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Life in the Spotlight

A Portage Life in the Spot Light: Cathy Reed

Cathy Reed, Accountant Owner of Cathy Reed EA Tax Services in Portage, Indiana, goes above and beyond for those in her community. Through her volunteer work with local organizations and her desire to interact and serve others through her travel, Reed exemplifies what it means to be a community member.

Before moving to Portage, Reed lived in Southern Indiana around Evansville and attended East Gary Edison High School, now known as the Thomas A. Edison Junior-Senior High School. While she was in high school, Reed participated in a number of after-school activities, ranging from Yarn Society to Science Club.

“I was in the Honors Society, Science Club,” Reed explained. “I helped with a lot of different things. I was a chemistry assistant for one of my teachers, and then I worked the last two years of high school.”

After she graduated from high school, Reed attended Oakland City College, where she began a college career in Elementary Education.

“I was going to be an elementary education teacher, but I got through my first year of college and I realized it wasn’t for me,” she said. “I wasn’t very happy with one of the professors at the time, so I switched majors to Biology and Chemistry. I had an incredible teacher in calculus and biology. It was the way he was teaching it that I loved.”

Reed’s interest in Biology and Chemistry from high school carried over into college and, after four years, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. But her career would take a different path sometime later.

“My father-in-law wanted me to take a course so that I could help him with taxes,” Reed explained. “So I did. I didn’t think I would be working for him, but I did. I worked for my father-in-law for ten years at H&R Block where I was the district manager. And what lead me to accounting is that I was the treasurer of my church and I did not want to mess up anything with the church, so I went to school and got my accounting certificate.”

Reed received a certificate in Accounting from Indiana University Northwest in Gary, and after leaving H&R Block and taking two years off to start her own business, she found herself working out of the comfort of her own home.

“I have about 80 clients,” Reed explained. “I work with small businesses, and I have a couple people that I do the bookkeeping for during tax time. So that’s two months out of the year, and during the rest of the year, I’ll have people come in with extensions to get the best return they can. And then I’m free to do whatever I want to. That’s why I like it, it’s my business.”

Not only does her tax service business give her a lot of freedom, it also gives her the ability to spend her time volunteering for those in need.

“I’m a chairperson for Child Evangelism Fellowship Chapter of Northwest Indiana, I’m in the process of getting certified as counselor with New Hope Counseling at Liberty Bible Church, which is another degree basically, and I’m also treasurer of the Kiwanis Club in Portage,” Reed explained. “I do a lot with my church, like singing in their choir or running their bookstore. I do a lot of volunteer work in the community.”

Volunteering in her community has always been a vital component of Reed’s life. This desire to help others has been carried through her entire life and can be traced back to her grandparents, who taught her the importance of getting involved in the community. And because her job allows so much freedom throughout the year, she is able to fund what she calls a “self-supported missionary” and serve the people of a community she loves.

“Volunteer work gets you into the community and lets you meet people,” Reed said. “You’re serving people and, what’s more, I’m able to spread the gospel and God’s word to others. People need each other and what better way to do that than to volunteer for someone else.”

When Reed isn’t working to get tax refunds out or somewhere in the community, she can be found gardening, but will be taking a break in order to cross something off her bucket-list. Reed and her husband, Michael, will be taking a train vacation and traveling around the U.S. to visit 49 out of 50 states. Their trips have ranged from international ones, like Bosnia and Jamaica, to domestic ones, like this train vacation, proving Reed will go just about anywhere to meet new people.

“I love seeing God’s creations and just being able to meet people,” she said. “When we go, we always meet someone, someone who is great to talk to and get to know.”

Reed’s love of travel and volunteerism can be boiled summed up quite simply: her love of people. Through her desire to make others happy and meet new people different from herself, Cathy Reed is the perfect example of a community member, both here in Portage and beyond.

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