Cathy  Ann  Lickteig  Makofski

The first part of my professional career–1970-2002– included more than three decades  in advertising, marketing and public relations, sharing stories, promoting ideas, causes and people. I’ve represented political candidates, raised money for national non-profits, helped launch public radio’s premiere program, managed corporate communications for the nation’s passenger railroad, and for a developer of shopping centers and planned communities.

In 2002, when I retired, I set out to build a second career as a writer— specifically a nonfiction writer. I’m a Journalism graduate of the University of Minnesota (1968) when the primary electronic devices were telephones, typewriters and tape recorders.  A time when Journalism was all about studying issues, researching, interviewing, fairness, facts, and writing stories that are clear, fresh and accurate. With this as my foundation, there was no doubt that I would write nonfiction.

I enrolled in evening school writing classes at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland — I was living in Columbia, Maryland at the time. The professor encouraged me to build on my earlier education and my professional experiences and write what I liked best—stories about people.

I developed a 10-part series of profiles for the Washington Post called “Everyday People” – a tribute to everyday people who live extraordinary lives, and  those who do ordinary jobs in extraordinary ways.  The series was published in 2002, 2003 and 2004.  I also wrote profiles of ‘everyday’ Americans for the United States Department of State’s e-journal USA, “We Are Americans,” series. One  featured a family that has operated a lobster pound in Belfast, ME, for more than 60 years.  Another was about a young man who emigrated from Mexico with little education and unable to speak English. He became a revered employee at a large landscaping company, and established a training program for other young Hispanic employees. The series was distributed in five languages on the World Wide Web in early 2005.

In February 2005, the New York Times published my  Modern Love essay, “His Art is His Joy.  It Just Didn’t Fit My Plan.”  It’s about my struggle to accept my son’s profession as a tattoo artist.  The same essay appeared in the June/July 2005 issue of ADDitude Magazine, a publication geared toward families with children who have Attention Deficit Disorder.

I’m completing the manuscript for a book  called  A Community of HopeThe Story of a Parkinson’s Disease Support Group. It’s about an exceptional group of people and their caregivers who created their own support group to help them live full lives  in spite of the fact that Parkinson’s is stealing their mobility and independence.

 The Early Years…

I grew up in Albert Lea, Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1968 and, in 1970, moved to New York City. I worked for the March of Dimes writing fund raising appeals and later for Barnard College as the Assistant Director of Public Relations.  I also attended evening classes in the graduate communications program at New York University during that time.

In 1972, I moved to Washington, DC, joined George McGovern’s presidential campaign and traveled the county producing his radio commercials.  Following McGovern’s loss, I joined National Public Radio as an entry-level audio tape editor and found myself a member of the production team for the new radio news program,  All Things Considered, which had been on the air since May of 1971.   For four years I wrote, edited, produced and served as on-air director for the show that would become National Public Radio’s  most successful program. Following that, I became Amtrack’s Vice President for Corporate Communications, responsible for public and media relations during the 1980’s when the railroad was under intense Congressional scrutiny and budget cuts.

In 1986 I  became the Vice President for Corporate Public Affairs for The Rouse Company, one of the country’s largest developers of shopping centers, urban marketplaces and planned communities, headquartered in Columbia, MD.  My two children and I moved  to Columbia from Washington, DC when I accepted the position. Eleven years later, in 1997,  I joined Beacon Properties Development Company in Boston, M. When Beacon Properties was sold and I returned to Maryland.   Shortly after that,  I became the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Washington Baltimore 2012 Coalition, the group vying for the opportunity to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.  (New York City was selected to represent the USA in the international bid competition, which London won in July of 2005.)

I am a founding member of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County Maryland, which raises money and distributes grants to organizations that promote the self-sufficiency of women and girls in Howard County where I  lived for 18 years.  I’m also a former board member of Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Maryland.

 My husband, Robert Makofski, and I retired to  Midcoast Maine in 2004.