Diversity in Board Governance with Anna Catalano

Cadence Bank Podcast: In Good Companies

In Good Companies is springing back into action! Season 5 is out next week, and to warm up, we’re bringing back a favorite guest from seasons past: the fantastic Anna Catalano. Her episode is a lesson in ambition and professional development.

Over the last 20 years, Anna has perfected the art of board governance and sat on a dozen public boards. Fortune magazine named her one of the most powerful women in international business, which is no understatement. In 2023, women held only 28% of board seats in the Russell 3000. And yet, Anna has become a prominent voice in corporate leadership, advocating for diversity and board refreshment.

So today, we ask her: how can companies make efforts to diversify their leadership? How can established directors lift up people who haven’t always had their seat at the table? What is the benefit of seeing more diversity in the boardroom?

Together, we weigh up the challenges awaiting women in business, and think about how boards can make space for new talents. Looking back on her career, Anna will revisit her most formative experiences; from unconscious bias, to bold career turns, her story is as inspiring as it is insightful.

Push the doors of the boardroom open with Patrick and Anna… And you will find that change is underway.


  • What a board of directors does (2:38)
  • Improving diversity around the table (4:13)
  • How directors are recruited (5:49)
  • Reconciling diversity and meritocracy (8:09)
  • Handling unconscious bias (10:08)
  • The importance of interrogating assumptions (12:29)
  • How board directors lift up new talents (14:23)
  • Thoughts on board refreshments (16:02)
  • How to get board-ready (18:39)
  • Seizing new learning opportunities (22:23)
  • Getting out of your comfort zone (24:08)
  • Diversity to revisit the way things are done (26:21)
  • What good leadership means to Anna (27:27)


If you have questions about the show or topics you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producers, [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected].


Read the full show transcript.

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Meet the Host

Patrick Pacheco Patrick Pacheco, Executive Vice President, President of Cadence Asset Management & Trust , has more than 25 years’ experience in wealth management, in addition to the designing and implementation of tax and related planning strategies.

Pacheco’s background includes years of legal practice and multiple degrees, including an LLM* Taxation from University of Houston, a JD from Southern Methodist University, and both an MBA and BS in Economics from University of Texas at Arlington.

He is also board certified in Estate Planning and Probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


Meet the Speaker

Anna Catalano HeadshotAnna C. Catalano manages an active board portfolio, serving as an independent director for public and private corporations and not-for-profit organizations. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of HF Sinclair Corporation (NYSE: DINO), Frontdoor (NASDAQ: FTDR), Ecovyst (NYSE: ECVT), and Hexion, Inc., (private). Ms. Catalano is a Director of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Corporate Directors Institute, and Chair of the NACD Texas TriCities Chapter. She is Co Founder of The World Innovation Network and has significant experience in the not-for profit sector having served as a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Houston Grand Opera.

With over 40 years of corporate experience including over two decades of service on public boards, Ms. Catalano is an expert on the topics of board governance and leadership, and an outspoken champion of women in business. Her extensive career spanned three continents in marketing, retail operations, and international business development at Amoco, and subsequently, BP plc. She established Amoco’s refining and marketing beachhead in China in the 1990’s, and during her tenure at BP she was Group Vice President of Marketing when the company was rebranded and was the instrumental voice behind its “beyond petroleum” marketing campaign.

Ms. Catalano is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and has been recognized on Fortune’s ranking of “The Most Powerful Women in International Business”, Directors and Boards “Directors to Watch”, Women Inc “Most Influential Board Directors”, and BoardProspects “Top 30 AAPI Directors in the US”. She is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics including board governance, leadership, innovation, and the advancement of women in business. She advises numerous organizations on leadership, strategy, and organizational effectiveness, and her thoughts on various topics can be found on her blog, www.shades-of-leadership.com. Additional information about Ms. Catalano can be found on her website, www.annaccatalano.com.



This podcast is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank and its affiliates make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the content in the podcast. The podcast is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

To the extent that this podcast includes predictions about the economy, these predictions are subject to a number of variables and you should confer with your legal, accounting and tax advisors for their input regarding the possible outcomes of any economic subject matter discussed herein. Predictions are forward-looking statements that reflect current views with respect to, among other things, future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond the control of any person or entity. Accordingly, please be aware that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.

The views and opinions expressed by the host and guests in this podcast are solely their own current opinions regarding the subject matter discussed in the podcast and are based on their own perspectives. Such views, perspectives and opinions do not reflect those of Cadence Bank or any of its affiliates, or the companies with which any guest is, or may be, affiliated. The production and presentation of this podcast by Cadence Bank does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of Cadence Bank or any of its affiliates.

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