Caterina Valentino is adamant that her career success is underpinned by the gracious communication she absorbed while watching her father smile, exude patience and courtesy, and build a shared story with every patron who dined at Lindsay’s Restaurant. Yet, if eight years ago you had asked Caterina what factors supported her career’s success, the response would have been her management and leadership capabilities. It was not until she completed a postgraduate certificate in communication that she truly understood the symbiotic relationship between well-executed messaging, and one’s management and leadership competencies. This is a unique combination of art and science that when done well pulls and pushes internal and external stakeholders to willingly engage with an organization, its products, and its people.
Caterina is an accomplished health care leader and university contract lecturer. She has led, managed, and designed strategies and tactics to motivate staff to embrace change and move forward. As a university contract lecturer, Caterina makes a point of introducing her students to the art and science of communication.
Caterina complements her membership in her professional association with her IABC/Toronto membership. The IABC/Toronto chapter provides access to professional development and networking opportunities that enhances one’s career no matter whether it be as a student, mid-level manager, or tenured communicator.
For the communication student, the chance to cross paths with industry experts is a great way to check out the multitude of diverse communication careers that are available. More importantly, the IABC/Toronto chapter encourages its student members to join student run special interest groups. Groups that provide an opportunity to engage with industry leaders in an almost one-on-one situation.
For the mid-careerist, IABC/Toronto offers professional development and a robust speaker series. There is no better way to prepare for the future than to peer into the crystal ball of industry influencers.
For the tenured practitioner it’s about giving back – volunteering. And that’s a huge drawing card for Caterina. Caterina volunteered as the membership spotlight writer, as a Silver Leaf award judge and an IABC/Toronto Communicator author. A multitude of other volunteer opportunities await members who desire to learn new competencies or showcase their own talents.
As for the future of communication, Caterina sees communication through a leadership/management lens that views messaging as an intrinsic part of everything an organization does — not an afterthought. In her crystal ball artificial intelligence and lazy girl jobs (hybrid working arrangements are yesterday’s news) will be established as trends not fads. Astute communicators are reading widely and diversely and gathering intelligence that prepares them to craft messaging that is tailored to each trend their organization will require a response to.
Caterina is excited about communication because it’s a key factor for an organization’s success. She welcomes the opportunity her classroom provides for instructing students in theory-based knowledge of the importance of a focused communication plan, the basics of crisis management and necessity of media training to avoid making communication faux pas that do irreparable damage to an organization and its members’ reputations.
Caterina began her professional career as an X-Ray technologist. Through a combination of post-graduate degrees (Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, PhD) she progressed to more senior health care leadership positions until transitioning to teaching and writing.
Caterina is a life-long learner. She has completed several certificates in training and development, media studies and publishing. Currently, Caterina is completing a certificate in community engagement, leadership, and development. Caterina is the recipient of the Ryerson Teaching Award and the Sue Williams Teaching Award (Toronto Metropolitan University, formally Ryerson University).
To diversify her thinking, Caterina joined a band where she continues to hone her clarinet technique – a life-long adventure. To keep her mind nimble, she is an aquafit instructor. She joined a book club to expand her reading and is an avid recreational swimmer.