leaders from the political, energy, media and not for profit sectors. Every detail was finessed from the valet parking and red carpet, to a professional harpist to enhance the mood. Beyond this, her skills included the intangible-creating the tone the host required to achieve his objectives.

Finally, I believe the true test of professionalism is grace and calm in resolving immediate and serious challenges. Quite simply, watching Catherine under pressure is inspiring. When Catherine is involved, success is on its way!

D K Bruce Fenwick

President 2011-2012 | Rotary Club of Calgary

Catherine combines enthusiasm, passion, positive attitude and action together in a manner that is invigorating to all who engage with her. At the Rotary Club of Calgary Catherine has no peer in introducing new prospective members to what Rotary is all about. As an elected Board Member of the Rotary Club for 2011-13, Catherine tackled the portfolio of Fellowship, noted in the strategic goals as “the glue that holds it all together” as diverse members carry out numerous projects at home and abroad, with that same vigor. Catherine assembled a team who listed events, surveyed members, recruited Champions, compiled a Rotary calendar with pictures of members having a great time doing good things for the community, engaged sponsors to cover the cost, and interacted with other Rotary Clubs for collaborating on the next Calendar. Catherine’s enthusiasm is infectious!

Scott Berry

Investor/Stakeholder Relations Executive

I have had the fortune to work with Catherine on a few initiatives. What has struck me about the way Catherine operates is her remarkable ability to not only keep her eye on the objectives of the project but to quickly identify potential team members and contributors that will provide the most value to each group. It is well known by many in Calgary that Catherine is the one of the most connected and networked people in the business community. There is good reason for this and that is Catherine’s ability to quickly build strong relationships combined with her ability to maintain those relationships. One of the hardest workers I have ever seen, Catherine will elevate any group, corporation or non-profit to a much higher level, if that is what they wish. A disciplined goal setter, Catherine will provide whatever it takes to make sure any entity she is working with reaches it goals in style.

Shannon Bowen-Smed

President & CEO | BOWEN Workforce Solutions Inc.

My husband Peter and I had the genuine pleasure to attend the Premier’s reception this past December. It was without question one of the finest events we have had the pleasure to be part of and there was no detail missed. Our kudos to Catherine and her team for doing such a tremendous job.

Bill Hickman

President of Rotary Bricktown Oklahoma City

Dear Calgary Rotarians:
On behalf of the Bricktown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, we want to express our sincere thank you for your wonderful hospitality. It was such a pleasure to work with each of you and to have a positive impact on the youth in your community. I know we all marveled at how the kids opened up over the course of the weekend, engaging in the music experience. And, your Club should be recognized and thanked for all of its efforts to have a positive impact in Calgary.

We want to express our gratitude to Catherine who invested a tremendous amount of time and energy planning, preparing and executing a great weekend. She truly made this trip happen, and it takes a leader to step forward to get things done, Catherine did just that. Our experience would certainly not have been complete without George. George, we greatly appreciated your time and energy with us both fellowshipping, and interacting with the youth. You are an excellent role model for the youth, and for all Rotarians because of your commitment to service and making Rotary fun. The hospitality of your Club was unbelievable as we experienced Spruce Meadows, Heritage Park, and the mountains of Banff. We greatly appreciate Bruce and Bill taking the time to tour us around your wonderful country. Laura and David, thank you for all the time and support you contributed to making our trip a success. And, of course, we enjoyed the great dining and nightlife of Calgary with all of your members.

Finally, I want to thank John Ridge. John and I first discussed the possibility of developing a relationship between our Clubs in New Orleans at the RI Convention. And, in just a little over a year, the resolve and commitment of Rotarians to work together to improve our communities and the world was evident in Calgary. As many of us discussed, I truly believe this is a great start to what could be a great working relationship (call it sister clubs – ala sister cities). Many of you mentioned coming to Oklahoma City, and Bricktown Rotary would be proud to host The Rotary Club of Calgary. I can foresee annual exchange trips between the Clubs as Bricktown Rotary supports a community project in Calgary and vice versa. If there is interest in Calgary to further discuss a trip to OKC (hopefully the home of the NBA Champions), we would be thrilled to have you visit our City and participate with us in a community project.

Again, thank you for a great weekend, and a wonderful experience.

Jeff Wilkie

Chief Relationship Officer | GIC Capital Corp.

As a long time observer of events and charity functions that Catherine Brownlee has put on, I have to say two words, excellence and influence. There have been countless events that have been put on at the ranch that were either adults only or family events that were nothing short of fantastic. My kids still talk about the times that we went out there and because of her attention to details to make sure that everyone felt welcome and at home and then all the activities to keep everyone entertained and engaged, they have created memories for life. Secondly, the word influence! I don’t know another woman who has the influence to engage so many people as she, in my mind, is the most connected person in the city of Calgary. I have done many events with Catherine and would not hesitate to recommend her services.

