By KATELYN HRUBY
A robust force in the luxury design bubble that most of us can only dream of bursting, Massatre Ltd. is not the typical grassroots organization that comes to mind when one thinks of Hurricane Sandy reconstruction. Boasting clients like The Beresford and The Dakota, The design and contracting firm is known for its refined aesthetic, the epitome of the urbane. But recently, Massatre has become a designer for the less chic environs of New Yrok as well, thanks to its co-founder, Catherine Hough.
After Hurricane Sandy ravaged the shoreline of the tri-state area, Hough, moved by the vast wreckage, came to the aid of victims, mobilizing Massatre for reconstruction efforts in the Rockaways.
And, in recognition for her hard work, Hough was recognized Tuesday by DA Charles J. Hynes as one of Brooklyn’s 33 “Extraordinary Women” singled out at a press conference in his office.
Now in its seventh year, the Brooklyn’s Extraordinary Women event was designed to recognize women who provide vital service to their communities. The women were chosen, Hynes said, for the “outstanding deeds they have contributed to making Brooklyn a better place.”
He called them “ambassadors of their neighborhoods.”
This year over 100 women were nominated by their communities. The chosen group hails from a broad spectrum of backgrounds including community activists, writers, entrepreneurs, contractors, and tenant association presidents.
Like many of the awardees, Hough was unaware of her nomination for the award until receiving a call from the Hynes’s office, asking to speak with her. Rattled at the prospect of a confrontation with the District Attorney, Hough was first shocked and then honored to belong to a group of such accomplished women. “To live in a community,” she said, “you have to give to the community.”
Hough, a Park Slope resident, moved to Brooklyn in 1985, saying the borough is “absolutely home. I love Brooklyn. I love living with such a diverse neighborhood at my doorstep. It gets me out there. I love it.”
Hough said she considered the award a call to action. “I like that he (Hynes) challenged us to go back to our communities. To connect,” Hough said.
Jacqueline Budansky, an award winner from Sheepshead Bay, agreed that the event would open doors by cooperating with other awardees.
Budansky, who lost her home to Hurricane Sandy nonetheless continued to work with various charitable organizations, including Arts for Children, the American Cancer Society and relief efforts for storm victims.
“I’m very honored and blessed to be part of such a positive experience,” she said.
This year the DA’s Choice Award went to Bernice Greene of Bedford Stuyvesant. Green founded Our Time Press, a community paper that now boasts over a circulation of over 500,000.