Nov 20, 2014 | Posted in Blog

I can’t believe it has been two years since I started my position here as Chief Executive Officer of St. Martin Center, Inc. (SMC). It seems like it was just yesterday when I went through the rigorous interview process with the Board, Executive staff and two Bishops of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. It has been an incredibly fulfilling journey!

As I reflect on these past two years and the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, I realize how thankful I am.

First and foremost, I am thankful to God for the gift of life and for giving me this wonderful opportunity to lead this organization. I truly see my role here as a “calling” from God. Next, I am ever thankful for my beautiful wife Jena and son David as they provide me daily inspiration.

I am thankful for our dedicated Board of Directors who hired me and have provided leadership and support to me especially during my time of transition. I am thankful for Cheryl Kobel, SMC’s former CEO, who retired after 32 years of service and spent a few months training me before she left.

It goes without saying, but I am extremely thankful for each and every one of the 50 employees of SMC spread over our 2 locations. Each of them plays a vital role. Each of them, by working here, is making a difference in the lives of the people of Erie who need it most. Whether they work directly with our families; answer the phone; supervise other staff or keep our building systems working; whether they are full-time or part-time; each of them is valuable. I appreciate them all.

I am also thankful for our program partners like the Erie Redevelopment Authority, Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption, International Institute of Erie, Maleno Family to Family Fund, Meals on Wheels and many others. We believe in collaborating and know that together, we are better than our individual organizations. I am thankful for our funders like the United Way of Erie County and our many volunteers who complement our daily work.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for all you who donate financially and give of their resources to SMC. Without your support, we could not do this work.

What about you? What are you thankful for? Is it your faith? Is it your family? Is it your job? Perhaps, it's the help provided to you by St. Martin Center, Inc. during your time of need? If so, let me know at I would love to hear from you!