Traci Kennedy plans to ask a lot of questions during her first 30 days as the new executive director for Catholic Charities. She joined the organization Feb. 1, wanting to learn all she can about Catholic Charities’ 13 ministries, its administrative operations, its finances, donors and staff.
“I plan to observe, ask questions, listen and learn,” Traci says of her first 30 days. “I will also use the time to begin to build relationships and earn the trust of various stakeholders. I have many questions, and they will be different depending on the audience. The one question that I will ask everyone is, ‘how can I help the agency see more success?’”
Wendy Glick, retiring executive director, will be helping to answer many of Traci’s questions as she supports her during a 60-day transition period.
Leading with a servant’s heart
The Catholic Charities Board of Director announced in early December 2022 that it had selected Traci to serve as the organization’s seventh executive director in its 80-year history.
“We are confident that Traci is the best person to guide an already strong organization to new heights,” says Chris Goebel, board chair and chairman/CEO of Star Lumber. “She leads with a servant’s heart, which is an important quality to have as executive director of a faith-based community impact organization with more than 100 employees serving some 15,000 people a year.”
Traci does, in fact, describes her leadership style as one of a servant or conscious leader.
Potential to make a greater difference
“I will personally invest in, encourage and inspire all who work toward fulfilling the mission of the agency so that they are empowered and truly own their own roles and responsibilities,” she says. “While Catholic Charities is on a solid foundation with 13 ministries, I believe there is potential to make an even greater difference in the 25 counties we serve.
“I look forward to working with the team in making that happen in the years to come,” she says.
Traci has developed her leadership style during more than 20 years of experience with Wichita-area non-profits. She recently completed 13 years of service at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, where she had been director of stewardship and pastoral planning since February 2013. In that role, she was been responsible for strategic planning, fund development, communications and marketing, and was the parish’s primary administrative officer.
Getting to Know
Hometown: Omaha, NE
College: University of Kansas
Degree: Bachelor of Arts, emphasis in non-profit managment
- Director of Stewardship & Pastoral Planning, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (2013 – 2023)
- Director of Extraordinary and Legacy Stewardship, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (2010 – 2013)
- Self-employed, Contract Recruiter, telecommunications and technology (2007-2009)
- Director of Development, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Wichita (2004-2006)
- Recruiter, Koch Industries (1996-1999)
- Executive Director, American Cancer Society (1994-1996)
Family: Husband, Don, and daughters Mary Kate, Ellie and Anna
Make a donation in honor of Traci Kennedy as she leads Catholic Charities in its 80th year.
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Counseling And Immigration
Disabled Adults And Seniors
St. Joseph Pastoral Center
437 North Topeka st.
Wichita. KS 67202-2431
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Wichita is a 501(c)(3). All gifts are tax-deductible.
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316-264-8344 ext. 1262
The Wichita Diocese covers 20,021 square miles and includes 25 counties in the southeast corner of the state. It is home to over 114,000 Catholics in 90 parishes.