PRESIDENT & CEO, CATHOLIC CHARITIES FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
Years in current role: 8 months (9 years as former CEO of Community Services)
What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?
Catholic Charities Family and Community Services is in its eighth month as a newly merged agency of Catholic Family Center and Catholic Charities Community Services. Amidst many operational changes, I am really proud of the board of directors’ and staff’s tenacity and dedication in building our combined culture while continuing to serve many different populations of people in our region who need support to achieve their goals. We have served 20,000 people throughout 12 counties in 2021 with a tremendous portfolio of services and continue to leverage our expertise in new ways. For example, we now can now meet the behavioral health needs of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities in our integrated behavioral health clinic, because the two agencies have combined.
What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your industry?
Working in the health and human services field is tough but gratifying work. I have two thoughts to share with those who are entering the field to make a difference. First, remember to take care of yourself so that you can be your best to support others in their journeys toward recovery, independence and living a healthy life. Second, remember that access to social determinants of health — housing, food security, employment, education, and other factors — affect the physical and emotional health of all of us. You are uniquely positioned in the human services field to help bridge those gaps in access.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
I’ll need to adjust to being an empty-nester.
What are your favorite things about Rochester?
I love the parks, the lakes, festivals in the summertime (so happy they are back after COVID), the sense of community that exists throughout our region and the fact that Rochester is one of the most philanthropic cities in the U.S.