Catherine Frank

Catherine Frank
Catherine Frank

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

First woman to serve on the Vermont Labor Relations Board.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

12/28/1942

Primary Residence

South Burlington

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Catherine Frank served on the Vermont Labor Relations Board under Governors Madeleine Kunin, Richard Snelling, and Howard Dean.

Catherine Frank, a resident of South Burlington, Vermont, was the first woman to be appointed to the Vermont Labor Relations Board. Frank had formerly worked in medical research at Harvard Medical School and the University of Vermont, worked for the Burlington School Department, taught computer science classes at Community College of Vermont, and authored several articles for computer magazines.

In May 1986, Kunin appointed Frank to the three-member Vermont Labor Relations Board. Shortly after, the board was expanded by the legislature to five members. Frank served two six-year terms on the board, becoming Chairperson in her second term.

Vermont's first woman-led administration was a unique group, with a large number of woman appointees, many of who were the first women to hold their positions. In 1986, 5 of 8 people in Kunin's inner staff were women, she had appointed women to 15 of 33 agency and department head positions, and to 169 of the 433 positions on commissions and boards. Many state boards, including the Vermont Industrial Development Authority, Vermont Labor Relations Board, the Vermont Veteran's Home in Bennington, Transportation Board, and Judicial Nominating Board, were all male until the Kunin administration. The Governor's Commission on the Status of Women under Madeleine Kunin, whose goal was to find and appoint more women to boards and committees, succeeded in significantly increasing the representation of women in state government positions. In 1969, only 14% of board and commission appointees were women, in 1979, there were 22%, and in the Kunin administration in 1986, 39% of appointees were women.

Catherine Frank has been active in numerous organizations, including the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (now Fletcher Allen Healthcare), Vermont Ethics Network, Lake Champlain Land Trust, the United Way of Chittenden County, and the Visiting Nurses Association. In 1993, as a board member of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, she authored an op-ed in the Burlington Free Press against restricting information about abortion to women. She is the co-author, along with Margaret Holden, of "A Kayaker's Guide to Lake Champlain, Exploring the New York, Vermont, and Quebec Shores".

Organizations or Movements

  • Kunin administration
  • Vermont Labor Relations Board
  • Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
  • League of Women Voters
  • United Way of Chittenden County
  • Visiting Nurses Association
  • Lake Champlain Land Trust
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Vermont Ethics Network

Occupations

  • Teacher at Community College of Vermont
  • author of several articles on computer science
  • member and chair of the Vermont Labor Relations Board
  • board member of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (now Fletcher Allen Healthcare)
  • Vermont Ethics Network
  • Lake Champlain Land Trust

Education

  • Masters in Education

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • "Kunin names Frank to Vermont Labor Relations Board," Burlington Free Press, 5/7/1986, 6C:1.

  • "Restricting information does not reduce need for abortions," Burlington Free Press, 3/25/1988, 16A:1.

  • Vermont Labor Relations Board Link

Additional Images

Catherine Frank and Margarent Holden
Catherine Frank and Margarent Holden