Communicators for Women Religious

CWR provides professional networking and education to members who communicate and advance the mission and ministries of women religious.

Report from the Board: May 2020

May 28, 2020

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The CWR Board of Directors met via videoconference on Thursday, May 14. In the interest of keeping members informed, we present highlights from that meeting:

Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, led the opening prayer, Being Part of the Earth Community.

Board Chair Cecilia Rupell summarized CWR’s Executive Director search. The opening was posted on indeed.com and catholic jobs.com. The application period closed May 25 and will be followed by screening and interviews.

Vice Chair Jane Strittmatter presented proposed updates to CWR Bylaws and Policies and Procedures. Bylaw updates will be presented to CWR membership for ratification and Policies and Procedures updates will be put to a Board vote.

Interim Executive Director Kathy Gatliff noted that directives have been provided to CWR committees in order to align committee work with CWR’s strategic plan for 2020 through 2022 and requirements of CWR’s Phase II Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grant.

The Board unanimously approved a proposal to introduce a Regional and Resource Group Committee. CWR’s three current regional groups (Chicago, Ireland and Wisconsin) will each be represented on the committee.

Conference 2020 Chair Rob Cogswell outlined plans for conference breakout sessions. The Board also once again reviewed potential effects of the COVID-19 crisis on conference.

CWR Marketing Committee Chair Spalding Hurst has produced a video (featuring committee member Gary Loncki) inviting members to enter the CWR Awards Program.

Tammy Townsend Denny provided an update on the 2020 CWR member survey that is being prepared by the Membership Committee. CWR’s Phase II Hilton Foundation grant calls for annual surveys of membership.

Stephanie Manseau noted that the International Outreach Committee is also preparing a survey, one that will be directed toward communicators outside North America in order to determine how CWR might best meet their needs.

The Board unanimously approved Kim Westerman’s proposal that the name of the Conference Development Committee be changed to the Sponsorship Committee. The Committee’s focus has expanded to other areas beyond recruiting sponsors and exhibitors for the annual CWR conference, including the recent introduction of CWR newsletter sponsorship.

The Board discussed the potential wider applications of the Meet Our Sisters Tour introduced last year by CWR’s Chicago regional group and will work with the Chicago group to further review those possibilities.

The Board unanimously approved the theme for Catholic Sisters Week 2021: “Catholic Sisters Week: Celebrating Traditions, Changing the World.” The theme was developed by CWR’s Catholic Sisters Week Task Group with the assistance of the Board.

The Board will next meet June 11 via videoconference.

CWR 2020 Board of Directors
Cecilia Rupell, Chair
Jane Strittmatter, Vice Chair
Jean Merry, Treasurer
Kim Westerman, Secretary
Jennifer Brandlon
Tricia Buxton
Robert Cogswell
Tammy Townsend Denny
Joanne Gallagher, CSJ
Spalding Hurst
Maxine Kollasch, IHM
Patricia Lenihan, RSC
Stephanie Manseau
Janice Parrott
Linda Romey, OSB

CWR Staff
Kathy Gatliff, Interim Executive Director
Michelle Izguerra, Business Operations Manager
Brian Lavelle, Communication & Membership Manager



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