Member Spotlight: Cathy Rodriguez
What’s so special about the Exchange Club of Irvine? It’s our people and the members who are making a difference in our community! To help you get to know the people behind the scenes, we will be doing a “Member Spotlight” so you can get to know us a bit better. Here’s what we learned about President Elect, Cathy Rodriguez.
Interviewer: When did you become a member of the Exchange Club of Irvine and why did you want to get involved?
Cathy: I moved to Irvine in the 1970’s and have lived here ever since. It is a very special place to me since I attended University High School and raised my children here. The Irvine community has always been so supportive of my family and I so very much wanted to find a way to give back. I was interested in finding a Service Club where I could participate and one that honored our community and supported the City of Irvine. I was introduced to the Exchange Club of Irvine through a fellow real estate broker who was good friends with Dr. Michael Spitzer and I attended my first luncheon in 2012 and began serving as Secretary the next term. Now, I’m serving as the President Elect and couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this incredible organization. My involvement has not only rewarding for me personally, it has been a terrific business decision as it’s opened doors to many new connections that will help my real estate practice expand in the future. If you’d like to make a real difference in our community, please join us at our FREE luncheon every Tuesday and learn more about how you can get involved. We’d love to connect with you!
Interviewer: What is your favorite memory of being an Exchange Club of Irvine member?
Cathy: For me, the best moment of being a part of the Exchange Club of Irvine is when we get to hear the testimonies from the ACE Students from Creekside High. These students come from challenging backgrounds and many experience instability in their home and family lives due to substance abuse or other issues. This unfortunately leads to many students falling behind in their education. But through the support of Creekside High, the City of Irvine, and the Exchange Club of Irvine, these students rise above these challenges and often end up completing high school a year ahead and on track for four-year college degrees. These students want to become veterinarians, firefighters and own restaurants and a high percentage of them continue their education right here in Irvine at Irvine Valley College. The ACE program is the epitome of why we are so devoted to serving our community. I remember crying tears of joy as we witnessed how these students turn their lives around and succeed in ways they never thought possible.
Interviewer: What is your vision for the Exchange Club of Irvine during your term as President Elect?
Cathy: One of my key goals is to create awareness about what the Exchange Club of Irvine does in the community and how it can be a catalyst for expanding business networks. We’re somewhat of a stealth-like organization and we operate behind-the-scenes. I want to change this and do greater marketing to create greater awareness of our positive work in the community. To this end, we are utilizing social media and marketing for the first time in order to get our name and work more visible. It’s important the community be aware of the recognition and support we provide for the Irvine Police Department, for teachers and the work they do to educate our youth, for the work we do to help eliminate child abuse, and other major events we do each year.
If you or any of your business colleagues or friends are interested in participating in an organization that makes a real difference in the Irvine Community, I invite you to our FREE luncheon meetings every Tuesday at Back Bay Conference Center in Irvine. Come join us! I know for me, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.