New President Pattara Brings MBA and Meditation Experience to Position


Photo Credit/Regina Trejo

Regina Trejo, Co-Editor-In-Chief

This school year, Regina Dominican welcomes Ms. Elizabeth Pattara who recently replaced Sister Mary Margaret as Regina Dominican’s president. This young and innovative woman is ready to upgrade Regina Dominican’s philosophy of leadership to a whole new level as she starts her new position.

Ms. Pattara was asked a few questions about herself and her responses are as shown.

Where did you go to college? Do you have any advice from your experience?

I got my MBA at Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. I would say to just be open-minded. One of the great things about college is you’re put in a wonderful mix of people and it’s easy to just get to know people in your major or in your dorm or on your floor. There are a lot of exciting things that happen on a college campus and you have easy access to it. So, keeping open-minded about people, experiences, clubs, sports, I think can make your experience really rich when you’re at school.

Where did you previously live and what did you do there?

So, I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania; I went to high school and stayed there for college. I then moved to Denver, Colorado because I volunteered with AmeriCorps. For a while I was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base and I was sent all over the country from there.  The AmeriCorps program that I volunteered with covered the main areas of unmet human needs such as social justice, environment, public safety, and education. I also lived in Detroit for awhile and  taught in Detroit public schools. I worked at a boys and girls club camp in the “middle-of-nowhere” Wisconsin. We went out to do disaster relief in a lot of different places. Actually, I wouldn’t call that I lived there (I was there for a couple weeks at a time). I stayed in Denver for another seven years after that, and that’s when I got into financial services. I worked, in my very first year in the industry, at a company called Janus Funds. That is what got me kind of launched into the career that I went on until September of last year. I moved from Denver to Philadelphia to get a little closer to home; I moved with the company I was with. I lived in Philadelphia for three-and-a-half-years and the job that I was doing there asked me to start a new distribution line of a new product in the Midwest. Even though I lived in Philly, I commuted to Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois every week. I moved to Chicago in 2008, still with that job. I started my MBA at Northwestern during that time; my company paid for me to go to school. I have been in Chicago ever since.

What do you do in your free-time?

I don’t know if I have free time anymore. In the wintertime I like to snowboard as much as possible. It’s a little harder living in Chicago than it was in Colorado and Pennsylvania. I like to read a lot. I like checking out new restaurants. I love the author Paulo Coelho; he is one of my favorites. I like Hemingway. I like his short stories more so than his novels. I read a large smattering of pretty much anything. I’ll read a cereal box if it’s in front of me. Yeah, I would say that’s a big part of my life right now: reading, snowboarding, and, in general, being outside. I would rather be outside than inside during any season. I run and I still like to do a little artwork for fun from time to time.

What is your favorite kind of music? Why?

That’s a tough one too. I like Hip-Hop. I really like classical. It really depends on what I’m doing. When I have to really concentrate, I always have classical music on in the background. Hip-Hop is on if I have to clean my house or if I’m driving.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

If you met me in second grade, I would have told you I would be a nun and a Solid Gold dancer on the side.

If you did not have your current job, what would you be doing?

I forgot one thing in “what do I do in my free time,” because I teach meditation and yoga.  The company I most recently came from was called Vanguard; that’s where I spent the last ten years. I still do this. I left Vanguard in September of 2015 to focus on a business I had started part-time while I was still employed there. I go on-site to large corporations of any kind. This is anywhere from the Federal Reserve Bank to McDonald’s Corporation to Park Hyatt. I teach people stress management and meditation from a leadership perspective and how you can become a better leader as a result of managing yourself a little better. That is something I still do; I teach it a few times each year at Kellogg as well to the business school students. So that is what I was doing and what I still do on a much smaller basis now that I’m really busy here. But, if I wasn’t here, I’d be doing that full time. My business is called Samadhi.

Do you have any embarrassing stories from high school?

Are you kidding me? My entire high school career is full of embarrassing stories! I was a fashion design major in college and I thought I had that planned out throughout high school. I used to make a lot of my own clothes. For our semi-formal, I made this really— in my mind amazing— dress. It was really crazy looking and absolutely insane and half of it fell off at the dance because it was not very well-constructed. I spent a half an hour at the dance trying to scotch tape my dress back together so I wasn’t mooning people.

What three people would you invite to dinner?

Mother Teresa, Beyoncé, and probably Paulo Coelho. For him, I think that would be a phenomenal conversation. He has such a different view on the world and he’s such a beautiful, creative writer that I just think that would be a fun conversation. Mother Teresa and Beyoncé share a theme of women who have accomplished so much in very different ways, and have such tremendous influences on the world. It’s what they have been able to accomplish, the manner which they wield their power as a result in a positive way, and they influence they have as a result.

If the world was ending, what would your last meal be?

Pizza. From Old Forge Pizza in particular. It’s in Pennsylvania. Scranton is an old coal mining town and there are really just three ethnicities there; you’re either Irish, Italian, or Polish. Old Forge is the Italian part of town. That style of pizza is Sicilian so it’s a little bit thicker and it’s square. I have been known to fly back with a pizza from time to time.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Australia has been on my list for a while because I love the ocean and I love outdoors activities. There are a lot of great things to do there from hiking to snorkeling. They have a beach and one of the best opera houses in the world. Its like this mix of really fun things I want to experience.