NYN Media Names 6 Catholic Charities Leaders among Top 50 Leaders Citywide

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Congratulations Msgr. Sullivan and More!

Huge congratulations to our Catholic Charities stars, six of whom were honored yesterday, November 8, 2017, by the New York Nonprofit Media with its inaugural 50-Over-50 Awards!

At Catholic Charities we already know they are great.  We witness their extraordinary work every day.

But it is heartwarming to see New York Nonprofit Media, the key news source for New York’s nonprofit sector, singling out more than ten percent of the 50 New York leaders they honored over the age of 50 as members of our Catholic Charities federation of agencies.

Honorees include:

  1. Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
  2. Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services – Event speaker and Chairperson’s Achievement Award winner
  3. Alison Hughes-Kelsick, Director of Education Outreach Program, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York
  4. Beth Finnerty, Chief Executive Officer, Cardinal McCloskey Community Services
  5. Muzzy Rosenblatt, CEO & President, BRC
  6. Mary K. Sontheimer, Assistant Executive Director, Astor Services for Children & Families

New York Nonprofit Media celebrated them as “New York’s most prominent and accomplished leaders in human services, health care, education and other nonprofits over the age of 50 who continue to make a positive impact on New York through their achievements, leadership abilities, philanthropic efforts and dedication to the betterment of the state.”

Cheered by coworkers, family and friends, they were honored at a special breakfast held at the Manhattan Penthouse.

What is the key to their success?  Find out straight from them:

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan has been the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York since 2001.  His first major task was coordinating the human services response to families and victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack as chairman of the 9/11 United Services Group.  He is now directing initiatives that include a five-year $100 million fundraising campaign.

What’s the best part of his job?

“Waking up in the morning trying to address two questions, along with caring, talented colleagues: how can we better help those we are already helping and who else can we help to live their lives in greater dignity?”

What experience has most directly influenced the trajectory of his career?

“The experience of a high school student caught stealing multiple times in my church many years ago has been most influential.  Frustrated by his repeated thefts, I asked him how we might help him.  I paraphrase his response:  ‘I didn’t know that people helped each other.’  This was decades ago, but his response has stayed with me.”

Sister Paulette LoMonaco: Key 50-Over-50 speaker and Chairperson’s Achievement award winner.  She has held her position as executive director at Good Shepherd Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, for the past 37 years.  Under her leadership, the youth development, education and family services nonprofit has evolved from a small provider of out-of-home care to one of New York City’s largest and most respected multiservice organizations. 

What’s the best part of her job?

“I love our mission.  We see the potential in our young people and in our communities.  With the help of caring relationships from our amazing staff, our participants see the potential in themselves.  When I see a former dropout graduate from high school and then college or a child reunited with their family, I am inspired and energized!”

What experience has most directly influenced the trajectory of her career?

“My first job at GSS as a residential program director in a group residence taught me the value and importance of forming positive relationships to foster growth and change and how to multitask.  I learned that I enjoyed the combination of relationship building and administration.”

Alison Hughes-Kelsick was born in the Caribbean and graduated from CUNY with a bachelor’s degree in social work and earned her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University.  After working a variety of jobs, she joined Catholic Charities as program director of the education outreach program for the past 20 years assisting more than 500 homeless and formerly homeless individuals who were addressing a broad range of challenges. 

What’s the best part of her job?

“Providing a safe and loving space for our program participants to realize their God-given dignity through community and care for each other, through the achievement of their goals, healing of their stories and learning of new skills.”

What experience has most directly influenced the trajectory of her career?

“I was influenced by a story that had shocked New York of domestic violence and the death of a child.  I was deeply moved and the empathy that I felt triggered an immediate passion in me to serve individuals facing tragic circumstances. I wanted to be part of the solution.”

Beth Finnerty has been with Cardinal McCloskey Community Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, for 11 years, managing an organization that provides foster care services, at-risk services, specialized clinical services for children, services for persons with developmental disabilities and early childhood educational services in the metropolitan New York area.  She has demonstrated skills in managing large organizations, strategic, planning, organizational development, financial and operations management and management team building.

What’s the best part of her job?

“I enjoy collaborating with the many individuals who impact our organization and being able to provide new program endeavors, such as our new charter school.”

What experience has most directly influenced the trajectory of her career?

“I am directly influenced by the people I have been lucky enough to work with, people who have been so generous with their time and expertise.  I have learned from many people in the leadership positions I have held in the private, government and nonprofit sectors.”

Muzzy Rosenblatt:  As leader of Bowery Resident’s Committee, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, for 17 years, Mr. Rosenblatt is guiding the organization to achieve greater impact for the people and New York City by applying evidence-based management practices that drive innovation and articulating thoughtful perspectives that shape public policy and philanthropy.  With an $80 million budget and 800 staff, BRC serves 10,000 people annually by offering housing and treatment services to homeless adults in New York City. 

What’s the best part of his job?

“It would be working with extraordinary professionals who lovingly and effectively enable thousands of homeless individuals each year to achieve their potential and reclaim lives lost.”

What experience has most directly influenced the trajectory of his career?

“At critical moments in my career, I’ve been fortunate to encounter people who believed in me and gave me an opportunity to show what I could contribute.  Remembering this enabled me to do the same for our staff and the people we serve.”

Mary K. Sontheimer is the assistant executive director for the education and early childhood programs of Astor Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.  She has worked for Astor for more than 30 years and has held positions as a teacher, center director and deputy director.  Sontheimer earned a master’s degree in public administration from Marist College.  She sits on numerous committees and boards in the community, working to advance programs and advocate for children and families who are most vulnerable.

What’s the best part of her job?

“Seeing lives change!”

What experience has most directly influenced the trajectory of her career?

“The Head Start philosophy and model that embraces children, families, colleagues and communities working together to change the world for the better.”

Congratulations Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Alison Hughes-Kelsick, Beth Finnerty, Muzzy Rosenblatt and Mary K. Sontheimer!

We are so proud of your accomplishments, leadership, and this well-deserved New York Nonprofit Media 50-Over-50 Award.

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