Cathleen Costello

Coaching and Consulting Experience

Cathleen’s 30-year career includes significant experience in coaching and leadership development as both a senior-level executive and a consultant. In leadership roles, she also has proven her prowess as a strategic thought leader and her ability to both build high-performing teams and motivate multiple stakeholders to drive growth.


In Cathleen’s 10-plus years as a consultant, she partnered with numerous clients to develop innovative strategies and plans as well as the organizational capabilities and leadership required to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Among her notable accomplishments as a consultant: Cathleen collaborated with the new government and labor leadership team at Aetna® to develop a five-year strategy for profitably growing its business and to both develop and execute implementation plans. She provided executive coaching to transition leaders into new roles and ongoing coaching of the business head. She partnered with Nationwide® to develop innovative strategies to grow both its private and public sector retirement-plan businesses and innovate ways to engage plan participation. In addition to advising the implementation plan, she coached senior leaders through transition. The businesses exceeded goals.


Career Background and Additional Achievements

Cathleen held numerous senior-management positions at American Express across her 18 years there, ultimately leading a multifunctional, multi-site team of 2,500 in growing a $7B corporate card and travel management portfolio of businesses with over 5,000 clients. Her career also included tenure as a senior executive for Chicago’s Field Museum – the world’s fourth largest natural history museum – where she led a team of more than 300 professionals, spearheaded marketing and public relations campaigns and led development of a long-term strategic plan to redefine key components of the museum.


Cathleen has served on a number of boards including The University of Michigan Corporate Advisory Board, Opportunity Board of Governors, Northwestern University Settlement House Board NS and the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation Board.



Cathleen earned her B.A. from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and M.B.A. from the Columbia Graduate School of Business. She is certified in the Hogan Assessment System.



For additional information, contact Andrea Sherman.
Email [email protected]

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