Guest Preacher: Hon Cathy Cook

A former Chief Deputy Leader of the Connecticut State Senate, she serves as Executive Director for Work Vessels for Vets.   Retired from the Senate in 2006 following two decades of public service representing eastern Connecticut and recipient of many awards, including National Legislator of the Year for the Biotech Industry, she went on to serve four years as Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Executive Assistant for Veterans’ Affairs.  During her tenure with Governor Rell, Cathy concentrated her efforts assisting the state’s Gold Star families of the fallen, obtaining VA benefits for injured veterans, developing programs for homeless veterans and starting combat-to-work initiatives, including creation of the higher education OASIS centers for vets returning to college.  Upon retirement form state service, Cathy joined Work Vessels for Vets, Inc, to help the small veteran-serving nonprofit with its unique mission to award much needed equipment to veterans making the transition from injury to entrepreneurship.

Her connections with colleagues in state veterans’ departments across the country have enabled her to expand Work Vessels for Vets reach into all 50 states to assist veterans who seek self-employment following combat injury.  Cathy also initiated and served on the Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, working to build the first national museum to honor the heroic men and women of the United States Coast Guard.  A graduate of Connecticut College, where she was awarded the prestigious Connecticut College Medal for Distinguished Alumna, she loves sailing, travel and time with her three adult children and their families.