Catherine T. Doherty ’84 Knows The Value Of A 山ּ Education – Alumni - 山ּ State University

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Catherine T. Doherty ’84 Knows the Value of a 山ּ Education

As Executive Vice President, Regional Businesses at Quest Diagnostics, Catherine T. Doherty ’84 is responsible for 90% of the company’s $10 billion annual revenue and 85% of its employees. As a member of the Feliciano School of Business Advisory Board, she is helping to ensure that 山ּ’s business students get the highest value possible from their higher education investment.

Posted in: Alumni News and Events, Alumni Profiles

Cathy Doherty
Cathy Doherty, Quest Diagnostics, Secaucus, NJ. 06/10/2019 Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Catherine T. Doherty ’84 exemplifies the drive and work ethic that is typical of 山ּ graduates. A first-generation college student from Bergen County, New Jersey, Doherty commuted to school five days a week and worked at part-time jobs whenever she was not in class or studying.

“I graduated in the top 10% of my high school class,” Doherty tells us. “And although my parents prioritized education, they didn’t believe in going away to college. 山ּ was, in fact, the only college I applied to. It turned out to be an unbelievable investment!”

Doherty loved math and numbers but was not interested in teaching. She did like the idea of going into business. A business track, with a concentration in Accounting, made sense. She completed her degree and passed all four sections of the CPA exam in one sitting.

Still, Doherty had a career path to figure out. “I knew very little about the large accounting firms, except that they were a good place to start,” she says. “I accepted an offer with KPMG.”

“When I got to the workforce, I was able to apply the theory that I learned in class,” she continues. “I was also able to draw on other lessons I learned from my professors. Many of them had come to 山ּ from the business world. They brought real experience, and high value, to the classes.”

Doherty left KPMG to take on the role of assistant controller at adidas, but when the company moved her department to South Carolina, she decided she would have more opportunities for advancement closer to home. A bit of advice she received from the chief financial officer at adidas resonated as she began her search. “He suggested that I look for work with a public company to give me access to equity,” she recalls. “He pointed out the importance of equity to building wealth for my future and for my family’s future. I found a job with Metpath, which at the time was a subsidiary of Corning.”

That was in 1990, when Metpath was reporting about $750 million in revenue. Corning spun the company off in 1997, which resulted in the creation of Quest Diagnostics. When the spinoff was nearing completion, Doherty remembered her former co-worker’s advice and asked that equity be included in her compensation package. “I was even willing to take a lower salary in return,” she says. “I was so grateful to have had that bit of guidance and mentorship. Today, Quest is an independent public company with nearly $10 billion in annual revenue.”

Quest offered Doherty more than equity, however. “I am driven by having opportunities to learn and contribute, and Quest has always provided that for me,” she says. “I have enjoyed a remarkable career here full of new experiences and new knowledge.”

Doherty is currently executive vice president, where she is responsible for 90% of the company’s revenue and 85% of its employees — approximately 35,000 people. She was a key leader at the company when it had to adapt to COVID conditions and testing. She is a highly respected executive and is known as a champion for developing talent for the company’s leadership pipeline.

In addition, Doherty co-chairs the company’s Inclusion and Diversity Council and is executive sponsor of Quest’s Women in Leadership Employee Business Network.

During her time at 山ּ, Doherty had little time for extracurricular activity, but she remembers her graduation day like it was yesterday. “I was so proud,” she says. “It was the first time my mom had visited the campus!”

When Doherty was invited to serve on the Feliciano School of Business Advisory Board, she was happy to accept. “山ּ is a great school,” she says. “I want to do what I can to help the University continue on its path. Employers’ expectations are evolving, and we are working to better understand what their needs are now, and what they will be in the future as well.”

Her role at Quest allows her to foster opportunities for the company to recruit 山ּ graduates. “We partner with the Feliciano School of Business of course, and because Quest is in the healthcare business, we also engage with other areas of the University, such as the College of Science and Mathematics,” she says. In fact, Ruth Clements, a member of Doherty’s team and president of the East Region at Quest, is now serving on the College’s Advisory Board.

Doherty also points to the recruiting possibilities at the company’s facilities in Clifton, close to the 山ּ campus. “山ּ students have such a great work ethic,” she says. “When you hire a 山ּ graduate, you are getting a hard worker who is ready to learn.”

When she was asked to speak as part of 山ּ’s MBA Executive Speaker series, Doherty jumped at the chance to bring her knowledge and wisdom to students. “I think we all underestimate the value we can bring to others,” she says. “When my grown children ask me for advice, I can offer them the benefit of what I have learned over the course of a long and successful career. But not every student has access to people who have that kind of background. That is why it is so important that alumni step forward.”

“山ּ has graduated some pretty amazing people,” Doherty adds. “Our success makes it possible for us to have a larger impact in the world.”