Ashtabula, OH — After 22 years of service to Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County (CCAC), Lynn Zalewski will be retiring in May. This decision was announced to the agency’s board of directors at their meeting on August 23.
Zalewski joined CCAC in 1996 as a program manager, following several years as a buyer for a major retailer. She became the agency’s assistant director in 2006, and assumed the role of executive director in 2008.
During her time with CCAC, Zalewski has worked to increase the agency’s basic needs assistance efforts to help families struggling with rent, utilities, food, and prescriptions. Zalewski has also expanded CCAC’s services for vulnerable populations, including representative payee services, guardianship services, and homeless outreach. The Agency’s newest initiative, Getting Ahead, provides an opportunity for people to work toward sustainable financial self-sufficiency.
According to Zalewski, collaboration among local organizations has been the key to enhancing the services available in the community.
“I am proud of the networking that has taken place in our county,” Zalewski asserts. “Each agency knows their niche and is willing to collaborate for the benefit of our mutual clients. We are in contact with multiple agencies, churches, and other organizations on a daily basis. I know that if we have an issue or difficult situation, I can reach out to one of my colleagues and they will do whatever they can to help.”
Zalewski and her husband, Jim, reside in Geneva and are members of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish there. Retirement will allow the couple to spend more time with their grandchildren and parents, and to travel.
When asked to comment on her two decades of service, Zalewski offers the following: “I am extremely honored to have served in my roles at Catholic Charities. What a humbling experience it has been, as I have witnessed the perseverance and resiliency of hundreds of families and individuals trying to make improvements in their lives. It has helped me to see the world from a different view, and I am hopefully a better, and a more compassionate person.”
Mr. Nicholas Iarocci, president of CCAC’s board of directors, has formed a search committee and outlined a process for hiring Zalewski’s successor.
“While members of the board of directors are saddened by Lynn’s announcement, as she has been an outstanding executive director, we are also elated that she will now get to enjoy retirement after having worked so hard for so many years for the underprivileged of our county,” Iarocci states.
The board of directors and staff will plan a farewell event for Zalewski this spring.
Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County is an affiliate agency of the Diocese of Youngstown Catholic Charities Corporation committed to serving those in need, advocating for justice in social structures, and calling the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same. Extending the love and compassion of Jesus Christ to those who are poor, vulnerable and without hope through tangible assistance and other essential services, CCAC affirms human dignity, meets basic human needs, strengthens families, builds communities, and empowers others to transform their lives. Last year, CCAC served over 12,000 individuals of all faiths.
For more information about the ministries offered by CCAC and other Catholic Charities affiliate agencies in the Diocese of Youngstown, visit www.ccdoy.org.