My heroes make waves. They have common attributes: brave, resourceful, yet humble – living as if rules are “guidelines” and traditional roles are to be challenged. As a consequence, they’re amusingly misunderstood.
Who inspires you?
A family member, neighbor, celebrity, or teacher? Perhaps a parent who set a standard and held you to it? People with traits you admire and aspire to imitate?
Catherine Grant’s mother emphasized one of the same valuable lessons for her daughter as my dad did for me: Never need to depend on someone to take care of you. No doubt, given her example, her daughters will perfect this strength.
Raising three daughters is an enormous challenge in itself. Ask me how I know. When considering the possibilities for Catherine’s girls, a familiar saying comes to mind, “If you see her, you can be her.” Little girls need examples in a variety of roles to know they have options. Sometimes rather than plotting a course for us to follow, the people we admire inspire us instead on an uncharted journey.
“Who inspired you?” I asked.
Encircled by stacks upon stacks of books confirming her thirst for growth, Catherine answered without a second of hesitation, “My mom.”
She vividly described an iconic mother-figure, content to earn the “degree of Mrs.,” required to shift direction by a marriage that didn’t work, a twist among many that would set the foundation for the building of her daughter’s tenacity. Beyond the quintessential story of a mom needing to work with her child in tow, the stage was set for an inquisitive daughter to inherit a relentless work ethic and commitment to excellence. Catherine was eight when her mother re-married. Poppy, as he was lovingly known, became a piece of her balance. With his selfless love and encouragement, he helped her mother lay the foundation- the forging of an entrepreneur. She learned early that work was her way to achieve her goals, and she set sail on that sea.
Catherine’s accolades and accomplishments are expanding in much the same fashion as the business she co-founded. Since opening the first urgent care center in Richmond Hill in 2009, she has been stacking recognitions and awards as neatly as the books surrounding her CEO chair. With her at the helm, ExperCARE is opening a fifth location.
Motivated to be a part of the solution to what she considers to be a “broken” system, Catherine envisions “healthcare the way it should be,” patient-focused with an improved standard of care. “People deserve better care,” and together with her leadership team, ExperCARE is advancing that mission.
Leadership, business fundamentals, self-improvement, and biographies make up Catherine’s reading collection, but she is clear about her Source. One of her guiding Bible verses is from Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
“We all need a True North.” Catherine relies on her relationship with Jesus to provide truth, wisdom, and discernment. “I want to have a tangible impact by helping others experience Him.”
What are you building?
Catherine’s answer to this question again hails her mother’s recurring influence. She believes that what we hear as children becomes our inner voice, and she heard the incessant message, “With hard work, you can be and do anything.” Work does not intimidate Catherine, nor does challenge. In fact, challenge propels her to thrive. The inner voice she now conjures in the face of adversity repeats, “You were created for this.” Together with Scott, her husband, counsel, and confidant, the Grant’s are building full steam ahead.
Catherine’s waves extend beyond business to create broader change for a better world. Alzheimer’s, childhood cancer, and United Way fundraising; serving on boards for community development and healthcare advancement; and volunteering to mentor future business leaders are among her commitments to advocacy.
All of the accomplishments in her wake haven’t changed Catherine’s ultimate goal: to be more like the person who inspires her by exemplifying unconditional love. “In a broken world, my mom has been able to love others even when they were not easy to love.”
Her three young daughters, Grayson 12, Madison 9, and Emerson 1, are watching, and if their mother’s accomplishments seem impressive, I predict a tsunami. Catherine describes them as fearless and passionate. Grayson helped build the recycling program at school, and together with sister Madison, they worked diligently to raise funds for a clean water project in Zimbabwe. Their mom recognizes that her most important role is to encourage her daughters to become all that they were created to be, just like the person who inspired her.
Our daughters are watching; and so are our sons. May we inspire them and others to make waves. Waves are shifting and fading, but the changes they create are immensely powerful, enduring, and inspiring. May we never underestimate ripples.