Bucking Trends

Bucking Trends

Cathy Weir and her team prove Pioneer Title is A-OK

By Annelise Krafft

Though some kids dream of running away to join the circus, a young Cathy Weir desired something much closer to home—rodeo.

“And I didn’t even have to run away,” says Weir with a laugh.

She came from and married into a family with deep roots in the sport as her grandfather, Walter Alsbaugh, is an inductee in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado.

As a child, Weir competed in barrel racing and took part in trail rides across the West Coast.

For those unfamiliar, barrel racing is a rodeo event where the competitors and their horses attempt to complete a specific pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Trail rides, often also during rodeo events, focus on bringing back the Old West spirit by recreating historically accurate rides.

At 19 in 1984, Weir needed to make a little extra money while competing in rodeos on the weekends, so a friend who worked in an escrow office in Phoenix offered to let her sit in as the receptionist for a few weeks.

“I had to interview with the boss, who’s name was Tom Davis. Thankfully, he liked me,” Weir says. “And this is going to sound crazy, but I fell in love with escrow the way I loved rodeo.”

That two-week job actually spurred Weir to continue competing in rodeo and start on a 35-year title and escrow career.

Weir worked her way up from the mailroom to a branch manager.

“And then in 2014, I got an opportunity from a familiar face,” Weir says. “Tom Davis had taken on a leadership role with Pioneer Title Agency, a family-owned title agency focused on helping the community, too. All those years later, he hired me on to help lead one of their newly opened North Valley branches.”

Over the past five years, Weir has grown right along with PTA across the Scottsdale market.

“Today, we have seven branches in this area, and more than 75 across Arizona, while still remaining proudly family-owned and operated,” Weir says.

She leads the Desert Foothills branch, and others are located in the Airpark, Kierland, Fountain Hills, High Street, Raintree and Paradise Valley.

Her team takes the PTA company motto of “Commitment to Service” the extra mile.

“Our branch is involved in USO Arizona, Soldiers Angels, Carefree Arts Skills, the Sonoran Arts League at the Enchanted Pumpkin Patch in Carefree, food drives with the Foothills Food Bank and, of course, the Cave Creek Rodeo Days and its parade,” Weir says.

Beyond all of that, Weir was a champion of PTA’s recent 30th-anniversary initiative.

“Nicknamed ‘Take a Hike,’ the year-long endeavor focused on raising funds as well as awareness of the Arizona National Scenic Trail,” Weir says. “Through it, branches banded together to collectively hike, bike and run all 800-plus miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, while working to raise at least $30,000.”

Weir’s team signed on for the Saddle Mountain portion, a strenuous and remote 16-mile segment of the trail, while helping Pioneer raise more than $60,000, exceeding its goal.

“We’ve also been very involved in giving back to our local schools, as has PTA as a whole,” Weir says. “Our biggest project to date was a companywide philanthropy initiative called ‘Old School,’ where all branches statewide were called on to help a local school in their community.”

For Weir and her team, this meant putting their gardening skills to the test to help Stepping Stones Academy in Anthem develop its own sustainable garden.

“I love gardening in my spare time, so this was a perfect fit, and great timing as their school already had a gardening curriculum and the teacher leading it had just retired,” Weir recalls.

Her team assisted with maintaining the plants, collecting funds for ongoing garden maintenance, goody bags and gardening books.

While the Old School initiative was taken on by branches throughout the state, her colleagues nearby shined as well. According to Weir, the branches connected and impacted Desert Willows and Whittier elementary schools as well.

“The collective impact of our company’s volunteer hours last year alone was in the tens of thousands. We also helped to donate—in fundraising, donations, sponsorships and such—in excess of $1 million to those in need over the past few years,” Weir says.

So, with all of her volunteerism, advocacy and local town pride, how does Weir still make time for the rodeo?

“I have to admit, I don’t have any horses of my own anymore,” Weir says. “But, in a pinch, I bet I still have a barrel race or two in me.”

For more on PTA’s community impact, visit ptaaz.com  ν