About Catherine

Catherine McHugh, Ph.D. is the founder and president of McHugh Management Consulting, a firm specializing in leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and executive coaching.

Catherine came to consulting and coaching circuitously. The journey began with engineering studies, was followed by 14 years in manufacturing management, and was rounded out with graduate training in depth psychology. Each step along the way deepened and expanded Catherine’s knowledge, skills, experience, and capacities.


Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, graduating summa cum laude with a Minor in German Literature. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. 1981.

Certificates: Productivity Through Quality (PTQ) Program; PTQ Senior Executive Program. College of Business Administration, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. 1987 and 1990.

Certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. Institute of Imaginal Studies in Petaluma, CA. 1998.

Master of Arts in Psychology. Meridian University in Petaluma, CA. 1998.

Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. Meridian University in Petaluma, CA. 2003. Emphasis on Cultural Leadership and Transformative Learning . Original research Dissertation entitled, A Hidden Legacy: Re-Imagining Cultural Shame and Uncovering its Transformative Potential.

Business Experience and Expertise

Catherine began her manufacturing management career working for the Procter & Gamble Company at the Jackson, TN and Lexington, KY food production operations, where she fulfilled a number of functional responsibilities, eventually attaining the position of Group Operations Manager. Catherine subsequently joined the Pepsi Cola Company, where she was named Plant Operations Manager, first in Flint, Michigan, then in Torrance, California. These positions included significant organizational and fiscal responsibilities associated with bottling, warehousing, and shipping of up to 20 million cases of Pepsi Cola beverages per year.

Catherine’s corporate manufacturing experience allowed her to gain broad functional and managerial leadership expertise in:

  • Manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping operations management
  • Budgeting and financial control
  • Quality control and safety leadership
  • Manufacturing equipment maintenance
  • Engineering and project management
  • Process improvement, statistical process control, Total Quality Management
  • Employee relations and risk management
  • Employee training and development
  • High performance work teams, in union and non-union environments
  • Diversity and women’s development

Management Consulting and Coaching

Catherine launched her leadership consulting and executive coaching business in 2003. In her consulting work, Catherine integrates years of hands-on business experience with psychological insight and expertise. She is passionate about developing people and working with leaders to transform their organizations in order to achieve their purpose. In her work, Catherine:

  • Designs and implements organizational development efforts
  • Provides coaching to senior executives in a variety of for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and public sector entities
  • Develops and provides customized leadership development training
  • Designs and facilitates team and leadership interventions
  • Speaks about management and leadership at a variety of business conferences
  • Enjoys working with and advocating for a variety of public library systems


In addition to consulting and coaching, Catherine has diverse academic teaching experience.

  • Core Faculty: Seattle University, Organization Systems Renewal (OSR) Masters of Arts Degree Program. Seattle, WA. 2010 – 2012.
  • Full-time Faculty: Everett Community College, School of Business Design; Business Department; and Engineering Department. Everett, WA. 2006 – 2008.
  • Volunteer Faculty: Sonoma State University, Psychology Department. 1997 – 1998.

After spending 15 years in the Seattle, Puget Sound region and Bay Area of Northern California, Catherine now resides in Boulder, Colorado. She has lived in Germany, France, and Italy and traveled extensively. Catherine is fluent in German.