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Dr. Cathy: Empowering Women and Building Community

Welcome to Wonderful Wednesday, where Naperville Patch puts the spotlight on people in the community doing great things.

Welcome to our regular weekly feature, Wonderful Wednesday. Every Wednesday, Naperville Patch will introduce you to someone doing great things in the community. Do you know someone who deserves the spotlight? Contact Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez at maryl@patch.com

This week, we recognize a woman who is always busy helping and connecting people. Dr. Cathy Subber seems to be everywhere in Naperville, managing her business, volunteering with local organizations and overseeing the Naperville Mom’s Network. Subber is always doing something in the community to help others, particularly women.

To those who know her, it may come as a surprise, but there was a time in Dr. Cathy Subber’s life when she was very shy and not very outgoing. All of that changed when she realized she had an opportunity to start fresh.

When Subber moved away to attend college at the Palmer College of Chiropractic, she made a decision to change her life in more ways than preparing for her future career.

“I was at the welcome program [at college] and I thought, ‘no one knows me, I get a do over.’” Subber said. “I just decided I was going to fake it and I was going to go up and introduce myself to everyone and I did. That was life changing.”

She graduated from college in 1998 and started working as a chiropractor in Naperville in 1999. It is the only career she has ever had and she wouldn’t change that for anything.

When she moved to Naperville, she said she didn’t know anyone and had no family in the area, so she joined the and created her own family.

She is now on the Chamber’s board and is the Chair of the . She is also a member of the Naperville Jaycees. The owner of Advanced Health of Naperville, Subber said she regularly hosts a free networking breakfast for local professionals and does her best to connect with everyone and to make those who may feel out of place feel connected.

What she learned after trading shyness for her new life as an outgoing woman she has shared with others, she said.

Subber made another life changing decision when she hired Kelly Thompson to work part-time in her office. The relationship would lead Subber to a new project and a new larger family of friends.

Thompson had an idea to start an online community for women in Naperville. The site would be a place where women could connect with one another and find support. Subber thought the online community was a great idea and supported Thompson as she pursued the Naperville Moms Network.

The site launched in 2009 and was a success. When Thompson and her family had to relocate to Texas earlier this year, Subber took over the online community, making sure the Naperville Moms Network continues to thrive and grow.

“I have a true passion in helping women and moms find their true confidence—or get it back,” she said.

Subber, a mom to two boys, Christopher, 9, and Nick, 8, said that once women become moms, everything changes; sleep changes, their body changes and women can feel poorly about themselves, she said. She wants to help women feel empowered. 

As the chief momma of the Naperville Moms Network, Subber said what was really important to her was continuing Thompson's mission of moms helping moms. 

“When you are having a tough day or work is stressful, it is important to have a resource to talk with about those issues and to make friends,” Subber said. “… My true passions are helping people feel confident in themselves or encouraging them when they are going through rough times. I have gone through a number of my own struggles and if I can be open about what I went through and how I came out the other side with a smile, then I can let them know they aren't alone. 

The success of the Naperville Moms Network has Subber planning another outlet for families in the area. Early next year she plans to open Cafe N Play, a venue that will allow parents and caregivers to enjoy a snack and a beverage while kids play away. She is hoping to create a new community center for families where they will find camaraderie and build friendships, Subber said.

“We will also be fundraising on a monthly basis to help give back to local charities and organizations that help mothers and kids,” Subber said. “Giving back to the local community is a key ingredient of this new space.”

Her chiropractic office has been very successful and as a result, Subber said she feels it is her duty to give back to the community. 

“There are so many needs, even in Naperville, and I am thankful that I am able to make a difference on some level,” Subber said. “Many times I treat patients that are going through rough financial times or have lost their jobs/insurance for free. It may sound cliché but the look of thanks in those patients is all I need in payment and I always just ask them to extend a kindness to someone else when they can. Giving back fills me with a joy that is unmatched by most other things.”

Every day when she wakes up, Subber said she is excited about what the day will bring. 

“I enjoy what I do so it doesn’t feel like work,” she said. “I have directed my life toward loving what I do.”

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