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HomeNewsArchivesOn Island Profile: Noreen Cavanaugh

On Island Profile: Noreen Cavanaugh

May 22, 2009 — Noreen Cavanaugh, who took over as the Friends of V.I. National Park's development director in March, has a wealth of eclectic experience.
"I bring to the job an entrepreneurial experience," she says.
Cavanaugh started gathering that experience as a buyer for Filene's, the Boston-based department store, just out of high school in Everett, Mass.
She segued that into a variety of jobs, including one as a supervisor at Woodward and Lathrop department store located at a shopping mall inside the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
While raising her three children — Erin, Darryl and Tarraugh — she had a variety of additional experiences. She taught grades from kindergarten to college and special education, went to college to get a bachelor's degree in organization and human development from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., owned a retail clothing store and a marketing/consulting company, and designed clothing for the elderly. She also owned a magazine, U.S. Women Magazine, which she closed when she decided to move from Missouri back to Boston. In Boston, she started a charity to help families of people with cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis.
Along the way she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and was named Woman Business Owner of the Year by National Association of Women Business Owners. She was president of the St. Louis chapter.
"That was something that touched me deeply, because it was individual recognition," she says of the award.
Some of these jobs and entrepreneurial endeavors were simultaneous.
"I've always done more than one thing at a time," she says. "That's why this job is so perfect for me."
She was working as a consultant in the Boston area when the bottom fell out of the economy and her major client no longer needed her services. Cavanaugh was looking around for what to do next when the Friends' job beckoned.
"She brings experience and fresh ideas," Friends President Joe Kessler says. "She has a record of being successful in these types of things."
As development director, Cavanaugh raises money, writes grants, plans events and does public relations for the Friends.
She's no stranger to St. John. Her sister, Irene Levin, is a longtime resident, and Cavanaugh came often to visit.
But visiting is not living on St. John, she acknowledges, and says she knows that island life is a lot harder in many ways than living on the mainland.
That said, her job provides an introduction to many St. John residents, a plus for new residents getting their feet wet in the island's social scene.
With professional singing on her extensive resume, she says she plans to join the St. John Singers. She also likes the water, swimming regularly near her home in the Coral Bay area.
"And the beauty of the island surprises me on a daily basis," she says.
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