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 27 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.
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 Programs Coordinator, Fillmore County
Tina has spent her entire life in southeast Minnesota. She loves the small-town life and couldn’t imagine raising her family anywhere else. Prior to joining Catholic Charities, she was a licensed daycare provider in Fillmore county while earning her bachelor’s degree. When her youngest son graduated from high school, she decided it was a good time to venture back out into the world and follow her desire to work in a field that involved helping the community. She believes that giving back is the most powerful way to boost our own happiness. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two grown sons. She also loves to travel, cook, camp, and take Sunday drives in their classic car.