I graduated from Bristol High School in 1983. We just had our 30th reunion….but I missed it. After high school I went to CCRI and got my degree, then went into retail management. I opened my own shop, Katerina’s, in 1998, and ran it for almost 11 years. I closed it for a number of reasons: rents downtown skyrocketed, I had gotten a little bored with it. The New York buying trips that I once really enjoyed weren’t fun anymore. I decided to liquidate instead of sell, since I named it after my daughter. It was something I had always wanted to do, but once I got it out of my system, that was the end of it.
I took a break for a couple of years. My sister, who is the director of a resort on Cape Cod, had a baby boy. So I was driving out there two days a week to take care of him. Then Deb Cordeiro approached me about going to work for her. They didn’t have anyone who could speak Portuguese, which I do. I also do a lot of charity events, and I can sell anything. I figured I had nothing to lose, and I got my license about a year and a half ago.
I love it. Things have been very busy. I’ve mostly sold single family homes, though I just sold a 4-family in Warren. It was my first commercial sale—a good learning experience. I’m a very social person, outgoing, love meeting new people and making their dreams come true. It’s not just about getting a couple into their first home, or their dream home—it’s helping elderly people get their homes ready for market and sold. They are so relieved and happy to enjoy the rest of their lives unburdened by the responsibility of maintaining a home. I’ve made some lifelong friendships.
I have done a lot of volunteering in the community over the years. Currently I’m a mentor at the George West elementary in the Maplewood section of Providence. I’m a past-president (2005-2010) of the Portuguese School of Bristol—it was begun about 30 years ago by parents who didn’t want their kids to lose their native language. They meet at St. Elizabeth’s for about four hours a week. I’m also a past president of the Holy Ghost Committee, a Eucharist minister, a former CCD teacher, a former Mosiaco board member, and was one of the charter members of the Bristol Merchants Association.
My husband and I have been together for 33 years, and married for 26. We have two children: our daughter Katerina is 20, she is getting a degree at RIC in Portuguese studies and is looking to transfer to the two-year nursing program at New England Tech. Our son Mitchell graduated from Johnson and Wales and works at the Boathouse. He says he’s a “cook” and that the title of “Chef” is something you earn, when you are experienced and respected. But the things he cooks are unbelievable. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a chef.
In my spare time I like to read, and spend time with friends. Now that kids are older I can do that. I like to read Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts—true life stories, but no mystery or murder. I never started a book I didn’t finish, no batter how bad! And I like to write, too—I’m currently working on a book, when I’m not working. And when I am working, it’s with one of the best real estate firms in Rhode Island, with a great group of people. They aren’t just my colleagues; they’re like family.
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