Inspiring Women: Catherine Avgiris


HPW’s Inspiring Women series profiles remarkable Greek-American professional women whose stories of success inspire and encourage us to achieve our own career goals and aspirations.


As Executive Vice President and CFO of Comcast Cable, a $45 billion division of Comcast Corporation, Ms. Avgiris was responsible for all functional, programmatic and financial operations. Her oversight included strategic planning, supply chain, procurement, operations compliance, security and the company’s sustainability initiatives. Ms. Avgiris also served as Interim Global Risk Officer, where she served on the Security Risk Council focused on cyber and physical security, data privacy and the Enterprise Risk Management Program.

Ms. Avgiris has over 35 years of diverse financial and operations experience with increasing responsibility, predominantly in the technology, media and telecommunications industry. She began her career in 1981 with Deloitte, one of the nation’s leading audit, consulting and advisory services firm. She joined Drexel Industries, a publicly-held specialty material handling equipment company in 1986 as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary. Joining Comcast in 1992 as Vice President of Finance, she quickly made a name for herself as a smart, thoughtful, financially driven operations leader. Ms. Avgiris was tapped to join the nascent Internet Service Group in 1999, and again to lead the phone business acquired from ATT Broadband in 2002. In 2004, she was named SVP/GM and launched the company’s VoIP service, enabling ‘Triple Play’ to become the backbone of Comcast’s consumer products. Under her leadership as SVP/GM for Communications and Data Services, Comcast became the largest Internet Service Provider, the largest WiFi network provider and one of the largest phone providers in the US. Ms. Avgiris was appointed as Executive Vice President and CFO in 2013.

Ms. Avgiris has been credited with launching Internet Essentials, the largest broadband adoption program of its kind in the US. She is named as lead developer in a USPO patent application for a new sales and interaction platform. Her passion for team development has led to the introduction of CFLEX, the Comcast Financial Leaders Exchange Program. She served as Executive Champion for Comcast’s Mentoring Program, the Black Employee Network and launched the first Women’s Leadership Program, Power of 2(00).

Currently, Ms. Avgiris serves as Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group, providing guidance to North American and global clients in the technology, media and telecommunications industry in the areas of strategy, mergers and acquisitions, finance function excellence and change management.

She is a charismatic, passionate executive with strategic thinking, communications and problem solving expertise. She is seen as a leader and developer of broad-skilled, diverse teams and has significant experience in launching new products, go-to-market strategies, driving operating efficiency and effectiveness, integrating acquisitions and maximizing growth. She has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership in Cable Operations Management, one of only two executives from Comcast to receive this honor.

What is your passion?
I have a number of passions: continuous learning, development of young talent, especially women and enabling them to reach their fullest potential.

What motivated you to move into your profession?
I never really wanted to be an accountant. I wanted to study creative arts and become an interior designer. But my father, a master craftsman and carpenter, told me there wasn’t a great future in interior design and guided me towards a degree in finance and accounting. I never became the accountant he had in mind, but the finance degree served me well in my career, leading me to become operating division chief financial officer of a Fortune 50 company.

Who stands out the most in your mind as a mentor?
I have had many advisors, personally and professionally, who have helped guide me along the way, but I can’t say I had one particular mentor. My father, obviously, guided me towards the career that has really served me well. The President of the forklift company I worked for advised me not to be afraid to take risks and do things out of my comfort zone. And the former CFO of Comcast always pushed me to take chances, new roles and expand my portfolio of skills. Last, but not least, my husband has always been by my side with great advice.

Tell me about a few of your most proud accomplishments?
Personally, I am most proud of my children, who have grown up to be good, Christian young men. It makes me really proud that my older son got married in the Greek Orthodox church and baptized his baby girl in Greece. I’m also proud of my younger son’s continuous willingness to help the church and Philoptochos however he can – whether it be working at the festival, or donating to support Philoptochos.

Professionally, there are many accomplishments that I am proud of. Launching a new product, from the ground up, and enabling a new way to bundle services at Comcast is an amazing accomplishment. Developing highly effective teams, creating a program for leadership development of women called the Power of 2(00), establishing a leadership development program for finance professionals called the Comcast Finance Leadership exchange are all things I am proud of.

Becoming the first woman Executive Vice President, the first woman CFO at Comcast and having my name on a patent pending application are all proud accomplishments of my career.

Was there anything you would have done differently?
Looking back on my career, maybe I would have achieved more had I left Comcast and was willing to relocate my family for other opportunities. But I had opportunities at Comcast which I was able to take advantage of, and that enabled me to look after my aging parents and allowed my husband to continue his career in pharmaceuticals.

What is your leadership style?
I am a problem solver, a decision maker, teacher and coach. I like to bring my team along, enable them to grow, take risks, made decisions and reach higher. I strive to live by, and encourage my team (and my kids!) to adhere to my personal motto from Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

What advice would you give to professional Hellenic-American Women today in their careers?
Get out of your comfort zone…you have to be willing to take chances to expand your portfolio of skills, no matter what area of functional discipline you are in. And be excellent in whatever you do.

What impact has your Greek heritage had on your career and professional life?
Greek heritage is full of tradition, culture, ethics, integrity and discipline. My parents were uneducated – a carpenter and a seamstress, but they worked hard, and always strived to do the right thing. My upbringing provided me a sense of obligation to do more, be more than my parents were able to achieve.

Are you involved with the Greek community?
I have been involved with the Church of the Annunciation/Evangelismos in Elkins Park, PA since we married and moved to Philadelphia. I have taught Greek dance, served as a GOYA Advisor, Treasurer and President of PTO, Treasurer and President of Philoptochos, and I currently serve as President of Parish Council. I have spoken at the National Philoptochos Congress on Leadership and Mentorship, at Hellenic College and at Hellenic Hearts, a newly formed organization in the Philadelphia area that strives to prepare young Greek American high schoolers for college and beyond.

Who has inspired you in your career? Let us know at