Woman in Fiber Spotlight
Congratulations to FBA’s Women in Fiber group’s September Woman in Fiber Spotlight, Johanna Catchings!
The Woman in Fiber Spotlight is a special initiative meant to highlight and recognize the different roles and careers for women in fiber, telecom, tech, and construction.
Nominated by Alexa Edens, Director of Solutions Architecture ISP OSP at KGPCo. Alexa had this to say about Johanna: “Johanna is certainly one to watch out for in the industry, as she proves to exceed internally and externally in her contributions. Johanna is a wonderful example of hard work, involvement, and perseverance working alongside her team as she always strives for excellence. I see Johanna take true pride in her contribution to the large undertaking of the progressive 5G network, and further to be noted Johanna has also recently been awarded Verizon’s Coin of Excellence Award. Hard work pays off and Johanna Catchings is a true example of an excellent awardee of Fiber Broadband Association’s Women in Fiber Spotlight Award. Congratulations Johanna.”
This Spotlight shines on Johanna Catchings, Manager for 5G Implementation at Verizon.
In her Own Words
What have you accomplished at Verizon that you are proud of?
Creating and helping develop the tools necessary to aid the management and implementation of the 5G Network. The Denver market's historical data progression went from a basic tracking system to a Geospatial Information System (3GIS) in less than two years. Over those two years we significantly scaled the engineering and construction resources to ramp up delivery capacity in our market.
What is the career path that has led you to this moment?
I have an Engineering degree (System Engineer -MIS) and a Master's in Finance (MBA) that led me to develop financial tools to support the Strategic Pricing Operations team (AI concept) for the telecom industry (15 years ago). Later on, interested in managing the project from inception to completion I got my PMP certification and started applying all knowledge in a holistic manner: Engineering, IT, Finance and Project Management both in the private and government sector (with FEMA as an emergency COS and with the Department of the Interior as a PM) as well as domestic and international arena (Global Finance Manager).
What are some key ways that you give back to your community?
Understanding the impact that my work has in my city/state and society and putting into practice the skills acquired through both experience and knowledge I seek to create value for all. As a PM managing my vendors' production to ensure their work maximizes the development of the 5G Network in Denver or sharing my telecom (5G) experience with my fellows FEMA team members in times of planning for disaster. Verizon values and encourages our full support to first responders.
How do you feel your work helps to demonstrate or advance different roles for women in the fiber and tech space?
The fiber space (OSP) has historically been a male oriented environment. To successfully partner with those that have been in the industry for decades and gain their respect and approval shows that truly anyone with the desire to make a difference is welcome and needed, especially women.
How do you support others in your daily work?
By not just being aware of what they do but also by learning how they do it for two reasons: Help them when they get sick or take vacation or to suggest process improvements. The 5G market in Verizon works like a bicycle: A whole lot of moving parts that rely on each other and moving towards the same direction. Which means that what I do impacts everyone else's work. There is a lot of responsibility and accountability in that concept. You've got to love when a plan comes together.