A few weeks ago, I accepted an assignment from Bugles Across America to play taps for a WWII veteran. The requestor stated that his father had been buried several years ago but the electronic bugle failed so they never had taps played at his service. He said they wanted it played and he and his brothers were coming from around the country to get it done. I thought that was nice that they wanted to honor him with a proper rendition of taps.
Today I completed the assignment. It was about a 1 ½ hour drive, but I consider that worth it for a WWII vet. I arrived at the cemetery to find three men standing in the graveyard at their father’s grave. Dressed casually, they were all alone with no family. I wore a suit and tie for the occasion as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
After I met them I looked at their father’s grave monument. It stated that he died in 1996 almost 22 years ago! They had been thinking about this for a long time, especially one of them. They all felt that they had failed their father without the honor of taps and were determined to have it played for him, even 22 years later. I realized once again the impact of taps at funerals. It provides closure as it signals the end of a life and it is the final honor families have for their loved one. It was important enough that they came a long way to get it done.
So, I played taps and the three of them stood with their hands on their hearts while I played. They had now finished their task of honoring their father as he deserved.
After I played one of them said that he figured his great-great-grandfather could hear it where he was buried a few yards away. I asked if he was WWI vet and they said no; the Civil War. Their grandfather was a few yards the other way and was a WWI vet. But they said taps had been played for them at their burials.
Thousand of people can play taps, so the player isn’t important. But taps is important in many ways to the families of the deceased. I felt privileged to do this for them.
Cathy is my daughter and I am very proud of her!!
Name: Cathy Sedacca
Title/Company: Principal and executive vice president, Sage Business Credit, LLC
Education: B.A., management and French, Luther College (Decorah, Iowa); certificate, international business, Luther College
Family: Husband, Al; daughters, Sadie and Carly; dogs, Biscuit and Daisy
After nearly two decades working for other business credit providers, Cathy Sedacca founded Sage Business Credit in 2013 with partner Karen Turnquist. Since then, the company has averaged 54 percent annual portfolio growth in loans and accounts receivable, and 57 percent annual revenue growth.
By necessity, Sedacca wears many hats at her boutique firm, but she still manages to find time to give back to her community. She serves on the board of Shobi’s Table, a St. Paul nonprofit that supports homeless and housing-insecure individuals, and on the finance committee at St. Paul’s Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
What’s the biggest turning point in your career and how did that lead you to what you are doing today?
I’ve always been willing to take risks in my career. Usually it has worked out. Occasionally it hasn’t, but I’ve always learned a lot along the way. My journey ultimately led to the opportunity to partner with Karen Turnquist and launch Sage Business Credit.
What are your job responsibilities today?
As the lead for sales and marketing, much of my time is devoted to business development — keeping the company in the public eye and top of mind for referral sources and prospective clients.
I’m also our designated brand ambassador. It’s my job to make sure that our brand is clear, and clearly differentiated.
Beyond that, my job revolves around working with prospects to develop flexible and creative financing options.
What’s your proudest community achievement?
Raising kids who really care about their community and the world around them. The service work we’ve done across the country as a family has inspired them to be grateful for what we have and compassionate toward those who have less. They look beyond their own lives and out into the world to realize that we have so much more than so many others.
What’s the best advice you received from a mentor, and what’s your best advice to women entering your field?
The best advice I’ve ever received is: Be yourself, because no one is as good at being you as you are. Hard as it is to maintain, authenticity is actually an amazing way to build trust and strengthen relationships.
My advice to women is: Step up, be brave, take chances. Don’t spend your time trying not to stand out.