Alumnae Spotlight: Natalie Pascale Catliota, Class of 2005
Natalie Pascale Catliota’s story is a motivating one of what it truly means to rise to the top. Just as she did at Holy Child, she took every opportunity that was given to her, and learned from it.
Natalie, class of 2005, studied Toxicology at Clemson University, with the intention of being a research scientist. She’s not alone in that sometimes what you study in college doesn’t exactly match up with the opportunities outside of school. After graduating Clemson, she began working at the Maryland Department of the Environment, where she realized her passion was in experimentation, searching for solutions to problems, and not necessarily the science behind it. She then decided it was time to try something new.
Sometimes the best opportunities come at the most unexpected times. While working at a restaurant, Natalie waited on the recruiter for a small government contractor, NetCentrics Corporation, who offered to bring her in for an interview. She took a position working at the front desk as an Administrative Assistant, where she got lunch for employees, made copies of documents, and other administrative duties. While she wasn’t very inspired by that work, she fell in love with the company. She took advantage of every opportunity she was given – offering to take notes at every meeting, asking questions every time she could, and learning everything she could about government contracting.
Natalie helped grow NetCentrics’ annual revenue to over $100M, and was eventually named Chief Operating Officer. Life as COO was “a ton of fun and very dynamic,” Natalie said. “Every day was a new set of challenges. I loved the company building part; working side by side with our teams and our customers. I really enjoy the entrepreneurial aspect of building the business.” Even though she loved everything about the company and her work, her passion was working with and growing small businesses, so in February 2020, Natalie left NetCentrics to join a small company, GCyber, as Vice President of Operations.
Natalie has been recognized by her industry, as a finalist for WashingtonExec’s 2019 Pinnacle Awards Cybersecurity Industry Executive of the Year. She was also nominated for Women in IT’s Silicon Valley Business Leader of the Year and won The Golden Bridge Awards’ 2019 Woman of the Year in Business & the Professions.
Natalie continues to take with her the ideals that she took away from her time at Holy Child, including the desire to collaborate with others, and empowering others to be the best versions of themselves.
Continue reading more on Natalie, her time at Holy Child, and her career!
Is there anything about your Holy Child experience that continues to guide you today?
"The culture of collaboration and the confidence you get from the encouragement to try new things even if you fail has been a huge part of what guides me in my career and personal life."
What is your favorite Holy Child memory? Does one teacher or class stand out to you?
“I loved every class with Mr. Wicker. I am not into American literature at all. In fact I have probably never read a fiction book its entirety that wasn’t required reading, but he made class interesting and made you want to put in the effort to read and learn so you could participate in the class discussions. He was hands down one of the best teachers I have ever had.
I also loved Ms. Chang and Ms. Connors. Both inspired my love for the sciences and played a significant role in my studying chemistry and toxicology in college.
I really enjoyed Model Organization of American States, collaborating with people from all over, learning about international policy.
I also loved how open and encouraging an environment Holy Child was. If you wanted to start a club or get involved in something, there was so much opportunity. While I was there, I think we started a Future Business Leaders of America chapter and a Young Republicans club."
What is your best piece of advice to a Holy Child student or alumna who is pursuing her career/dream?
“Don’t be afraid to fail at something. Everyone does sometimes.
Don’t wait to be asked. If you want to be involved in something put yourself out there. Your path is your responsibility and no one else’s.
Be a decent person. People work with people they like."
Written by: Krista Montes de Oca Kelly '05
Do you know of a Holy Child alumna with an interesting career, service project, or hobby that we should spotlight? Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org!