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New Department of Communications and Personnel Appointments

PRESS RELEASE

July 1, 2022

SUBJECT: New Department of Communications and Personnel Appointments

MORE INFO: Justin Huyck, Director of Communications, (330) 744-8451, ext. 320, jhuyck@youngstowndiocese.org

YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, has established a new Department of Communications for the Diocese of Youngstown, effective July 1, 2022, integrating all communications and publishing operations, including internal and external communications as well as operations and personnel of The Catholic Exponent (the diocesan newspaper) and the Catholic Telecommunications Network of Youngstown (CTNY, the diocese’s radio, television, and multimedia ministry). The July 2022 consolidation of CTNY with the diocese’s social media efforts was previously announced in September 2021, with a new social media studio in the diocese’s offices in Youngstown to replace current CTNY studios in Canfield. In February 2021, Bishop Bonnar named Communications as one of five priorities for the diocesan Church in his pastoral letter, Testify to the Light, with a mandate to establish an integrated communications approach and a focus on social media engagement. The Department of Communications is charged with innovating the diocese’s print, digital, television, and radio presence, building upon the award-winning legacies of CTNY and The Catholic Exponent.

Bishop Bonnar comments, “In my inaugural Pastoral Letter I identified Communication as one of five priorities as we move forward together.  It is imperative that we utilize every means possible to proclaim what Pope Francis calls the Joy of the Gospel and invite people into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ who is always with us on the way.  We cannot allow Jesus or his continued presence in the Church to become muffled or irrelevant.  I am excited about the team we have assembled for this effort.”

Concurrent with the establishment of the department, Bishop Bonnar announces the appointment of department personnel:

Justin Huyck as Director of Communications. Mr. Huyck has served as the diocese’s Coordinator of Media Relations since September 2021, and before that as Pastoral Associate and Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Michael the Archangel in Canton since 2013. He previously served in parish ministry in Albany, NY, Chicago, IL, and Kingston Ontario, and holds a B.A. in Government from Cornell University, and an M.A. in Theology from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is the author of Baptism: Alive in Christ and From Home to Home: Finding Meaning in Mobility (Liturgical Press) and has also served as Chair of the Product Development Committee for the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. 

Mr. Huyck will assume overall responsibility for the Department of Communications, developing and implementing communications policies and programs that support the diocese and its parishes, schools, and ministries. He will continue to serve as the chief point of contact with journalists.

Katie Wagner as Publications Editor and Associate Director of Communications. Ms. Wagner joins the Diocese of Youngstown with broad experience in publishing, strategic communications, and marketing. From 2015 to 2022, she was the Content Creator and later the Senior Online Editor for Mt. Lebanon Magazine in Pittsburgh, where she managed the online magazine and contributed to both the print and online editions, in addition to serving as Mt. Lebanon’s Assistant Public Information Officer.  For her writing, she is the recipient of two Press Club of Western Pennsylvania Golden Quill Awards. Ms. Wagner has also had an accomplished career in marketing, most recently as Senior Account Executive at Odato Marketing Group, with whom she has been the recipient of the AMA Marketer of the Year Award for Retail Marketing in 2014, Education Marketing in 2016, and Healthcare Marketing in 2017. She holds a B.A. in Strategic Communications from Mercyhurst University, with a minor in voice performance. 

Ms. Wagner will lead the diocese’s efforts in innovating its print and digital publishing, building upon the 77-year history of The Catholic Exponent.

Cindee Case continues as Social Media Minister for the Diocese of Youngstown, leading the diocese’s efforts on social media. In her role, Ms. Case develops creative content on various social media platforms, accompanies those who engage with the diocese on social media, and provides social media formation for leaders in parishes and schools. 

Ms. Case previously served from 2002 to 2021 as the Diocese of Youngstown’s Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and before that in diocesan roles in Atlanta, St. Augustine (Florida), and Cleveland. She is a graduate of Kent State University, holds a Master of Pastoral Studies from Loyola University of New Orleans, and is the 2016 recipient of the National Youth Ministry Award from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, where she served on the Communications and Publications Management Committee. She is a co-author of Connecting Young Adults to Catholic Parishes: Best Practices in Catholic Young Adult Ministry (USCCB Publishing).

Robert Gavalier joins the Department of Communications as the diocese’s Senior Multimedia Production Specialist, after having served the Catholic Telecommunications Network of Youngstown (CTNY) for over 25 years, most recently as General Manager. While at CTNY, Mr. Gavalier contributed to CTNY’s numerous awards, including a 2022 Communicator Award of Excellence and 2022 Telly Award. Mr. Gavalier received his B.A. in Telecommunications from Kent State University and, in addition to his work for the Church, is an active sports broadcaster.

Mr. Gavalier will continue to produce the diocese’s radio show Wineskins and its television program, Mass for Shut-Ins (both available via media partners and at www.doy.org), while also providing technical leadership for new developments in multimedia programming.

Meagen Farrell joins the diocese as Communications Specialist. Farrell is a publisher, author and editor, and a national trainer in adult education and instructional design. She holds a B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, an M.A. in Theology from John Carroll University, a Certificate in Distance Education from Penn State University, and is currently a Ph.D. student in Educational Technology at Kent State University.

She will participate in various communications projects, especially in supporting internal communications between the diocese and parishes and providing training as communications platforms are developed.

Rev. James Korda will continue as Host of the radio program Wineskins, after retiring as President of CTNY in July 2022, thus continuing his thirty-year association with diocesan media. Wineskins is streamed online at www.doy.org and is also available on WKBN-AM 570 and WILB-FM 89.5 (Youngstown), WILB-AM 1060 and WILB-FM 94.5 (Canton), and WRQX-AM 600 (Salem).

Brother Dominic Calabro, SSP will continue to serve as Productions Assistant for various diocesan initiatives and event coverage. He also served CTNY for over twenty-five years, in addition to contributing to the media efforts of his religious community, the Society of St. Paul.

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