St. Vincent de Paul Indy Names New Leader

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The Indianapolis Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has installed John Ryan as president. He succeeds Patrick Jerrell, who has served in the role since 2008. October 6, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - At the October 5, 2014 Annual Meeting of the Indianapolis Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), John Ryan of Indianapolis was installed President and successor to Patrick Jerrell who held the position since 2008. In concurrence with the council's by-laws, the council president can hold only two consecutive 3-year terms, thus Mr. Jerrell’s reason for stepping down.

Mr. Ryan, no stranger to the Indianapolis community and a 30-year member of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) parish, looks forward to this new position of servant-leadership. Mr. Ryan has been a board member (or chair) for the St. Elizabeth/Coleman Adoption Services, Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Serra Club, and serves on the IHM School Commission. Mr. Ryan has been a volunteer with the SVdP Food Pantry, and just completed an interim position as Executive Director with the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

In the public sector, Mr. Ryan held positions as the City Prosecutor, Corporation Counsel, and Deputy Mayor for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Bill Hudnut. He was also the Director for the Department of Child Services under Governors Daniels and Pence. In the private sector, Mr. Ryan was a partner with the law firm of Ice Miller and a vice president at American United Life.

Confirmed in the same meeting, Mr. Jim Vento becomes the organization's first Council Executive Director and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the food pantry, distribution center and the "Beggars for the Poor" Homeless Ministry. Recently retired as President and CEO of the Easter Seals Crossroads Rehabilitation Center in Indianapolis where he worked for 33 years, Mr. Vento has a wealth of experience working for an organization whose mission is to help those with special needs.

Mr. Vento's other professional experiences include Chairs of the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and the Indiana Interagency Coordinating Council on Infants and Toddlers. He is a previous recipient of the prestigious "Sagamore of the Wabash," and is a member of St. Elizabeth Seton parish in Carmel, Indiana.

While reflecting on his six years as the President of the Indianapolis Council, Mr. Jerrell shared, "I love being a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul because it is a good antidote to what is going on in the world. There is so much hatred, war, alienation and disagreement around the world and in the United States. The mission of the Society is to treat people as equals and recognize that we are all children of God and deserving of some respect."

Mr. Jerrell explains that he is most proud of the commitment on the part of volunteers to the Society's special works of the food pantry, distribution center, expansion of the homeless ministry, outreach to southern Indiana communities, and the launching of the Systemic Change initiative and its various programs. "I am also proud of our donors who have given of their hearts through donations of all sizes. Our volunteers and donors are the lifeblood of our organization," he said. "Of that we can all be proud."

If you are interested in making a difference, you can volunteer your time or donate to the St. Vincent de Paul organization by going to the website – svdpindy.org.

Source: The Indianapolis Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul