This edition of Get to Know at HoMA features a very special member of our HoMA Staff. As a beloved staff member for almost two-thirds of her life, Cathy Ng has shared her positivity, warmth, and multi-colored hairstyles with us for over 39 years. Serving as the Executive Assistant and a loving “mom” to the staff, the time has come for her to start her retirement to focus on her family and get reacquainted with her favorite hobbies. We will be sad to see Cathy go in the beginning of 2020, but are so grateful for the time spent laughing and learning with her throughout the years.
What is your title, what you do, and how long have you been working with HoMA?
I’ve been the Executive Assistant to the Director for the past 16 of my 39 years here. Before that, I was Secretary to the Assistant Director from 1980 to 1990, then Assistant to the Associate Director from 1990 to 2003. I currently provide administrative support to the Director and the Board of Trustees. I screen phone calls, mail, and emails to the Director, schedule appointments, and coordinate meetings. I also serve as a communication link between the Director, staff, and Board members. My main goal is to assure that the Director’s daily operations run smoothly.
What do you like most about your job at HoMA?
It’s not really my job, per se, but I do like thinking up ways for the staff to get together over the coffee break and have some fun. We’re so caught up in our jobs a lot of times, that we forget to take a moment to laugh and exhale. We’re coworkers, but we can still have fun together and it’s good to have that, even if it’s just a half-hour break of camaraderie.
Which piece of art do you like the most and why?
I’ve always been drawn to Lee Bontecou’s Untitled welded steel and canvas construction. Whenever I roam the galleries to clear my head and I come upon that work, I have to stop, and each time I look at it, I see it differently. Sometimes I see anger or doom, other times I see strength and determination, depending on my mood, I guess.
What’s one of your favorite memories at HoMA?
There are just too many to mention. I’m so blessed to have been here to witness the museum grow, both physically, staff-wise, and program-wise, to what it is today. I was here through the campaigns, renovations, and openings of the Academy Art Center (now the Art School) and the Luce Pavilion Complex. I was here and hands-on when Artists of Hawaii was in its prime. I was here for the first Kama‘āina Christmas and so many other gala fundraising events since, helping in some capacity. I’ve witnessed the blockbuster exhibition openings and been a part of the fun, themed parties to coincide with them. I will always remember the staff members who became good friends who have since passed on and those present who will forever have a place in my heart. So many memories–I will treasure them all when I retire on January 3rd.