This year’s recipient of the MAS Presidential Service Award, Cathy Johnson is a Sales Executive in the Nano Technology Division of Leica Microsystems.
Cathy was born in Yokohama, Japan and moved to the USA when she was three years old. She grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1980. Subsequently, Cathy spent three years in the field of geochemistry as an analytical chemist, before joining the Advanced Technology & Engineering Division at Gates Rubber Company in 1983. There, she specialized in failure analysis of a wide range of polymeric materials, textiles and metals using a variety of microanalysis techniques including scanning electron microscopy, X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry, scanned probe microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
As a Senior Research Chemist and the technical lead in the Gates Microanalysis Laboratory, she worked on material and product developed specifically for the purpose of automotive part commercialization. After a 20-year career in automotive materials R&D, she made a career change to technical sales and support in 2003, when she moved to Leica Microsystems.
Cathy has been an active member of MAS since 1989. She first served the Colorado Microbeam Analysis Society, an affiliated regional society (AReS) of MAS, as Secretary (1990-1992) and then as President (1993-1996). She was also the Local Arrangements Committee organizer and Treasurer for the 1995 MAS annual meeting in Breckenridge, CO. On MAS Council, she has served as a Director (1997-1999) and MAS Sustaining Members Committee Chair (1996-2009). Cathy has always been a proponent of maintaining good communications with MAS Sustaining Members and worked to ensure solid corporate relationships between the Sustaining Members and Council. In 2002, she co-chaired the Polymer Session at the annual Microscopy & Microanalysis meeting in Quebec.
In her last positions on Council, Cathy served three years as MAS President-Elect, President and Past President (2008-2010). As an analytical chemist, Cathy has also been a member and active in the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 1981. Since joining Leica Microsystems in 2008, Cathy has relocated from Colorado to the east coast and has supported and participated in the local meetings of the Philadelphia Society.