Women to Watch

Presented by Keystone Boss Ladies

From Generations Magazine Fall/Winter 2019-2020

Catherine “Katy” McCabe

Owner of ServiceMaster® by Request, Merry Maids®, and Greenbean Coffee House; Founder of Keystone Boss Ladies, Inc.

In this issue of Women to Watch, we are featuring an amazing woman best described as tenacious, talented, extremely caring, and generous. Catherine “Katy” McCabe took a path from a rough and difficult beginning to become a strong, confident, and successful businesswoman, wife, and mother.

Katie was born in Bronx, NY and spent most of her childhood in Altoona, PA. At the age of 15, she was living on her own, skipping school, and not making the best decisions. “I had a violent and hard childhood, very chaotic and no stability,” said Katy. “My mother died when I was 15, my father was absent most of the time, and I had freedom to do what I wanted which included making all the mistakes a child can make if given the opportunity.”

Katy stopped going to school and started working at McDonald’s. At age 17, she moved to California to live with her brother, got a job working at Blockbuster Video, and went to school at night to get her high school diploma. At 20 years of age, she had her first child. “I found myself in a place where I did not have a future, did not know where I was going, or what I would do. I had to take my destiny into my own hands.”

She moved back to Altoona to live in her childhood home that had not been cared for, but provided needed shelter and a place to start over. With determination and a strong work ethic, Katy was able to buy her first business, ServiceMaster® By Request, a mere 11 years after starting her employment with them as a part-time house cleaner. With a desire to expand the business services portion of her company to the residential sector, Katy purchased her second company, Merry Maids®, in 2014 and began a highly effective cross marketing campaign that catapulted her businesses to a multi-million-dollar revenue level.

While experiencing success with her cleaning businesses, Katy had a desire to create a space where she belonged and others would feel the same. In 2017, Katy opened the Greenbean Coffee House at 720 6th Avenue, Altoona, PA. “My family being Puerto Rican Italian, they naturally love coffee, pastries, and bread. Coffee was the stable in my life. Many of our family’s good times were sitting around the table in my mother’s kitchen drinking coffee, talking, eating pastries and bread. That is Greenbean Coffee House: a place where you feel it does not matter who you are, what you are going through, what life has handed you. A place where you feel you belong.”

The Greenbean Coffee House is open seven days a week serving the finest coffees, espresso-based drinks, and pastries in Central PA. Promoting a 100% inclusive atmosphere, Katy has used the Greenbean’s large social platform to give back to her community and nonprofit organizations through free public events, fundraisers, and donations.

Through her accomplishments, Katy saw a need to help other women achieve professional success that could roll over to their private lives. In early 2018, Katy started Keystone Boss Ladies, Inc. (KBL), a nonprofit organization, to encourage an engaging and successful platform for high-level business executives and entrepreneurs.

“I created the KBL because I saw a distinct lack of female professionals networking with each other in this area. With the rise of female professionals and business owners in our community, I wanted to establish a healthy, non-toxic environment for women to engage with one another,” said Katy.

“Often, as female professionals and entrepreneurs, we may face many personal and professional obstacles. I wanted to create a constructive network for women that would allow us the power to encourage and support each other on our own paths, while continuing to give back to our community. This group addresses all the aspects of being a woman. We offer a unique, informal vibe for every member interested in finding their tribe, making authentic connections, and discovering the power of women supporting women.”

KBL will be hosting a Women’s Expo, in March 2021, at the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona, PA. Watch for information on their new website, which is anticipated to go live December 2019, www.keystonebossladies.com, and follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KeystoneBossLadies.

As an entrepreneur of three very successful businesses employing over 100, Katy says she would still go out to do what needs to be done to deliver her client’s expectations. “If that means cleaning a bathroom, I’ll do it and with pride. If you are in a position without a lot of resources, connections, and education, you need to eat a lot of crow, and I ate my fair share of crow, but it was all worth it.”

Katy’s advice to other women, “You are so much stronger than you think you are. You are much more capable than anyone would expect. No is not an option. There is always a way. It does not have to be now, maybe another way, but there is a way.”
Katy and her husband, Travis, live in Blair County and have three sons: Julian (20), Braedon (16), and Adrian (15). In addition to the volunteer work she performs through Keystone Boss Ladies, Inc., she serves as a Board Member for Contact Altoona and the Blair County Suicide Prevention Task Force. To learn more about Catherine “Katy” McCabe, listen to her podcast at www.healthyblaircountycoalition.org/podcast/rags-to-riches-a-true-success-story.