Lodi lost a great lady early on Saturday morning. Cathi Woods-Bacher was called home to a place where there is no more pain. She would want me to say she is in a better place, with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For the five years I knew her, she was fighting severe pain from injuries she suffered due to a terrible car crash. Debilitating pain went literally from head to toe causing her to be on powerful medication, which she detested and fought to reduce their side-effects. I share this for those of you that may not have known Cathi – she had the will to live as much as a normal life as possible, a will beyond what most people could fathom. To say Cathi Woods-Bacher was a strong lady only scrapes the surface.
Cathi was a force to be reckoned with, but she also kind, loving and one of the most forgiving human beings. She had a way with seeing a person, of finding the good in everyone she met, and when her heart opened to you, you were better for it. She wanted to help everyone because she knew she could, and it is evident that Cathi impacted so many lives. While in Lodi, she taught some four-hundred individuals how to communicate, forging their own paths, and connecting to ones’ purpose. Her website, on the “A Little About Us” page, she says: “The LeadHership experience seeks to inspire women to dream more and become more.” Cathi taught many different classes that empowered women and men to overcome fears, a poor self- image, lack of confidence and many other things that hold people back. She helped women become more powerful, purposed and priceless. She was a healer of hearts, brought peace to so many people, all the while impacted by her own pain. But that pain did not even come close to stopping her when she set her mind to something, whether it was teaching her classes, meeting with women, or pouring good will and work into a person who needed it.
Cathi had more style than anyone I know. It was her own, a style that showcased an impenetrable sense of self, confidence, and attitude. She was never one to brag as most of her conversations were centered on wanting to know more about you. Before she made the move to Lodi, she was a CEO or COO for different non-profits all with multi-million-dollar budgets on the East Coast, one of those being Girls, Inc. In addition to her classes she taught here locally, Cathi also kept sharp by being a sought-after speaker travelling across the nation speaking to audiences on LeadHership. And it is no wonder that Cathi was selected as one of San Joaquin Magazines “Wonder Women,” recognizing women who make our county thrive.
When she founded her business LeadHership in 2017, she asked if I would be on her board. I told her I could not, but I would rather be an adviser if she would have me because I only wanted to spend time with her. I recognized I could learn a lot from her and she encouraged me, thought more of me than I thought of myself. I felt special, but it was not about me… all of those four-hundred people will tell you: she made each one of them feel special the same way. And isn’t that the person you would want as a friend?
I can say in all my life I’ve never met a person like Cathi, and I do not think I’ll be given another one like her in this life. That is bittersweet. It makes me appreciate her more because I will not see her again, at least for a while. But I am glad that I had her in my life, she made me better, she made our Chamber better, she made thousands better through HER LeadHERship.
Until we meet again, Cathi.