Please join us in welcoming Natalie Catalan, Vice President of Business Development and Client Management at Canyon Partners, to the board of directors! Natalie was one of the first Ready to Succeed Scholars and is now dedicated to giving back to an organization that has fostered her success. This month, we sat down with Natalie for a quick Q & A session to learn more about her journey from RTS Scholar to RTS board member.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
There is so much to do in LA and it’s difficult to narrow it down! On a typical weekend you can find me hiking or road biking. I recently got into running too. I also really enjoy wine tasting, and though I am no wine connoisseur I really love going to wineries, especially in nearby wine regions like Paso Robles or Temecula. There is something so relaxing about having a cheeseboard and wine and friends enjoying the outdoors. Another hobby I enjoy is snorkeling. It’s a bit of a drive down to Laguna Beach but I love looking down into the ocean and seeing the fish and appreciating the immensity of the ocean.
Why did you choose to join the RTS board?
I joined Ready to Succeed in 2016 and was scholar number three or four. I have seen the program grow and develop throughout the years and I felt it was important to 1) give back to the organization that has fostered my success and 2) be the voice of the young scholars and provide some perspective as someone who is a product of the RTS programs.
If you could choose anyone who is alive today and not a relative, with whom and where would you have lunch and why?
I would love nothing more than to have a meal with Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio aka Bad Bunny at his new restaurant in Miami. When I was a kid, I listened to merengue, salsa, bachata and reggaeton but growing up Spanish music was never “cool.” Now I hear Bad Bunny in restaurants and on the radio and am glad that he has brought Spanish music into the American mainstream. Not to mention, he is a proud Puerto Rican and does a lot for the island. He actively calls out machismo and misogyny in the Latin community and has redefined what it means to be masculine.
Tell us about your career, past and present – what do you like most about what you do?
After graduating from Wellesley College, I joined Canyon Partners, where I have been working for the past four years. My passion for finance started after my first internship at LA hedge fund Kayne Anderson, which I was able to land through RTS, where I worked with the investor relations team. My role is similar now, focusing on West Coast and Midwest investors. I love that I interact with all teams, accounting, investment, legal, accounting etc and have to know what is going on in the financial markets. My favorite part is speaking with investors and updating them on the funds and latest market opportunity set.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
I grew up speaking Spanish and didn’t learn English until I was in kindergarten. Whenever I am with my family we communicate 100% in Spanish and I often think and dream in Spanish.
To read the next article in the September newsletter, click here.