Catholic Charities names new associate executive director and Trustees

Susan Loughery, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s Director of Operations, has been promoted to Associate Executive Director.

Loughery, who has worked at Catholic Charities since 2015, has demonstrated leadership on many key initiatives, Executive Director Marlene Laó-Collins said.

“Susan has been instrumental in bringing to fruition a number of significant projects. When she arrived, we were in the midst of a massive planning process with the State of New Jersey and six other nonprofits to introduce statewide an innovative behavioral health integrated service – Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) – to improve mental health access to historically underserved groups and remove barriers to care,” Laó-Collins said. “Susan led the team from planning through certification. Subsequently, she took the lead to oversee a CCBHC expansion that extended services to the eastern part of Mercer County and into Burlington County. Today, through her leadership, we have expanded even further.”

Building partnerships

Loughery also forged fruitful relationships with regional hospitals. Notably, that included a Capital Health partnership that led to the creation of “For My Baby and Me,” an addiction-recovery program for pregnant women and new mothers experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. (Catholic Charities and Capital Health are two of six community partners that provide the program.)

Laó-Collins (pictured, left) applauded Loughery’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, including proposals that resulted in a new Hope and Healing crisis counseling program and expansion of our Supported Employment program.  

“As funding parameters and regulations evolve, Susan has led our efforts to stay ahead of the curve or, at a minimum, influence how those changes are crafted,” Lao-Collins added, referring to her service beyond her Catholic Charities’ post.

Loughery chairs the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies’ Board of Directors, as well as the state’s Mental Health Fee-for-Service Transition Oversight Board. She sits on the Trenton Health Team’s Board of Directors and participates in national advocacy initiatives through Catholic Charities-USA. She has testified on legislative issues for organizations such as the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Council For Behavioral Health and National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Administrators. She has over 20 years of experience in community behavioral health and human services, with expertise in Integrated Service Systems, Health Information Technology, Quality Assurance, Data Analytics, Risk Management, Human Resources and Finance. 

In her new position, Loughery will continue to manage operations and participate in external committee/boards aligned with Catholic Charities’ mission. She also will assume Executive Director duties with Associate Executive Director/Fiscal Affairs George Bontcue during Laó-Collins’ absence.

‘Let us do good’

This was one of several leadership changes in recent weeks at Catholic Charities. We also welcomed two new Board of Trustees members:

John Kuchinski of Manasquan is a retired partner of KPMG LLP, where he advised multi-national clients on operational tax issues and corporate transactions involving complex tax issues. He’s a certified public accountant and attorney. He and his wife Donna have three grown children and three grandchildren. They are parishioners at St. Denis Roman Catholic Church in Manasquan, where both are members of the Baptism team. John also teaches eighth grade religious education classes at St. Denis.

Kuchinski said his faith inspired him to serve. “After spending 40 years advising corporate clients, it is time to spend my efforts helping clients that are less fortunate,” he said. “I believe in the mission of Catholic Charities, and I am impressed by the staff’s love and compassion toward those in need. They want to help others overcome adversity, achieve self-sufficiency and find hope. I look forward to helping Marlene and her team carry out their mission in any way possible, especially in these challenging times.”

He added: “‘Brothers, while we have time, let us do good,’ were supposedly some of the last words of St. Francis of Assisi to his friars (paraphrasing Scriptures). To me, this is a simple sentence to describe a Christian way of living and also a way to summarize the mission of Catholic Charities – to restore dignity and independence to individuals and families, especially the poor and vulnerable, through service, advocacy and community building.”

Commitment to community service

Caroline R. Taylor of Bordentown believes service and faith are innately connected.

Taylor is a 2013 graduate of Elon University. While studying social work and Spanish, she was extensively engaged with service at both the local and international levels. She held various leadership positions for organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Elon Volunteers, Burlington Housing Authority’s Youth Development Program, and Elon’s Student Government Association. Her community service and professional social work positions have focused on social issues, including affordable housing, racial equity, rural public health, local/sustainable food systems, and gender-based violence prevention.

Transitioning from social work to sales, Taylor is currently the Director of Business Development for Atlantic Lining Company, Inc., an environmental construction business committed to protecting groundwater and helping to build a cleaner, safer world. She continues to be involved in her local community and now serves as co-chair of Catholic Charities’ Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope.

Click here to see our full Leadership Team.

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For more information, contact Dana DiFilippo, Catholic Charities communications, at ddifilippo@cctrenton.org or (215) 756-6277 (cell).

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