The Catholic Community Foundation has announced that longtime board member John Sack is now the organization’s interim president and CEO. The announcement came in the weeks after Donna Marino stepped down from the position last month to accept a new job in the Valley.
Sack, a cradle Catholic and member of St. Theresa Parish, has been involved with the foundation for many years. A retired banker who spent decades working for what is now known as Wells Fargo Bank, Sack also taught at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
In earlier years, Sack was on the St. Theresa parish council and served as president of the Home and School Association. He said he made a Cursillo in 1978 and wound up being involved with Mount Claret Retreat Center’s board of directors for about 15 years, mostly serving as treasurer.
On the Catholic Community Foundation board for a dozen years, Sack has served as treasurer and chairman of the board there as well. “Our motto says it all,” he said of the mission of the foundation. “We are ‘to carry on the work of Christ by fostering philanthropy.’”
Through his work, Sack said he came to understand “the power of the foundation for doing good not only in the Catholic community, but also in the broader community.”
The Catholic Community Foundation awards grants each year to charities such as St. Vincent de Paul and Ozanam Manor, Paz de Cristo, Life Choices Women’s Clinics and the HOPE program at Christ the King Parish. Many underprivileged and deserving students receive scholarships through the foundation’s program and through its Christian Service Awards.
Sack and his wife both belong to the Order of Malta, a Catholic organization that traces its roots to 1050 AD and is devoted to serving the poor and sick around the world and growing in spiritual perfection.
In his years on the board, Sack said he served as a mentor at Ozanam Manor, a transitional housing facility run by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, witnessing firsthand the good work that is done through the grant program.
“Mentoring over there, you have people who have been homeless, and they are able to stay for up to two years,” Sack said. The mentoring program helps residents with their personal needs so they can find a job and sustain themselves.
Sack said that at 74, he knows his role as foundation’s interim president and CEO will not be for a long period of time, but he’s hoping to make a difference while he serves.
“My job is to make sure things just continue to move along and monitor progress,” Sack said. “I’ll be looking at the organization as relative to the specific needs that they might have to make it a stronger organization from the standpoint of programming.”