Catherine Downey, CEO and creative director of CATMEDIA, has received the 2017 Outstanding Business Owner Award from the UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Established just this year, the award recognizes a successful small business owner who has benefitted from a variety of formal learning opportunities through the UGA SBDC, and served as a public advocate of business ownership. Downey has been a client of the SBDC for over a decade and is a proud graduate of the GrowSmart training program. She now serves on the SBDC statewide advisory council and has also had the privilege of sharing her experience as one of SBDC’s clients with the University of Georgia Board of Visitors.
What started as CATVIDEO in 1997 is now CATMEDIA, an Atlanta-based provider of creative services, strategic communications, media production, training, and program management for government and commercial clients. In 2016, CATMEDIA expanded its horizons even further, launching an entertainment division that recently wrapped production on a general audience southern-gothic thriller. In addition, CATMEDIA Entertainment is currently producing a documentary on the lives of sex trafficking victims in America.
CATMEDIA’s rapid growth has not gone unnoticed as the company was not only named one of the nation’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For last year, but it has also been recognized as one of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America for three consecutive years With creativity as the catalyst for each endeavor, the CATMEDIA team is continuously working to engage their clients in new and innovative ways.
“We aspire to be a great company for our employees, our vendors, and our customers. We’ve seen explosive growth, ranking among the fastest growing companies in the U.S., but we’ve been able to retain our exceptional customer rating,” says Downey.
Downey admits to having her fair share of ups and downs, but all of her hard work has certainly paid off. She is grateful to have received help from various Small Business Association (SBA) programs. In 2000, Downey turned to SCORE, an SBA resource partner that serves as counselors, advisors, and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs. Shortly after, she joined the FastTrac program at the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. FastTrac, which is now called the GrowSmart program, is a course that teaches entrepreneurs how to reach their future aspirations. Relentless in pursing her goals, Downey then joined the Emerging Leaders Program, an intensive training course that targets the professional development of “second stage” business executives, where she was eventually honored as the 2014 Class Valedictorian. She credits this program for equipping her with the aptitude for leading a company and managing a business. Just last year, the SBA named her the Georgia Small Business Person of the Year. Now, she is a member of the SBDC Advisory Board and feels her contributions on the Board is a tremendous opportunity to give back to the community and to SBA.
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).