Omar Polyniak

General Manager | Public Social Lounge

I have known Catherine Brownlee since 1986 and have had the pleasure of watching her success in managing several projects and events throughout the years. The first event that I was involved with where she was the project manager was for a public Stampede BBQ that included something for the entire family! She had organized face painters, clowns, magicians, a petting zoo, “Vanna and the Wheel of Fortune” , mini Chuck wagons and more! The BBQ was a huge success with over 3000 guests that enjoyed burgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, candy floss and snow cones! Catherine has also managed large events such as golf tournaments, ranch parties, charity events and black tie events! She is extremely creative and resourceful! Her network can support any event that she chooses to put together!

Dave Bronconnier

Calgary’s Mayor | October 22, 2001 – October 25, 2010

On behalf of City Counil and the people of Calgary, I am pleased to congratulate authors Catherine Brownlee and Heather Johnson on the publication of Want to Work in Oil and Gas? Strategies for Finding a Great Job in Calgary’s Hot Energy Sector.

As Calgary’s economy grows, so does the need for increased employment as new jobs are created. The Calgary Economic Region has seen an increase of nearly 8 percent in just one year in total employment. Want to work in Oil and Gas? is an invaluable tool for those interested in pursuing a career in Alberta’s red hot economy.

Catherine and Heather are perfect examples of what hard work and dedication will get you here in Calgary and in Alberta. We are a province of great opportunity and success is within arms reach.

Calgary is proud of its link with this vital and prosperous industry and also proud to be home to a new book which promises to add information and expertise in the search for employment in oil and gas.

Bill Redmond

Owner of Bucar’s RV

Steve and I have the privilege of introducing our newest Paul Harris Fellow. And this Paul Harris recognition comes from another Rotary club acknowledging our member’s contribution to what has become a project embraced several clubs in the district. And this weekend by the Rotary Club of Bricktown Oklahoma City.

She identified the need to help improve high school graduation rates for aboriginal youth and for the possibility of Rotary Clubs in Calgary and Southern Alberta to get involved. She began by connecting Rotary with the United Way. And then she used her amazing networking skills to bring together, other Rotary clubs, aboriginal leaders, a variety of partners from other agencies, who had identified the issue of aboriginal education as one of their main priorities, and volunteers wanting to assist with the project. She has arranged for mentors for the first students in the program, and she has sourced financial resources to fund these students.

Catherine started her career in the oilfield service industry as a technical sales rep and then sales manager. She founded and for a number of years was the CEO of Prominent Personnel. The last few years she has been the Director of Community Relations for a couple of Calgary based companies, and just this spring has put her many talents to work on a new venture offering project and event management services.

Catherine has been a member of our club since 2005 and is currently the Fellowship Director. Since joining the club, among other things, she has been a very active participant in the Club’s Stay-in-school program, mentoring a number of children.

Steve will now provide some insight as to how Catherine’s early years developed this bundle of energy’s positive, compassionate, collaborative, can-do attitude.

Scott Berry

Executive Director | Empowering Minds

Empowering Minds engaged Catherine to coach student public speakers at our fund raiser, Top That Hat. It turned out, that these speeches were the major highlights of the evening and contributed to our success in a significant way. Catherine was extremely professional and created a strong relationship with our students, that continues to endure. We found working with Catherine to be a very positive experience and we would not hesitate to engage her services again.

Frances Wright

Canadian Centre for Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Catherine’s enthusiasm will carry you and your project over rough spots and bring new supporters to your side. One of her strongest skills lies in understanding how best to promote your event. Catherine and her staff respond quickly to concerns and provide solutions. We are very glad that Catherine and her team helped us launch the Magnificent Men! Leadership Speaker Series.

Barbara Atkinson

Werklund Foundation

We hired CBI on June 27, 2012 to search for an Executive Director for Empowering Minds Foundation. We advised Catherine that the search had to be swift, the quality of candidate exceptional and that we hoped to have an individual in place for August! I am pleased to say that within the first couple weeks, CBI had vetted over 20 candidates, forwarding 8 individuals that met the criteria outlined in the job description. After interviewing those candidates, we had 4 exceptional people who would go on to meet with the President and the Board. Notwithstanding the timing (Stampede Week), Catherine Brownlee was available to support every step of the process, including final negotiations. Catherine and her team are experts at making things happen! I look forward to working with them again in many capacities! Thank you CBI!

Moving On Up

 

CAREER TRANSITION ROUNDTABLES

For professionals who are interested in ensuring that when they re-enter the market, they have everything they need to be considered the best candidate for the role they are seeking.
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