Nominated by the University of Iowa Center for Advancement as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser.
A native Iowan, Cathy Zaharis has spent the past 37 years as an advisor to many: whether in her role as a Portfolio Manager/Analyst for Principal Global Investors in Des Moines or at University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie College of Business in her current role as Director of Professional/Employer Development in the college’s Department of Finance. She is an exceptional leader in the college, volunteering on the Investment Advisory Committee for the Krause Fund and as a mentor for the Women in Business program.
Cathy graduated from the University of Iowa in 1982 with a B.B.A. in finance. She went on to earn her M.B.A. at Drake University in 1983.
Cathy’s nominator Lynette Marshall shares, “Cathy positively influences the lives of students by drawing upon her many years of experience to provide insight, wisdom, and guidance for her mentees.” Her passion for volunteerism is demonstrated through her active involvement with several volunteer boards across the University of Iowa campus. As a member of the University of Iowa National IClub board, she holds the distinction of being the first woman named to this group. Cathy has committed many years of excellent volunteer leadership to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement as well. She has been a dedicated member of the board of directors since 1999. As past chair of the investment committee, she guided their investment program and oversaw its endowment. As former chair of the UI Center for Advancement Board of Directors, she provided vital leadership throughout For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa in which they raised more than $1.95 billion, surpassing their $1.7 billion goal.
Cathy is a role model of lifelong learning, generosity, expertise, and leadership-not only for the students she mentors and teaches, but also for every person who has the good fortune to cross paths with her. She leads by example through her generous philanthropy toward her alma mater. While she has given to many areas across campus, her support of the George M. Zaharis, M.D., Medical Scholarship stands out. Cathy established the fund in 2003 in memory of her father, who was a 1959 graduate of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. This generous support encourages students as they work to succeed in their educational pursuits.