Getting to Know Ann Caulkins

By Debbie Proffitt

Ann Caulkins is the President and Publisher of the Charlotte Observer. She was named the 2011 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year. Ann is married with two sons ages 14 and 16. She has been a WIF member since 2010.

Why did you decide to join the Women’s Impact Fund?  WIF’s emphasis is on philanthropy. It is important for women to fund as a group and put money in what they believe in. It is also important for women to be around other women like them. WIF is a very impressive organization. It is the best place for new women executives to connect in Charlotte.

In a few words or a phrase, how would you describe our members?  Enlightened, smart, invested in our community.

Where did you grow up and how did it shape you?  Shreveport, Louisiana. It shaped me significantly. There was racism and corrupt politics. My parents were not from Shreveport and pointed out the issues. I looked for something very different in college. I believed journalism was an admirable place to be. It is our mission to support democracy, inform the public, and speak for the voiceless.

If you could take a class on anything from anyone, what would it be and who would the teacher be?  I would take a class in backyard gardening from Charlotte Observer columnist Nancy Brachey. She is very knowledgeable. My mother has an incredible backyard garden.

When or where do you get your best ideas?  It is during extended quiet time, either driving long distance or when I am alone at the beach.

What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?  After a long day of problem solving, I love to watch trash TV!  Not as bad as the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but shows like Survivor, the Bachelorette, and the Bachelor.

If you could have lunch with anyone (living or dead) who would you chose and why?  Mother Teresa. She was as great as it gets. Mother Teresa had a truly selfless nature and devoted her entire life to outreach. She only thought outward and in a lunch with her I would ask how she lived her whole life serving others.