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Cathy Ghan

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Cathy Ghan, banking/lending, executive vice president, Commercial Real Estate Group at Oak Valley Community Bank, sat down with HERLIFE Magazine recently to share her dedication to family and community.

HLM: How long have you lived here? What do you love most?
CG: I have deep roots in Stockton. My grandfather settled here and I grew up here. What I love most are the decades-old friendships, the neighborhood where I’ve lived for almost 30 years, and the strong sense of community that celebrates the range of cultures that make up Stockton.

HLM: How is your heart inspired to serve the community?
CG: I gravitate towards youth-related causes where I can lend wisdom and experiences to positively impact a young person’s perspective. Investing my time and resources is an important investment in the future of our community. I have volunteered for a variety of causes and have had the pleasure of serving on numerous boards here in Stockton, and I currently serve on the board of the Children’s Home of Stockton.

HLM: What sparks joy for you?
CG: Spontaneous trips; gotta love a road trip or vacation in Maui. Watching my 90-year-old mother eagerly working her stock picks using (all at one time) her iPads (yes, that’s plural), iPhone and listening to morning stock updates on TV. Her brain is going a mile a minute; she’s quick with the numbers and calculations. Snuggling with Molly, our doggie daughter. On-the-course golf lessons, by Gary Ghan; he’s so patient.

HLM: Top three bucket list goals?
CG: Take pottery lessons; volunteer as a hospital baby cuddler; keep a gratitude journal.

HLM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
CG: Raising two amazing principle-centered daughters.

HLM: What’s the best skill you learned from your mom?
CG: Besides the life lessons, my mom taught me a stick-to-it, you-can-do-it attitude. On the crafty side, she’s an expert seamstress and knitter. She taught me both, all with attention to detail and perfection (not always healthy).

HLM: What do you love most about being a mom?
CG: Teaching my daughters important life lessons, supporting their endeavors, watching them come into their own and learning about myself through their lens.

HLM: What’s the greatest life lesson you learned from your mom?
CG: Family first. Maintain traditions. Be resourceful. Treat important relationships like a long-term investment. Be a mentor.

HLM: Can you describe a key event that had an impact on your life?
CG: Two key events are first and foremost, meeting my husband, Gary. In my 30s I started and left a very successful business in pursuit of work-life balance.

HLM: Outside work, how is your time best spent?
CG: Enjoying time with family and close friends; tinkering around the house; experimenting in the kitchen and garden; DIY projects, sewing projects, shopping trips to SF or Walnut Creek with the girls; leisurely morning walks; planning/hosting dinner parties; golfing, weather permitting, I’m a fair-weather golfer.

HLM: Do you have a favorite quote?
CG: Newest favorite, a sign posted at Dad’s Hot Dogs: “Good People Bring Out the Good In People.”

HLM: What are you currently reading?
CG: Outlander, the first book in the series by Diana Galbaldon, and Bourdain; The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever

HLM: Favorite food or dessert?
CG: Comfort foods and my childhood favorite, steamed rice with Chinese sausage, a fried egg on top and a dab of soy sauce. I bake my favorite dessert, three-layer vanilla whipped cream cake with fresh bananas and strawberries.