We had the good fortune of connecting with Cat Curry-Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cat, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
I thrive on meaningful conversations and community building. For me, happiness starts with my family & friends. My community. I am in my element of happiness when I am with a powerful community of people (especially women) who take a stand for themselves (and ourselves) and speak about changing the way the whole culture thinks about women. Happiness also comes from the feeling of joy I get when I see beautiful flowers, a view from the mountains, or standing at the shore of the beach. I feel full and satiated when I visualize our planet in harmony, I feel at one with the universe when I have a feeling of peace vibrating through me. This Is Happy. Brainstorming makes me soooo happy. I consider myself a visionary, a visualizer of what’s possible, and I have a fierce belief in belief itself. Brainstorming what’s possible with the belief that I can make the possible a reality is what makes me happy. I’m happy when I find solutions instead of getting stuck on the problem. As John Kennedy said “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” At first I got pissed at the word MEN in that sentence, But I decided to flip it to what word that would make me happy and move forward! People is my new word for that quote!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Currently, I am the co-founder of She Angels Foundation. I didn’t set out to do this kind of work 30 years ago. I was all set to be an actress first, and improve the world second, But as life sometimes goes, the universe was busy making other plans for me. Following the loss of my son Shane in 1997, my husband and I (and a friend) founded Shane’s Inspiration, dedicated to building fully-inclusive playgrounds for kids of all abilities. And now, 24 years later, Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration is a global non-profit organization that creates inclusive playgrounds, while also providing educational programs that promote inclusion, compassion and kindness. While our mission is now widely embraced, it was not easy to launch and remains a labor of love. Men dominated the playground world behind the scenes, and I naively played along at first. But with dedication and passion, we never took no for an answer and from that first playground, we now boast 73 worldwide and counting. For our efforts, I have been honored by L’Oreal Paris “Women of Worth”, March of Dimes, Good Housekeeping magazine, KCET-TV, Lifestyle magazine, the City of Los Angeles, and the State of California, which recognized me as one of their “2018 Women Of The Year.” But while I appreciate the recognition, it is the countless families and volunteers who made all the real work possible. I learned through this work that there are so many good people out there, wanting to make a significant difference in the world. I know firsthand that how we treat each other is who we are. So I continued to do things that made me happy and invited others to do the some. Looking to diversify my pursuits, I founded the “Women With A Purpose” Conference, where kindred spirits gathered to thrive, inspire and evolve. The guest speakers included Marianne Williamson, Linda Gray, Dougall Fraser, Rhonda Britton, Cathey Painter and Susan Anton. As we expanded our amazing community of women, I called my friend Catherine Gray from Invest-In-Her Podcast and together we brainstormed the idea for a non profit to help female-founded and focused non-profits get more funding. We agreed that it was a critical unmet need, and I knew Catherine would be a powerful partner, so here we are! If I had to sum up the fundamental belief that drives me, it would be from Margaret Mead’s quote: “Never doubt that small group of thoughtful, committed citizens (especially women!) can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That’s very easy. First stop would be breakfast outdoors at Harvest Moon Cafe in North Hollywood. Best ricotta pancakes around. From there, we’d drive to the Observatory in Griffith Park for a hike. There are always cute dogs and interesting people on that hike, and lots of room to spread out. Then I’d suggest going back home for a Nap! I love naps. They give me time to meditate, contemplate and replenish Then dress in our nicest masks and head over to Vitellos on Tujunga for a specialty cocktail and a delicious dinner. Meat eaters and Vegans both love their food. The eggplant parm and gluten-free pizza are my faves. We will, of course, have to eat outside for now and they have a great set-up. The next day, we’d drive north of Santa Barbara to Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley. Shop at all the specialties stores and snack on aebleskivers. It’s a fluffy, ball-shaped pancake with jam filling. A guilty pleasure and absolutely delicious. En route to wine tasting, we’d take a scenic drive with amazing views. And there’s a great miniature horse farm across from one of my favorites wineries, Rideau Vineyard. I love their outdoor seating, amazing staff, and the special wine tastings during Covid. From there, it’s time for a late lunch at the Los Olives Cafe, a great local hub with incredible food, including tiramisu for dessert and a cappuccino. Then go to the Santa Ynez Historical Museum, and go back in time for a while, fantasizing what it would be like in the days of stage coaches. To finish the day, we head over to SY Kitchen for a five-star dinner. Truffle pizza, beet salad, signature cocktails. All while watching the sunset. Another hidden gem is Toscana in the heart of Solvang. A local favorite with a brilliant Italian owner and chef, Micheli.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Scott Williams. 27 years ago, my friend Scott and I decided to go on a romantic date. The rest, as they say, is history. He has been supportive of ALL my endeavors and there have been many, and still more to come. He held me close in our joy of having our first child and even closer when we tragically lost our son Shane. He takes my advice and I take his. We raised our now 21-year-old daughter to share our values and embrace her own.

Website: https://sheangelsfoundation.org/
Facebook: She Angels Foundation
Other: http://www.winewomenandchocolate.com/

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