Catherine Keleher


In the spring of 2008 Catherine Keleher was preparing for college graduation. The economy was in free fall and she had no job offer. Rather than wait for an opportunity to find her, she loaded her car and drove to Atlanta where she had extended family. The break she was looking for didn’t come quickly but after nearly a year of searching it did come. A position with a well-respected energy company was her professional start. From there she moved to New York City and then back to the North Country. When a position in marketing at SUNY Plattsburgh opened, Catherine knew she had found the opportunity she had been searching for.

Current Business & Job Title: SUNY Plattsburgh, Director of Marketing
Hometown: Plattsburgh, NY
Age: 33
Education: B.A. in History from the University at Albany
Community Involvement: First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh, Alpha Phi Faculty Adviser

What’s the single most important characteristic for success?
I would say that the single most important characteristic for success is the ability to believe in yourself. Hard work is a close second, but having the confidence to know you can succeed is paramount to achieving your dreams.

What’s your biggest professional success?
I would have to say that my biggest professional success to date would be my current job. When I moved back home to Plattsburgh, I knew that I wanted to work for the college and help students make their dreams come true. I love going to work every day (or logging on to my computer in my home office!). I was truly honored when I received the promotion to my current role as Director of Marketing.

What’s your dream job?
I have my dream job and I’m very grateful for that. I hope to continue to advance at the college and continue to lead our marketing efforts.

What important lesson have you learned in your career?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is the power of networking and mentorship. Every job or promotion I’ve earned has been because of the guidance and insight of my mentors. Mentors are incredibly important for the success of professionals, but especially young professionals, who are trying to find their footing. Shout out to Deena, who started out as a mentor and became a wonderful, close friend!

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
I think it’s really important that the North Country continue to invest in the younger generation. I would like to see our region take advantage of our lakefront location and create space that would allow us to further enjoy Lake Champlain.

Write a note to your younger self…
Dear Catherine,
Life can be confusing, unpredictable and a bit scary but you will find that it’s so much fun! These next few years may be stressful but they will help you become the person you are meant to be. Stay faithful, hopeful and grateful. Know your worth and keep smiling!