It’s not everyday you decide to start a new adventure
Meet Bridge Club founders Brenda Andresen and Catherine Haskins – find out what keeps them up at night and going all day long (yes, caffeine and and the occasional cocktails play a role), and what motivated them to start The Bridge Club.
Q: So let’s start with a big question – how do you take your coffee?
B: Bold and toasty, with hazelnut-flavored almond milk. 2/3 coffee, 1/3 almond milk.
C: I am in a transition stage with my coffee. I used to be a strict non-fat skinny vanilla with three equals (high maintenance, I know) but today, I have simplified my life and my go-to is a Americana with one stevia (slightly less maintenance).
Q: The Bridge Club tagline is “Connect. Engage. Learn. Grow.” Tell us about that.
C: We all need to be nourished professionally and personally, but it is getting harder and harder to find time to gain knowledge to advance ourselves and our profession. The Bridge Club feeds our souls with inspiration, insight and conversation.
B: We’re facilitating conversations that lead to meaningful connections and engagement. The learning and growing is the responsibility of the individual, of course, but we’re building a community that values sincerity, respect, trust, and inclusiveness and creates a rich learning and sharing environment.
Q: Where do you look for personal inspiration?
B: Wow, that’s truly a big question! I see inspiration everywhere – in the landscape, in the way people interact with each other in line at Target, in a beautifully wrapped package, in the expressions on Wrigley’s face…
C: I have always been extremely goal-oriented. I think it is in my DNA. But finding my inspiration to accomplish these goals often comes from a deeply seeded personal inspiration – my mother, my daughter, etc.
Q: Catherine, you have an enormous amount of energy – all the time. Were you born that way, or can others buy it in a bottle?
C: What is scarier is when I actually do have caffeine, then watch out! This is 100 percent natural.
Q: Brenda, you tend to wear black – is there a reason for that?
B: Lots of reasons. Early in my career I found you could pack for a two-week trip to Europe with just a carry-on suitcase and a tote when everything (except a few accessories) is black. Everything matches, and I’m ready for anything!
Q: You’ve both been in the advertising/communications/PR space and the veterinary profession for a while. How did you end up here?
B: It’s a complete accident that I’m in the veterinary profession. Honestly, I had my eye on Michigan Avenue or Madison Avenue consumer agency work. But a media sales job offered me the opportunity to make a big dent in my student loans and have enough leftover to live somewhere other than my MG Midget. That first job led me to the person who offered me my second job, and the job after that, and the trend continued. So I didn’t get to Madison Avenue, but along the way, I’ve learned from some of the greatest visionaries in the veterinary industry and have worked with so many talented and passionate people (like Catherine!). It’s those connections – and the amazing conversations that have resulted from them – that led to the creation of The Bridge Club.
C: I wish I could say that I ended up here because of hard work, but I think the stars have aligned for me ever since I entered this profession. I have been extremely fortunate to have the right people take me under their wings, foster my talents and introduce me to the next right person. This roadmap has given me incredible opportunities that continue to this day, including partnering with Brenda to form this incredible community.
Q: Life’s not all about work, right? What do you like to do in your “spare” time?
B: Bring on the shenanigans with my two sons, Trevor and Ethan, romps with our family golden retriever, Wrigley, and a nice glass or two of bourbon or Cabernet with my husband Brian. And I love spending low-key time with close friends and my incredible extended family.
C: I am incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful partner in life, who is my best friend and the father to our beautiful daughter, Emma. Our daughter is truly one of the most amazing people I have ever met. So, when I have free time, my world is filled with them, just being together!