She began in commercial real estate nearly 30 years ago in Tysons Corner, VA at a time when there weren’t many women in the industry. Today, she is not only known for her work in real estate with the defense community, but she is also known for her commitment to the arts, more specifically to her dedication to Choral Arts, which is a natural extension of her Midwestern upbringing within a musical family.
Meet Catherine “Cathy” Jones, a long-time member and supporter of the Choral Arts through her volunteer and charity work.
“[My parents] grew up in the Midwest,” Jones recounted. “They went to the University of Missouri, and they met singing in the church choir. From the time that I can remember, we had classical music playing in our house. Our living room had two pianos back to back, and it was the site of monthly gatherings of singers and musicians. Choral Arts reconnected me to this foundation.”
In fact, the Choral Arts Gala brings together Jones’ passion for choral music and her defense expertise. Jones told WashingtonExec, “Should our sponsors elect to support our troops, we are able to provide complimentary tickets to such military organizations as the USO, Fisher House, and Ft. Belvoir, enabling members of the military and their families to enjoy Choral Arts holiday concert, An Enchanted Christmas.”
Jones chaired the Choral Arts Gala in 2008 and has been the Gala Finance Chair ever since. “Cathy Jones has been a driving force of the Choral Arts Gala for the past five, first as Gala Chair and then as Gala Finance Chair,” said the Choral Arts Executive Director Debra Kraft. “Her long-term commitment to the Gala provides consistency in leadership that is landmark.”
As Gala Finance Chair Jones seeks out stakeholders who share her interest in choral music and recognize its importance to a vibrant community. Salient Federal Solutions, General Dynamics, and SAIC are among the like-minded leaders she has identified. In fact, these three corporations have been major Choral Arts donors for the last two years.
“When I first attended the Gala some years ago, I fell in love with Choral Arts and the Gala, and I felt it was essential to its sustainability to bring in new supporters,” Jones said.
She subsequently began inviting guests, such as Brad Antle and Mike Bruce. These guests and their ever-expanding commitment have played a significant role in the Gala’s ongoing success, even despite current economic restraints.
“Cathy has been critical in shaping Gala participation to reflect the changes within the DC corporate community, particularly in the Dulles corridor,” Kraft said. “We are grateful to Cathy for her dedication to the Gala and to Choral Arts and to introducing Choral Arts to the defense and Intel communities as well as in services organizations.”
Over the years, Jones has used the pre-Gala receptions to wet prospects’ appetites.
As reported by WashingtonExec, this year Choral Arts pre-Gala receptions have been hosted by Gala co-chairs George and Ashley Wilson, William and Karen Schuiling, and Nicholas and Deborah Smith.
“Many of Choral Arts patrons graciously host these events, which provide an important opportunity to share more about Choral Arts and the Gala, and to give people a sense of what is to come,” Jones said.
And what is to come? “A glorious Christmas concert, an acclaimed auction, and a magical evening of socializing, dinner, and dancing,” according to Jones. “The Choral Arts Gala has become a holiday tradition for the Who’s Who of Washington, DC.”
This year Choral Arts is looking to raise $615,000 to $620,000, which Jones believes is achievable. She continues to network, encouraging people to get involved.
“With the support of new and long-standing patrons, I have no doubt that this year’s Gala will be a huge success,” enthuses Jones.
Prior to her involvement with the Choral Arts, Jones was on the Board of Children’s Hospital for fourteen years. Currently she serves on the Board for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), made up of mostly the defense community and service providers, and sits on the Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
There is no doubt that her dedication and volunteerism will continue for years to come.
“Yes, I am very busy. My career is extremely interesting, and my life is made richer when giving back,” Jones concluded. “I am reminded of a quote from tennis great Arthur Ashe: ‘From what we get, we can make a living. What we give; however, makes a life.’ I have certainly found this to be the case.”
Learn more about the upcoming Choral Arts Gala on December 17th by visiting the organization’s event page.