Active Aging Program Administrator
Blue Earth, Brown, Nicollet, and Watonwan Counties
Mary was born and raised in Mankato MN. She became involved in nonprofit work after losing her sister to a battle with cancer. It inspired her to do something worthwhile and meaningful by volunteering for the American Cancer Society for the last 20 years. Mary has always wanted to work with older adults because she feels such a connection with them and her work with Catholic Charities as an Active Aging Program Administrator gave her the perfect opportunity to do both! Mary is happiest outdoors spending time with her husband and family while enjoying all the outdoors has to offer to your senses. Oh, and smothering her 2 grandchildren with kisses!
Active Aging Program Administrator Houston, Winona, Wabasha, Olmsted, and Goodhue Counties
Sue grew up on a healthy dose of Spam in Austin, Minnesota. While attending the College of St. Teresa in Winona, she fell in love with the city – and one of its citizens, Paul. She continued to work in her degreed field of music while staying home to raise 4 children. During her most rewarding job as mommy, Sue spent many hours volunteering in various capacities. These connections made her transition to Catholic Charities Active Aging Programs Administrator an easy one. “I am most energized when out of the office visiting with our partners and their amazing volunteers”, Sue reflected. Music continues to play an important role in her life as she teaches, provides music therapy and serves in worship ministry. A love for sewing, reading, word games, along with any time spent with her family round out what she considers a very blessed life.
Active Aging Program Administrator Steele, Rice, Dodge, Mower, and Fillmore Counties
Michael, a native of southeastern Minnesota, has lived abroad and in other areas of the country while traveling or attending college, but has called Minnesota home for the past number of years. His various experiences and degreed fields led him through careers in the fine arts, film-making, marketing, and non-profit work. The satisfaction he receives from helping others has him firmly planted working at Catholic Charities as an Administrator of Active Aging Programs. A quote posted in his office stating “What we do for someone may not change the world, but it will change the world for that one person” inspires him daily. In his spare time you will find him cruising down a winding road on his motorcycle, in the kitchen baking or cooking, spending time with family and friends, or doing something related to art or music.
Active Aging Program Administrator Le Sueur and Waseca Counties
Loretta has lived almost her entire life in Waseca County, so the community feels like extended family. Before becoming involved with Catholic Charities, Loretta served as program coordinator for Waseca Community Education for 27 years. In that position and in her current role as Active Aging Program Administrator, meeting new people and establishing connections for the greater good of the community are her priorities. Spending time with family, being Grandma to four, and dancing with her husband of 42 years bring her happiness.
Mariah grew up in the Twin Cities suburb of Hugo, MN. While growing up, much of her time was spent in competitive dance, which grew in her a love of movement and healthy living. As an Exercise Science major at Winona State University, she participated in their collegiate dance team. This experience, while great for being involved in the university, taught Mariah that working with athletes was not where she wanted to spend her career. Her preference was being with active older adults. She found her perfect fit at Catholic Charities as the Active Aging Wellness Program Coordinator. This job is a combination of her two favorite things; exercise and older adults! To her, working in non profit means making a positive impact on someone’s life whether that is directly or indirectly. Mariah’s “Nana” taught her to have a zest for life at every stage. It is her hope to help those she works with capture that same energy and live life to their fullest.
Age Well at Home Program Administrator Winona County
I have made my home in the Winona area for the past 25+ years; after completing my education at the University of Iowa. Being raised on a farm by parents who instilled a strong work ethic, humility, humor, and core values of respect, justice and stewardship led me to a career of serving others; with my passion focused on older adults. I have always admired the tenacity, wisdom and resiliance our elders display and have learned so much from them! For that I am forever grateful and privleged. I am also so thankful for living in God’s country; surrounded by the endless beauty of nature’s gifts that give me so much joy. Any time spent outdoors with my family is a treasure; whether we are camping, kayaking, fishing or hunting; it is priceless. And in the warm weather months, don’t be surprised to see me zipping around in my little convertible or on the back of a Harley motorcycle with my husband! Life is Good!
At sixteen Jennifer became a certified nursing assistant and has valued front row access to the wisdom of the older adults ever since. She credits her nursing home caregiving role throughout her high school and college years as teaching her empathy and respect for all – especially older adults. While studying in England during her college years, she started an “adopt a grandparent” program in Alnwick, England, matching her American student counterparts with older adults in the community. Jennifer’s adopted grandparents were Jim and Pat Ferguson, a larger than life couple who spent endless hours sharing stories in their flat overlooking the grounds of Alnwick Castle. A lover of travel, she met the love of her life, Jeff, while studying in Alnwick. Married for 25 years, they return to England and travel with their two sons as often as possible. A Minnesota gal to the core, when she’s not at work you’ll find her doing all things active and outdoors – running, gardening, hiking, kayaking, skiing. A soccer mom and footballers wife, her home away from home is the sidelines of soccer fields across the U.S.
I’m a stick to basics kind of gal- I was raised on a farm and love home grown and things made from scratch! “The Simple Things” is a sign prominently displayed in my home. One of major reasons I love working for Catholic Charities is that we support people’s basic needs, which are SO important for a happy and full life. I love hearing stories of those involved in our exercise classes gaining strength, new friends or a newfound confidence. The work and people are inspiring!