Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Three members of the 2014 Catholic Charities Leadership Class received the newly established Cindy Nofi Servant Leadership Award at the group’s recent graduation. Shown (l-r) are Andrew Sizimwe, Mary Ellen Cenzalli, Nofi and Jonathon Collado.


2014 Catholic Charities Atlanta Leadership Class graduates

Published January 22, 2015

ATLANTA—The 44 Catholic men and women of the 2014 Catholic Charities Atlanta Leadership Class graduated in a ceremony Jan. 15 at the Georgian Club. As the leadership program marks its fourth year, its success continues to grow as young faithful Catholic leaders look for opportunities to learn servant leadership and incorporate their faith in the workplace.

Caroline Rittenhouse, leadership class mentor, said, “It was a very moving experience as various class members were recognized for their service during the leadership class. I found it humbling to hear about not only the work that they have done in the class for Catholic Charities, but also the lives of service that they lead. We were truly blessed to have these servant leaders and all participants as a part of this year’s class.”

The members of the 2014 leadership class represent 19 different parishes across the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Collectively, they are involved in 140 community, academic and social volunteer organizations and are members of or lead 64 different parish ministries.

One of the components of the program is that each class member must commit to volunteer or complete a service project on behalf of Catholic Charities. This year’s class collectively volunteered over 150 hours of their time to the agency. They helped sort and distribute gifts for the Christmas Connections program. They collected baby items for the Pregnancy and Parenting program, participated in speed interviewing skills training, and collected cleaning supplies and set up an apartment for refugee clients.

At the graduation ceremony, one class member is asked to speak about his or her experience being part of the Leadership Class. This year’s speaker, Adam Hines, spoke to the audience about his faith journey and his experience in the class. He shared with his fellow classmates the message that “each person in this room has also heard God’s call and the way we can answer him is by our actions, spirit, and love for others.”

The graduation included a talk on servant leadership from keynote speaker, Dr. Cory Andrew Labrecque, who is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Religious Thought and the interim director of the Master of Arts in Bioethics Program at the Center for Ethics at Emory University. He also serves as co-director of Emory’s Catholic studies program. Labrecque shared several stories of times when he was able to practice servant leadership in his own life and said, “we all encounter ordinary incidents in our daily lives that offer us the opportunity to preserve the integrity of other persons. How we respond to these opportunities tells others who we are according to the Latin saying ‘agere sequitur esse’—I act according to who I am.”

One of the highlights of the evening was the unveiling of the Cindy Nofi Servant Leadership Award, established this year in honor of Cindy Nofi, former Catholic Charities Atlanta board member, who helped establish the CCA Leadership Class program. Each year, the award will be given to a class member or members who embody the true meaning of servant leadership. Nofi’s vision was that Catholic Charities Atlanta Leadership Class members would learn how to successfully integrate their faith within the corporate landscape and to embrace their role as a “servant leader” within their organization. This award recognizes those class members that emanate a deep spirituality, are dedicated to helping those less fortunate, and have shown a true commitment to the program. They are “passionate and show an unconditional devotion to the loving service of others.”

Graduation is not the end of the class members’ journeys, but just the beginning. Each member has been matched with a senior Catholic business leader to serve in a nine-month mentorship program. The mentors are influential Catholic leaders in the Atlanta business community who have made a commitment to be involved in the spiritual and professional lives of these new servant leaders.

For more information about nominating someone for the 2015 Leadership Class or serving as a mentor, contact Stephanie Ungashick, senior director of marketing and communications, at 404-920-7759 or Visit for nomination forms, mentorship opportunities and sponsorship opportunities.