Catholic Charities 2023 Fall Employee Newsletter

Hi everyone!

Thank you to every single one of you who was able to join us at our All-Staff meeting. Being around staff from other offices, programs and departments is always a memorable time. Special thanks to Diane Knight for speaking with us and for everyone's participation in the group discussion. We already can't wait to do it again next year!

back to school

Did you know Catholic Charities provides service to teen moms at North Division High School in Milwaukee? Erika, Pregnancy Support Coordinator, stops by weekly to support moms and provide guidance for a healthy pregnancy.

At the beginning of the school year, staff stopped by North Division to give Erika's room a refresh and captured this photo in front of the new selfie wall!

Bob Kaisler (Director of Quality Service), Jen Layton (Director of Child Welfare), Sue Howland (Director of Outreach & Case Management) & Erika McDade (Pregnancy Support Coordinator)

Helping students be ready for school

When employees at Baird Wealth Management were looking to support the community with a back-to-school drive, our board member, Sharon deGuzman, directed them to Catholic Charities. A group of our volunteers came together and stuffed 150 backpacks with the supplies donated. Notebooks, pencils, highlighters, glue sticks, and more! Thanks to this partnership, children in our community went to school ready with everything they need.

Special thanks to Jessica Brandt (Parish & Volunteer Coordination) and Zetho Edumakono (Refugee Community and Case Manager) for their efforts in coordinating this!

Welcome to the team!

Juli Van Cer Chin (Junior Accountant) - CAO

In June Juli joined the Agency as the Junior Accountant at our Central office. She is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Finance. Juli brings over a year of experience working for a number of different organizations including the University and her church.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, family and her cat, Jules. She also loves watching Korean dramas, TV shows and playing games. Even though she is a major homebody and could stay at her house for weeks she is trying to get out more and take more trips.

Natalie Seitz (Mental Health Therapist) - WAO

Natalie joined the Waukesha office in August, bringing over seven years of experience in providing person-centered care to individuals of vulnerable populations. She is from Muskego and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in May 2023.

Natalie was drawn to Catholic Charities because of our emphasis on providing services to individuals of every socioeconomic background, while meeting them with compassion, dignity, and respect. “With the Catholic faith being an integral part of my life, I always strive to see the beauty and dignity of every person I encounter. As humans, we are wired for connection with one another, and not made to go through this life alone. The therapy process encourages an authentic, powerful connection that empowers a client, promoting personal growth. It brings me such joy being able to sit with a client and meet them where they are at. It is a privilege to be a part of an organization that fosters compassion, cultural humility, and collaborative care.”

In her free time, Natalie enjoys spending time with her family, watching sunsets, and going to coffee shops.

Caroline Fogarty (Paralegal) - RIS

Caroline initially started with Catholic Charities as a Jesuit Volunteer where she was a legal assistant in our Refugee & Immigration Services program. She was officially hired on in August as a Paralegal. Caroline has worked with Catholic Charities’ DACA clients to help them renew their status and apply for Advance Parole to visit family abroad. She also has worked with individuals applying for citizenship and receiving certificates of citizenship for their children.

Caroline is originally from Kutztown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and History. She is excited and grateful to be given the chance to continue her work with Catholic Charities as a paralegal. In her free time, Caroline enjoys going for walks around her neighborhood of Walker’s Point and listening to music and podcasts.

Katelyn Walloch (Human Resources Generalist) - CAO

In July, Katelyn joined our administrative team as the Human Resources Generalist. She is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she received her BA in Human Resources Management. In her time at UW-Whitewater she was part of the Student Organization and the Society for Human Resources Management. Katelyn is excited to begin her career at Catholic Charities. She is from South Milwaukee and is happy to be back working near home.

Katelyn was drawn to Catholic Charities because of our core values and helping the community. She is glad to be surrounded by compassionate and hard-working individuals. During her free time, Katelyn enjoys going to coffee shops, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Marisabel Trujillo (Mental Health Therapist) - MAO

Marisabel started at our Milwaukee office in July as a Mental Health Professional. She is a recent graduate of Mount Mary University where she received her Master’s in Art Therapy. She was excited to join us because of our agency culture, being supportive and passionate about making a difference. Marisabel looks forward to growing as a mental health counselor at Catholic Charities. In her free time, she enjoys food, spending time with family and making art.

Alex Arkin (Immigration Attorney) - RIS

Alex started as an Immigration Attorney at our RIS office in August. Most recently, she was a legal counsel for the Wisconsin Department of Administration, advising the agency on the state’s administrative rulemaking processes and its public records, open meetings, and ethics/lobbying laws.

Alex graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2018. Prior to law school, she graduated from Northwestern University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, and a Chinese minor. While at Northwestern, she studied in Beijing; reported from Washington, D.C. on politics and energy/environmental issues; and reported from The Hague on war crimes trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - an experience that motivated her to apply to law school.

Alex speaks Spanish, and some rusty French and Mandarin Chinese. Outside of work, she enjoys fencing (she currently coaches at Brookfield Academy), reading, dog-sitting, traveling (48 states and 21 countries outside the US, to date), crocheting, and spending time in nature. Alex looks forward to the opportunity to make a positive impact on clients’ lives through her work at Catholic Charities.

Monse Derby (Mental Health Professional) - RAO

Monse is currently finishing up her Master of Science in Behavioral Health Psychology at Carroll University. She joined Catholic Charities as a Therapy Intern and accepted the role of Mental Health Professional in September at our Racine office. Monse brings over seven years of experience to the Agency, working with individuals of all ages and a focus on children and adolescents.

Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Monse was raised and currently resides in Kenosha with her husband, 6-year-old daughter, 4-year-old son, and two cats. Outside of her passion for mental health, Monse enjoys family movie nights, dancing, reading, and trying new things!

Mary Weir (Development Associate) - CAO

Mary joined the Advancement team in August. She brings over six years of experience to Catholic Charities, having worked in Education and Translation, and has now made the transition into Development. She is from Racine and is a graduate of St. Catherine’s High School and Carthage College. She is grateful to be a part of the Agency and loves the mission of making life better for those most in need. Talking to her coworkers and learning new things are a great part of her new position.

Some fun facts about Mary are that she lived in Spain for a total of three and a half years and speaks Spanish. She also comes from a big family and loves spending time with them and friends. Some of her hobbies include playing tennis and the ukulele, along with painting. Fall is her favorite season, and she looks forward to participating in many fun activities with her loved ones.

Deborah VanderKinter (Mental Health Therapist) - West Bend

In September, Deborah joined our Washington County team as a Mental Health Therapist. She brings five years of experience providing mental health services across various levels of care including residential, intensive outpatient and outpatient counseling in Fond du Lac and Wauwatosa.

Deborah has been impressed by Catholic Charities' focus on providing person-centered exceptional care to some of the most vulnerable in Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. She is excited about joining an organization with values aligning closely to her own belief in the importance of recognizing God’s unique touch inherent in each member of humankind.

Deborah lives with her husband, two children (ages 16 and 22) and the family’s affectionate but demanding “old lady” cat, Millie. The family returned to Wisconsin after living in various states and foreign countries due to her husband’s 15-year military service. In her spare time Deborah loves to read, quilt, spend time with her family and walk.

Bringing families together

This summer, our annual Adoption Picnic again brought together families with a unique shared experience to reconnect and celebrate, to share stories, make new friends and create memories. We love seeing our adoption families grow!

Thank you, volunteers!

Kirkwood UMC Youth Choir visited the Adult Day Center on their mission trip to Wisconsin. They performed for the ADC members and exchanged friendship bracelets.

Volunteers through Sargento added beauty and cheer to our Sheboygan office for United Way of Sheboygan's Day of Caring.

The Matthew 25 volunteer group at Good Shepherd Catholic Church helped clean up the garden at our Adult Day Center and packed over 5,000 diapers for children and families!

office updates!

Our West Bend staff now have a new home.

1519 E. Washington St.

Tiffney Wagner (Outreach Case Manager), Deborah VanderKinter (Mental Health Therapist) and Ashley Ong (Mental Health Therapist)

MAO and ADC have new signs!

Our brand – a reflection of our values, mission, and vision

A couple of years ago we conducted a brand discovery project where we asked leadership, staff, clients, board members, donors and other stakeholders a series of questions to see what their perception was about Catholic Charities. In return we got incredible feedback about what people value most about Catholic Charities:

  • how we treat each person with dignity and respect
  • our compassion and dedication to help those not served by others
  • that we are a voice for people who go unheard
  • we walk alongside people on their journey

This understanding of our agency culture, that connects us from office to office and program to program, guides all of our communications and marketing. The project also resulted in our new logo and refreshed brand colors and fonts which help us to create communications with a warmer and more welcoming feel so that anyone in need of services feels safe and comfortable to reach out. Updates to signage at our offices is an extension of our brand revitalization project.

Please reach out to Kaci or Jackie if you need any agency marketing materials::

  • banners
  • brochures
  • tablecloths
  • totebags
  • stationary

If you notice an old logo still in use or are planning to use the agency logo, let us know! We can assist you with branding.

Kaci: keisch@ccmke.org or x3413

Jackie: jrekowski@ccmke.org or x3524

Staff out and about in the community

Zablocki Schools Back-to-School Open House

Did you know that Zablocki is one of the schools our Refugee & Immigration office partners with? The RIS staff works with moms at our weekly Rohingya women’s group where they go beyond English fundamentals to talk about important topics like parent-teacher conferences, learn about community resources like the library, and do activities together that mimic the ones their kids do at school so that the moms better understand their children’s homework.

Ife Tolorunju (Refugee Family Education Coordinator)

Partners for Community Development's Trunk or Treat

Clarita Wesley (Outreach Case Manager) & Joanna Morales (Office Assistant)

United Way Project Homeless Connect - Milwaukee

Deborah VanderKinter (Mental Health Therapist) & Sue Howland (Director of Outreach & Case Management)

United Way Project Homeless Connect - Waukesha

Nancy Munoz (Outreach Case Manager)

Jim McLaughlin from United Way shared his thanks:

"To all those who helped organize, attended, or contributed services or items to Project Homeless Connect, United Way and I, personally, send my deepest thanks for your hard work, generosity, and commitment to uplifting lives in our community."
"But the impact doesn't end there. With the 70 or so volunteers and even more service providers and resource tables, so many of you have been reconnected with our neighbors, built a deeper understanding of the needs present in our community, exercised the talents we have to help solve them, and seen how much good happens when we coordinate our efforts toward big solutions. This event is characterized best not just by the long list of services and the many items distributed, but by the warm companionship we all experienced."
"Tons of gratitude to you all and looking forward to your future engagement to make our community one that works for everyone. Thank you for Living United!"

Nonprofit career panel at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on how cultural humility informs work

Claire Reuning (Refugee Integration Specialist)

Social Media Highlights

Have you visited our social media pages recently? Check out what we've been up to!

If you want to see more content like this, follow us on social media!