Meet a Colleague: Katherine Brinkley Katherine Brinkley is the assistant director of board operations
Q. How long have you worked at W&L?
April 28 marked 15 years with Washington and Lee. The time has flown by and I’ve truly enjoyed it.
Q. What do you like most about working at W&L?
The food. I’m only halfway kidding. Our catering and dining services staff are phenomenal. In all seriousness, I would say the relationships we foster at W&L. Some of my dearest friends are W&L employees. Also, being surrounded by smart and successful women in leadership roles.
Q. Where did you grow up?
Just across the interstate in Buena Vista. I had a wonderful childhood growing up in a small town. I graduated from Parry McCluer High School in 2001. Go Blues!
Q. What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
I would say this is a tie between swimming in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon and climbing ancient Greek ruins (legally!) at Paestum in Southern Italy.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Traveling and fishing. Some of my favorite vacations have been to England, Sanibel Island (Florida), Salzburg (Austria), Yellowstone National Park and Bavaria (Germany). The world is way too big for us to not explore it. When I’m not traveling, you’ll find me on a body of water, fishing. Fly fishing is my preferred method, but I also enjoy fishing with my spin rod on the Rappahannock River or the Yeopim River in North Carolina. The Brinkley family has a fishing cabin there, dating back to the 1950s.
Q. If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
On a body of water. It could be a cabin in the woods next to a creek filled with trout, or it could be a river house on the Northern Neck with lots of croaker. I’d be happy anywhere if I was close to good water for fishing.
Q. Who most inspires you?
My grandmothers, Rachel Brinkley and Jane Hudson. Both were intelligent, independent and incredibly funny women. They each taught me the importance of respecting others, using humor to deal with the most difficult of obstacles, and that a delicious southern dessert will make any situation, no matter how dire, better.
Q. What music are you listening to these days?
I recently celebrated my 40th birthday so I created a playlist of my favorite songs from the 80s and 90s to commemorate the occasion. Lots of Mariah Carey, UB40, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Judds, Dave Matthews Band, Whitney Houston, etc. All the classics.
Q. Your favorite film (movie) of all time?
Steel Magnolias. I can quote the entire movie, much to the chagrin of many. Olympia Dukakis gives a class act on southern elegance as Clairee Belcher and Shirley MacLaine steals the entire movie as the petulant neighbor with a heart of gold, Ousier Boudreaux. I will admit that I must fast forward through the funeral scenes.
Q. What is the website you visit most often and why?
The New York Times website. It’s a bit of an obsession. It’s my go-to for breaking news, insightful articles and of course the daily crossword puzzle.
Q. If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?
Melissa McCarthy with a southern accent. I’d like to request that Kevin James play my romantic interest.
Q. If you could have coffee with one person, who would it be?
Dolly Parton, of course. I would ask her about her philanthropy, especially her Imagination Library book gifting program. Then we’d get into the good stuff, like gossiping about Jolene, and how I named my cat after that sneaky redhead.
Q. What is your desert island food?
A bushel of steamed crabs with hushpuppies accompanied by a huge cup of sweet iced-tea, extra ice. This would be followed by a slice of my mom’s famous poundcake.
Q. Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I’m a decent artist. I was an art minor at Bridgewater College. I love to draw, specifically with pen and ink, and I also enjoy photography.
Q. Anything else you’d like to share?
I can run into celebrities at the most random times in the most bizarre situations. My most recent run-in was with John Mayer and the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir while walking through the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Kelsey Goodwin was with me, and she claims it was quite the interaction to witness.