What has been known as the ‘Chocolate City’, Washington D.C. is filled with women of all variations of the decadent treat that it’s named for.The DC Woman. She stands on her own and that is all you really need to know. She has an aura and a tenacious spirit that cannot be duplicated; sassy, ambitious, confident, assertive, and a different type of appeal. The DC Woman does it all: she’s professionally motivated, domestically inclined, nurturing and has a dash of superhero strength. If you have encountered a DC woman, you immediately feel her power while simultaneously feeling the warmth from her greeting. Then she turns on that charismatic smile. She is something to experience.
DC Woman Andrea Cathey is no exception.She is not your “always on the scene” DC Woman, well at least not visibly. Ms. Cathey has been discretely running some of your favorite city experiences for some time. The Reston, Virginia native has made noteworthy connections within the district in what she may consider to be “happenstance”. What makes her profession in the Chocolate City stand out is her “happenstance” opportunity in nightlife. That is certainly not where it all started for Andrea however; it is where things may have begun to align. Running Layla Lounge “many moons” ago is something she to just fell into by mistake she explains, affectionately noting that it was her “baby”. Andrea explains that being a decision maker in the nightlife arena is where she started to recognize her power in the male dominated industry. She ironically attributes much of her professional tact to her former late supervisor Monte Wanzer, founder of BizMont Entertainment and former manager of Biz Markie. She has respectfully remembered him since his passing last year. Andrea met Monte when he approached her about a side gig for writing proposals which later turned into a full-time position at his company, BizMont Entertainment.
“Monte gave me tough love. I felt like he was always giving me a hard time, but in hindsight, he saw something in me that I did not see in myself at the time and I am forever indebted to him for that”.
Being a woman in a male dominated industry, Andrea suggests learning when to pick your battles. Be clear and concise—“bullet” like, if you will. Make your point, be clear about it and be confident in it. She also notes, confirming other women in authoritative positions, “do not blur the lines and remember the six degrees of separation.” Andrea is not only speaking intimately, but socially as well. She shares moments that she’s experienced “out on the town” mentioning that colleagues can never say they’ve experienced her having had one too many drinks. Ina position and industry where drinks flow endlessly, Andrea has taken careful consideration of what a moment of one too many drinks can do to her professional reputation and takes pride in the fact that there has not been any moment where her reputation has come into question.
Walking into POV, what she likes to call her “home away from home”, she greeted everyone with a smile. Andrea did not start off with this high ranking position within nationally recognized luxury lounges. She makes it crystal clear that she has paid her dues in each position that she has heldup to this point. She started as part of the management team at the W hotel moving from there to the sales team of POV private dining. Before claiming her new position, she wrestled with the thought of being efficient for the job. With the support and encouragement from her star players, she has been thriving in the Assistant Director of Bar Concepts position for some time.
Andrea dropped many noteworthy “ah ha” moments, I’ll narrow it down to a hand full:
- Be still. Being silent will always give you your answer
- Accept the compliment
- Sometimes you have to be a “nice bitch” and accompany that with a “pat and rub” to make the digestion of bad news a little easier
- Everyone struggles with self. You are not alone.
My favorite moment of my chat with Andrea is when she told me of her Mother and Aunt coming to Layla to see the fruit(s) of her labor. It was a pivotal moment her family to see her hard work and respect that she has attained in her diligence. There is much more to say about this DC Woman than my character quota will allow. If you can catch her in a down moment at The W, greet her with the same warmth that she gives everyone she encounters – even strangers that want to write about her.