Renee Brooks Catacalos

B-CC cheerleading captain

After B-CC, Renee Brooks Catacalos graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville with a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs. She became a consular officer, processing passports and visas and providing assistance to U.S. citizens abroad, serving in Mexico City and Istanbul. Eventually she moved to Texas, considering it “the closest to a foreign country [I] could get while staying in the U.S.”

Catacalos met her husband, Damon, an attorney, in Houston and they moved to University Park in 2003.

They have a daughter, Catherine, 12, and a son, Louis, 9. For several years, Catacalos published and edited Edible Chesapeake, a quarterly publication that was part of a movement encouraging people to eat more locally produced foods to help sustain small farms. She now does communications consulting.

As a B-CC student, Catacalos worked at the McDonald’s across the street from school, at a time when there weren’t “a lot of restaurants of note there.” She says her children “will never eat at a McDonald’s” and that she’s pleasantly surprised by the growth of the Bethesda dining scene.

As for the changes in her own life, “I had a lot of fun as a cheerleader, and look back on that as a great high school memory,” Catacalos says. “I have never been one to indulge speculation about the future, though, so I wouldn’t have predicted the career path I have had. I think I’ve just looked for opportunities as they’ve come along. I never imagined motherhood being such a central part of my life. Having kids causes a lot of people to re-examine priorities, and one of those is the way we eat.”