Cathy Morrissey, retired national account manager for Ford Motor Co. and prominent member of the NAFA New England Chapter, passed away on Oct. 16, 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 63.
Morrissey joined Ford Motor Co. in 1980 after graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in marketing from the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. While attending college, Morrissey was a student-athlete running for junior varsity teams in both track and cross country.
Upon graduating, Morrissey was hired by Ford Motor Co. as a sales operations zone manager on the retail side of the business where she excelled. She quickly established long lasting relationships with her dealers and rose rapidly through the ranks. In late 1980s, Morrissey jointed the Ford Fleet Division as a national account manager. Morrissey thrived in her new fleet role and assumed varied responsibilities such as leading Ford’s sponsorship and players vehicle program in the PGA’s signature tour event, the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
“Many of us knew Cathy as an outstanding sales rep having served many years in the Ford Motor Company as national account manager. She was the template for what a sales rep should be: attentive, personable, honest and forthright. To others, she was the mother-hen who always kept her flock together; whether that was making sure we all sat together during industry events or building consensus for chapter decisions. But for all of us, though, we knew her as a friend,” said Peter Belloli, CAFM, associate manager, sourcing - fleet - USA/Canada for MilliporeSigma.
Morrissey was a stronger supporter of NAFA and, in particular, the New England Chapter, where served for decades on the chapter board, in both official and unofficial positions. “Cathy was a great organizer and had contacts in every corner of the fleet industry. She was part and instigator of many great memories and experiences,” recalled Belloli.
In October 2017, Morrissey retired from Ford capping a 37-year automotive career.
Born in 1958 in Worcester, Mass., Morrissey was raised and educated in Auburn, Mass. She was one of four children born to the late Joseph E. Morrissey, Sr. and Marie A. (Schelin) Morrissey. She graduated from Auburn High School, and went on to graduate from UMASS Amherst. She returned to school while working at Ford and graduated from Nichols College with a M.B.A. in marketing in 1992.
During her off-hours, Morrissey volunteered at St. John’s Catholic Church soup kitchens and fundraisers.