We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Anaya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
My family. I am married to the best human being I know. He is selfless, funny and generous and supportive of me in every facet of my life. He makes me a better person. I have always considered myself a good mother, but with his support, I’ve been able to become a better mother. After my ex-husband passed away, my husband encouraged me to follow my heart and leave my news career to focus on being present for my children. I could not have made that decision without him. He is the most incredible father to his children and the most amazing step-father to mine. Together, we have created a blended family that means everything to me. When we are together there is laughter, there is joy and there is love. I’m so proud of the family we’ve created together the kind human beings we’ve raised.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I spent 25 years as a television news anchor/reporter. I started anchoring news in Texas in 1990. By 1998 I was anchoring in Los Angeles before returning to Phoenix in 2003. Along the way I earned 3 Emmy Awards and 7 Emmy nominations. I’m especially proud of my induction into the Emmy Award Silver Circle, which happened after I left news in 2015. The television news journey isn’t an easy one because it requires you to work contract to contract, to move often and work long and often unpredictable hours. But when you love what you do, you can’t imagine doing anything else. The highs are high and the lows could get low but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Leaving the business was an easy decision because it was about making my children a priority. But it didn’t mean I would stop working and I’m proud of myability to pivot and find or create opportunities that allow me to continue doing what I love but in alternative ways and at a pace that works for my family and me. I became a journalist because I believe everyone has a story and I wanted to be the conduit of important information and stories that matter. I’ve been able to maintain that connection as a digital television host and podcast host. I currently host a YouTube series called Conversations with Catherine, I host The Women’s Eye podcast, and I host the home & lifestyle network My Home Group TV. I’ve also maintained my connection to philanthropy and community by continuing to serve as an emcee, as a speaker and moderator, and by using my platform to support the people and organizations making a difference in the world. I’m in my fifth year as a member of the Make-A-Wish Arizona board of directors. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that authenticity requires vulnerability, transparency and integrity. A quote I stumbled upon sums it up perfectly: “If you are your authentic self, you have no competition.” I’ve learned to embrace where I’ve been and who I’ve become, and to be true to me and not what someone else thinks I should be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, this is tough because the Valley is full of so many wonderful things and places to see and do. I would start with an early hike of Camelback Mountain, a nice run along the Bridle Path in Central Phoenix or a challenging hot pilates or hot bootcamp class at TruFusion Scottsdale. I love starting the day with a good workout. I would stop for a nice, healthy brunch afterward at Breakfast Kitchen Bar or if we’re in a hurry, a Vegan Buzz from D’Lite Healthy On The Go. We would get a little retail therapy at my favorite places to shop: Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix at the Biltmore and Intermix at the Scottsdale Quarter. If the weather is nice, which is usually the case, we might soak up some vitamin D by the pool (my husband remodeled our backyard to look and feel like a resort) with a nice rose or my hubby’s famous jungle juice. I love dressing up and doing dinner out, so I would definitely want to hit some of my favorite spots. If it’s low-key night, we’d go to Ristorante Giuseppe in Scottsdale where the food is great, the owners are fabulous and it’s BYOB. I also really love Vecina in Arcadia. It’s Latin-inspired food that is absolutely amazing and in my opinion it’s the best, new restaurant to open in the Valley in years. If we are in the mood for a fancy night we’ll head to Steak 44, Ocean 44 or Dominick’s Steakhouse, followed by cocktails and dancing at Toca Madera in Scottsdale. There is no shortage of great restaurants and fun things to do in the Valley. These are just a few of a long list of my favorites.
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?
I have so many people to thank for where I am in life. First and foremost, my mother. She gave me the courage and strength to believe I could be and do anything I wanted. She made higher education a priority which led me to USC and a college experience and education that led to more opportunities and accomplishments than I could have ever imagined. I have too many mentors in my career to name all at once. But in the television news business, which was long considered a man’s world, I have to give a shout-out to two women in particular; Ann Martin, the longtime queen of Los Angeles news who became my talk show co-host at KCBS in Los Angeles in 1999 and my former CBS 5 News news director Michelle Donaldson. While Anne could’ve easily dismissed me as a ‘newbie’ almost 20 years her junior, she embraced me as a friend and confidant. She ultimately inspired me to become a better journalist and an even better leader and mentor for other women. From day one, Michelle treated me with respect. She valued me enough as a journalist and person to always be honest with me, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Most importantly, she showed me by example, that putting your children first does not devalue your talent or what you’re still able to contribute to your profession. Finally, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without the love and support of my husband and children. They are shining examples that anything I do professionally pales in comparison to what I’ve accomplished as a mother and wife.
Image Credits: Photo 1: Phyllis Lane Photography Photo 2: Ryan Rose Photography Photo 3: Haute Photography & Videography Photo 4: Gary Helland Photography