CWR will vote (by acclamation) four new board members during the business meeting Friday, Oct. 9 at the conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The nominees are Rochelle Cassella, Dave Eck, Sarah Jenkins and Jean Merry.
Rochelle Cassella of Syracuse, New York is the congregational director of communications for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, Syracuse. She began her career as a television reporter, covering the courts and crime beat and then produced documentaries aired on PBS. After making the transition to communications and marketing, Rochelle worked with a series of professional service organizations, including a national insurance company, a multi-state law firm and an engineering company. She also served as director of communications and public advocacy for an international adult literacy organization and was executive director of a New York statewide nonprofit organization representing drinking water professionals. Rochelle is a graduate of Syracuse University with a dual degree in English literature and journalism.
Dave Eck has been director of communications for the Sisters of the Precious Blood in Dayton, Ohio since 2012. Dave has nearly 30 years of communications experience in print journalism and media relations. A Cincinnati native and graduate of Xavier University with a bachelor’s in communications, Dave was educated by religious in Catholic schools, including the Sisters of the Holy Cross. He has been communications director for the Sisters of the Precious Blood since 2012. Prior to his current position, Dave was managing editor of The Catholic Telegraph newspaper in the Cincinnati Archdiocese, and worked at The Cincinnati Enquirer and the Hamilton-Journal News.
Sarah Jenkins has been communications director for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas, since 2009. A native Oregonian, she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and then worked as a reporter, city editor and editor at newspapers in Oregon, Washington, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. She served for eight years on the board of directors of the Associated Press Managing Editors, including four years on its executive committee. Over the years, she has taught journalism at Walla Walla (Washington) College, Central Washington University and Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kansas. She has also served on a number of boards of directors for organizations and agencies focused on recovery from substance abuse, and is currently a member of the Cloud County Chemical Dependency Committee and the Freedom Board, which operates a 12-step meeting hall in Concordia.
Jean Merry has been a member of CWR since 2003, when she became the communications director for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis, Wisconsin. Jean previously served two terms on the CWR board and chaired the 2010 CWR Conference (Denver) Committee. Jean has also served on the CWR Marketing Committee and two other conference committees. She is currently a member of the CWR Finance Committee and the 2016 Conference (Indianapolis) Committee.
Jean has been involved in communications and/or marketing since 1970, first as an English and communications teacher for 11 years, and then in marketing and PR positions for a manufacturing company and an employee benefits foundation. From 1989 to 2003, she was in charge of marketing and communications for Prudential’s agricultural divisions. In addition to her position with the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, Jean also does communications and design work on a part-time basis for her husband’s marketing company, which serves agricultural clientele.