John Cates has worked hard for all he has achieved in his life.
He credits Westminster Schools of Augusta for helping him rise to such great heights.
“It really taught me a great work ethic,” Cates, a graduate of the Class of 2003, said of Westminster. “When you learn how to work hard, efficiently and smart in high school, it allows you to succeed in college and your career.”
The strong work ethic Cates established at Westminster recently helped propel him to being named one of the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s top 40 graduates under the age of 40 for 2020.
The honor, which is more commonly referred to as UGA’s 40 Under 40, celebrates young alumni leading the pack in their industries and communities.
Cates has risen to recent success as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Meybohm Real Estate – a development, asset management and brokerage company based in Augusta. In this role, he oversees daily operations and strategic planning for each of Meybohm’s six businesses.
Prior to Meybohm, Cates practiced as an attorney at two international law firms in Atlanta where he focused on private equity, technology, real estate, funds and alternative investments.
Cates holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, MBA in Finance, and law degree – all with honors from the University of Georgia.
Cates, who started in 2nd Grade at Westminster, said he is very grateful for all the teachers who took an interest in him and taught him how to prepare for school and life as he grew older.
“Westminster provides its students with such a good compass and foundation,” Cates said. “It gave me perspective on how to make sound business decisions, and relate to and work with people of different beliefs and backgrounds.”
Cates said for him, high school was harder than college “for sure.” The only part of his education that Cates said rivaled the rigor he encountered in high school was his first year of law school.
“At Westminster, it was cool to make good grades,” Cates said. “When you look around and see that all of your friends wanted to make good grades, get into a good college and have success, it is a really good reflection of the culture at Westminster.”
Today, Cates lives in Augusta with his wife, Susie, and two sons, ages 6 and 3. They attend Church of the Good Shepherd. He currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors of Apparow Academy, a specialized preschool that combines learning and therapy for students with special needs.
Cates’s brothers, Charles, Class of 2010, and Redding, Class of 2000, also graduated from Westminster. His father, Doug Cates, is a former chair of the Board of Trustees.