Each year, the Corridor Business Journal shines a spotlight on young professionals who have made a meaningful impact on the region early in their careers.
This year, we are proud to introduce you to the 19th class of Forty Under 40 honorees. In this post, you’ll find the honorees working in education.
Catherina “Cat” Pinnaro
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics | University of Iowa
Residence: Iowa City, Iowa
Hometown: Toms River, New Jersey
Education: New York Medical College – Doctor of Medicine
University of Iowa – Pediatric Residency and Endocrine Fellowship
What was your first job? Cheerleading coach and camp counselor
What do you consider your “big break” in your career, so far? My big break in my career was coming to Iowa for a research fellowship during medical school. I was lucky enough to get matched with Dr. Jeff Murray, a world renowned genetics researcher, expert pediatrician, and overall amazing mentor and person. He taught me how to think, how to do science, how to be a good person, and most importantly, why it matters.
Best advice you ever received? “Never be so kind you forget to be clever. Never be so clever you forget to be kind.” – Taylor Swift
What’s the biggest issue facing the Corridor, and why? The ongoing workforce challenges – particularly difficulties finding and retaining employees, especially in health care fields.
Who do you consider your local mentors? University of Iowa professors Andy Norris, Ben Darbro and Mike Tansey.
If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support? I would support pediatric mental health initiatives from a few angles. I would put money into LGBTQ+ advocacy; donate directly to local and national pediatric/adolescent mental health initiatives, like the Mollie Tibbetts Memorial Fund and United Action for Youth; and donate to organizations that promote youth leadership development such as Free to Run, which uses outdoor sports to develop girls and young women’s leadership in areas of conflict.
What are your passions outside of the workplace? My passions outside of work are my family, running, volunteering at Camp Hertko Hollow (Iowa’s camp for kids with diabetes), and all things Taylor Swift.
Coordinator of Volunteerism and Service | Mount Mercy University
Family: Terry and Carla Reilly
Residence: Marion, Iowa
Hometown: Marion, Iowa
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Certified Nonprofit Professional (C.N.P)
Who do you consider your local mentors? Angie Widner, Ed.D. vice president of Community Impact for the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa; Trish Payton, data specialist, Provost’s Office for Mount Mercy University; and Mel Graziano, consumer franchise strategy manager for Disney Parks, Experiences, & Products.
Best advice you ever received? The best advice I ever received was to get involved. Getting involved helped me figure out what my interests and skills were and what I wanted to do professionally. It is advice I now give to my students every chance I can.
What would most people be surprised to learn about you? A lot of people are surprised when I say that I have lived all around the world! For six years I was a contractor for the military. I was able to experience different cultures and build relationships with some amazing people. I find people and culture extremely fascinating and inspiring!
What’s the biggest issue facing the Corridor, and why? People are afraid to interact with individuals who are different from them. For example, people who have a different race, religion, sexual identity, ethnicity, ability or socioeconomic status. People are afraid of looking bad, saying something offensive, being offended or feeling out of place. A lot of learning comes from interacting with others.
What do you want to accomplish by the time you are 50? I want to leave a legacy at every place I work. It can be little or small, but a legacy nonetheless.
What’s something people should know about your generation in the workplace? Our parents and the older generations instilled in us how to work hard and stay loyal, and we are from the technology era. We literally got the best of both worlds.
Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Assistant Professor, & Catholic Worker University of Iowa College of Nursing
Family: Partner, David; sons, Emiliano and Henry; daughter, Amalia
Residence: Iowa City, Iowa
Hometown: Johnston, Iowa
Education: Doctorate of Nursing Practice
What was your first job? ChildServe
Who do you consider your local mentors? Dr. Mary Dirks, clinical professor, University of Iowa College of Nursing; Jackie Robinson, Catholic Worker Movement, Des Moines; and Emil Rinderspacher, father-in-law, retired.
Best advice you ever received? You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more.
What do you consider your “big break” in your career so far? Being selected for a 2016-2017 Psychiatric Fellowship at Broadlawns Medical Center opened a lot of career doors for me to be where I am today.
What would most people be surprised to learn about you? In my free time, I help coordinate two Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality for refugees seeking to rebuild their lives in Iowa. I organize teams to accompany refugee workers to educational, medical, and immigration appointments and provide all manner of wrap-around care and support.
What’s the biggest issue facing the Corridor, and why? Poverty and the growing gap between the super-rich and the very poor.
If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support? Refugee resettlement, immigrant rights, and climate change.
What are your passions outside of the workplace? I enjoy spending time with my partner and three children, reading, walking outside, spending time in Chiapas, Mexico, volunteering and grassroots advocacy.
What’s something people should know about your generation in the workplace? We say we want a work-life balance, but we don’t always take the time for self-care.
What do you want to accomplish by the time you are 50? Expand access to mental health care for undocumented and excluded immigrant workers in Iowa.