Cathy Browne spent many years of her life as a wholesale furniture manufacturing representative, at the same time her now-husband, Hank, was a furniture retailer. In 1997, their worlds collided and she sold him and Hank's Fine Furniture the Italian Leather line she represented. Whether the leather furniture line sold very well, or Hank just like her a lot, in 1999 they were married.
Soon after, Cathy stepped into the role of marketing and community relations, not only for Hank's Fine Furniture as a whole, but also for the towns in which all of the stores were located. As the company continued to grow, the amount of asks for various charities from all of the locations became staggering. Hank challenged the employees to name three main charities they could truly get behind and support. It was at this time that Cathy was able to make a difference in fundraising campaigns and the company as a whole was able to share in the outcome of their efforts.
In April of 2011, Cathy was asked by Cindy Murphy if Hank's would furnish a remodeled kitchen and dining area of a women's shelter in Little Rock. The answer immediately was yes, and from the moment she stepped into the Women & Children First shelter, she knew she was here for a reason. "My journey with Women & Children First has been a remarkable one", Cathy says. "Not only do we have an amazing staff and an outstanding Executive Director, but our board and our donors are friends, truly friends, that understand our mission and what we need to accomplish every day.
"The momentum that WCF has now is tremendous. The huge success of the 10th Anniversary Woman of the Year Gala, our new website (thanks to board member Tim Whitley and Team SI), our Peacekeepers numbers are growing, our Statewide Domestic Hotline number is now published on the new Laura's Card that all of Arkansas Law Enforcement will have with them at all times, a closer relationship with those in state government, and the awareness of all that we do is much more recognized than ever before.
"It's a very exciting time to be part of Women & Children First. We are posed to be the most influential organization fighting Domestic Violence in the state. We need every one of you to be in this fight with us. More and more women and their children are going through our programs and are not going back".
Cathy currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors. She loves the work that WCF is doing and her motto as she leads the board is "One woman
at a time, one family at a time, one life at a time".