Member Spotlight: Katrina Bantug

Meet this month’s Member Spotlight, Katrina Bantug. Katrina has been a member of Accountability Works since 2014. Over that time she has taught us more about resilience than anyone we know. 

Her first 12-Week Session

When she started our program she was already an accomplished business woman, running her third start-up, however unlike her previous endeavors this one was struggling. In her first 12-week session she was able to turn things around and get the company to start turning a profit for the first time in over a year. Over the next several sessions she would consistently grow her company, team, and their services.

Entrepreneurial Masters Program

Ever in search of growth and knowledge, Katrina applied to and was accepted into the Entrepreneurial Masters Program. It was a long time goal of hers and she was thrilled and ready to take life and business to the next level. She completed the program and left ready to put all she learned into practice. Everything was on track personally and professionally. S

Life-altering diagnosis

Then  came a life altering cancer diagnosis. Katrina left our program to focus on her health and receive treatment. We kept in touch and in every interaction it was clear that Katrina was putting her faith in God, family and friendships above all else. By the time we reconnected, Katrina was receiving the last of her treatments and was on the road to healing. 

A new lease on life

Never one to sit still, she was full of new ideas, goals, dreams and plans. She was clear that she was ready to diversify by taking the plunge into investing in real estate. Her illness taught that she needed more passive forms of income. She was now ready to learn everything she could about land development. In addition, leaving her company for a year had not been easy. Katrina was coming back to a whole new set of challenges and always she had to keep her health front and center. After a full year of clean up, everything was looking good and the future was bright.

Pandemic Pivot

Then in March of 2020, like most of the rest of the world, Katrina was cut off from her office and staff and her advertising company and all its contracts placed on hold until further notice. In retrospect, Katrina was ready for this moment. She spent the last several years cultivating resilience and faith. Now she would utilize these lessons in real time in ways even she could not have imagined. 

Katrina anticipated the need for commercial cleaning and disinfection services. It started as an intriguing idea, that she ran with, learning each week, and reinvesting and expanding as she figured it out. Today her new business and team are servicing large commercial spaces, all without her ever leaving her house. 

Faith, resilience and making a difference

And yes, starting a new, successful business during a pandemic is a big deal. But Katrina did not stop there. She is helping the nuns at her church distribute and sell their popular food items through local grocery stores since they are no longer able to personally sell the items whose income helped them to live and serve the community. That might sound like a side project but it’s a huge undertaking. 

Katrina is someone who embodies the classic characteristics of an entrepreneur. She is a creative problem-solver willing to take risks and make mistakes. But having known and coached Katrina for so long I have to underscore that Katrina cares deeply about making a difference. She is someone who values family and her relationship to God. On her hardest days, she is curious and asks questions that stop me in my tracks. On her winningest days, her exuberance is contagious. When I think of Katrina, I think this is what resilience looks like – a buoyancy that no matter what happens, you are going to rise again.