Employee Spotlight: Charles Downing

Charles Downing

Charles Downing, Catalina’s Director of Operations, had his 5-year work anniversary on May 6. Catalina would not be the same without him. We hope you enjoy getting to know him better through this interview!

How did you get your job at Catalina?

I begged Tammi every day to hire me.  Some would find this tactic beneath them but not me.  Tammi and I were colleagues, supporting the same clients and I knew she had recently started her own company.

At the time, I felt stuck at my company.  I liked the work, the clients, and my coworkers but I knew that I would have to play a traditional corporate game, that I was unwilling to take part in, to gain promotion. 

I wanted to help build a company with someone where the work didn’t feel like work and that was Tammi. I was also fine with whatever level of success Catalina would end up having but seeing how driven and focused Tammi was, I had a feeling we’d be fine.

What do you love most about your job?

It’s sort of hard to explain but I feel like I get rewarded for being myself.  We’ve built such a strong team at Catalina that I’m not asked to do things that I’m not good at. 

What do you think is the most important skill you have that allows you to succeed in your career?

The brag about yourself question…sigh…it’s my emotional intelligence.  I’m lucky, I have a lot of self-awareness and empathy.  It’s just the way I’m wired, I can put myself in other people’s shoes.  It makes hard decisions that much more difficult, but I’ll take it over being soullessly cutthroat. 

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Lucky for me I find myself enjoying the perfect weekend quite often.  My perfect weekend consists of sleeping in and then going to the record store for an hour or so.  Once I return from the record store, I’ll throw my son in the pool, enjoy some tequila, make dinner, and cap the night off with a show or movie with my wife.

Do you have any hidden talents?

No.  I mean I play guitar, but it can’t be that hidden when that’s the answer I give anytime I’m asked this question.  Oh, I can touch my nose with my tongue!  It used to impress people in grade school but now I’m realizing I just have a small upper lip. 

Name three of your favorite books or movies that say the most about you as a person.

I’ve seen Tommy Boy countless times.  I was like 10 when it came out and I just remember thinking it was the funniest thing I had ever seen.

Almost everything Will Ferrel does but if I had to pick a movie, it would be Step Brothers. 

If you’re sensing a theme that I have a pretty juvenile sense of humor, you would be correct.  Boys never grow up; they just grow old. 

Lastly, not a movie but I think I watch the Band of Brothers miniseries every other year.  It appeals to the history major in me. 

I should really read more.

If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing?

My answer to the “perfect weekend” question but all the time.  I’m boring.

Starting a company can be a scary thing. However, trusting and believing in someone enough to become employee number one in a small management consulting firm is a different level of bravery. Charles can make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Perhaps it’s his natural humor and wit, or maybe because he’s a good person, and people can sense that, putting them at ease. He’s just a likable guy, I guess.

Charles, thank you for all your contributions these past 5 years and for helping build a company we’re proud of. Thank you for your unwavering support and trust in me and for helping bring my vision for Catalina to fruition. – Tammi

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