Cathy McKee Olesen

Retired, General Dynamics C4 Systems

Board Member: Corporate

Prior to retirement, Cathy served as Senior Vice President & Director of Communication, Customer and Community Services at General Dynamics C4 Systems and member of its Leadership Staff. Cathy was responsible for: Business Support Services; Public Affairs & Issues Management; Internal Communication; External Communication & Brand Management; Community Investment & State Government Relations; Visual Media Communications; Publication Services; and the Customer Service Organization.

As Chair of the GDC4S Communication Council, Cathy led reputation and communication strategies, planning and execution including corporate community responsibility, stakeholder relations and ally development. As Chair of the GDC4S Crisis Preparedness Committee, Cathy led crisis planning, prevention, communication, response, and business continuity.

Prior to transitioning to GDC4S, Cathy held key positions at Motorola, Inc. including Corporate Vice President of Strategic Business Services, Corporate Vice President of Environmental & Strategic Planning, Corporate Vice President of Quality & Environment / Health / Safety Affairs, Vice President of External Affairs & Issues Management, Vice President of Administration & Facilities Operations and Director of External Affairs. Prior to Motorola, Cathy gained management experience at Max Factor & Co., Colgate-Palmolive Company, Allied Chemical Corp. and Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals.

Cathy is a member of the Board of Directors of Charys Holding Company, Inc., where she participates on the Executive and Finance Committees. She served on the Management Board of the Frontline Group, an e-learning company, and as a member of the Board of Directors of and Air Physics Corp.

Cathy is an expert in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria, specializing in the Leadership Category 1.0. Cathy served as the Business Process Owner for all aspects of preventive action (ISO9000.2001), risk mitigation & opportunity management and environment, health and safety (ISO14001 & OHSAS 18001 / OSHA VPP STAR. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Worldwide EHS and Real Estate & Construction Councils, Cathy has shared responsibility for corporate-wide policies, plans, standards, audits and certifications. She led the remediation efforts at the North Indian Bend Wash Superfund Site.

Cathy was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Forest Service Foundation, participating on the Executive Committee and chairing the Grants Committee. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Hospice of the Valley. Cathy is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates, chairing the Strategic Planning and Management Assessment Committees. She chairs the Board of Directors of ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Cathy serves on the Board of Directors of the ASU Research Park as well as on the Advisory Council for the ASU Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. She serves on the Board of Directors and Campaign Cabinet of the Valley of the Sun United Way.

Cathy is a member of the International Women’s Forum, past President of the Arizona Women’s Forum, a founder of the Arizona Foundation for Women and an incorporator of Arizona Business Leadership for Education. She is an Emeritus member of the Board of Directors of Scottsdale Healthcare and a founder of its Quality Committee, and chaired the External Affairs Advisory Panel of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Cathy has received numerous recognitions, including the Arizona NCCJ Humanitarian Award, American Society of Safety Professionals Arizona Executive of the Year, the Arizona Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction – World of the Future Award, the Arizona YWCA Corporate Woman of the Year, the Jobs for America’s Graduates Distinguished Achievement Award, the Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates Business Leadership Award, the IWF Woman Who Made a Difference Award, and the Arizona Visionary Award for Community Service. She has been named one of the Top 100 Women in Arizona and one of the 10 most influential businesswomen in Phoenix.

Cathy received a BS in Chemistry from the College of Saint Elizabeth. She is a graduate of the ASU College of the Business Management Institute and fellow of the Kaiser Institute for Innovation and Intuition.