Meet the leadership team of Catholic Charities Twin Cities who is responsible for the operative management of the organization.

Michael GoarMichael Goar, President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael Goar joined Catholic Charities as president and chief executive officer in January 2020. In his role, Michael partners with the Catholic Charities board and executive team to develop the organization’s strategy to serve and advocate on behalf of those most in need. He leads a team of 500 staff who assist more than 20,000 people annually, creating needed supports and opportunities for them to thrive.

Throughout his career, Michael has helped to lead foundational organizations that both sustain and serve their clients and the broader community. Prior to joining Catholic Charities, he served as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, as CEO and interim superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, and as executive director of Generation Next, a Twin Cities-based youth development organization. Earlier in his career, Goar held executive positions and COO roles for both Boston Public Schools and Memphis City Schools.

Michael has a deep commitment to racial equity and social justice and is engaged in organizations that support those efforts in our community. Michael serves on the Board of Genesys Works, Black Men Teach, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He also serves on Governor Walz’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee.

Michael’s commitment to service is partly driven by his personal story. Born in South Korea, he came to the United States when he was adopted by a Minnesota family at age 12, an experience he describes as transformative.

He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and his master’s degree in public administration from Mankato State University. Michael.Goar@cctwincities.org

Paul DeakinsPaul Deakins, Vice President of Development

Paul Deakins has been serving at Catholic Charities for a total of 6 years and leads the fundraising efforts of the agency. He is responsible for all aspects of major and planned giving, direct response, donor services, and donor relations. He has practiced in the development field for more than 26 years, and he has held various positions—from fundraiser to director—in various nonprofit sectors including higher education, senior care, and faith-based ministries. Paul holds a Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University and a Bachelor of Arts from Bethel University. He is also a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Paul.Deakins@cctwincities.org

Jeremiah HawkinsJeremiah Hawkins, Senior Division Director Hope Street

Jeremiah joined Catholic Charities in June of 2022. Jeremiah started his work at The Bridge for Youth in Minneapolis and from there has gone on to work in other community-based non-profits and state and local governments across the country. Most recently Jeremiah served as the Chief Programs Officer at D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s in Grand Rapids, MI. While there Jeremiah oversaw community-based counseling programs as well as adoption, foster care and residential services for youth in the state of Michigan’s Child Welfare System. Jeremiah received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Minnesota and his Master of Social Work Degree from Columbia University. Jeremiah.Hawkins@cctwincities.org

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Dick leads the Finance and Accounting team at Catholic Charities, ensuring that we are responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to us to achieve our mission. Richard.Johnson@cctwincities.org


Leadership team member Margaret King

Margaret King, Senior Director of Single Adult Housing Division

Margaret King joined Catholic Charities in September of 2021. King comes to Catholic Charities with an extensive history of leadership in large, complex organizations in the public and nonprofit sector that address homelessness and housing instability in both Seattle and in the Twin Cities. Most recently she worked for the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness and for the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative on building responses to unsheltered homelessness, as well as on supporting the state’s COVID-19 response for people experiencing homelessness. Prior to this work, she project managed the development of the service navigation center to replace the largest homeless encampment in the Twin Cities. margaret.king@cctwincities.org

 Leadership team member Elizabeth Knight

Elizabeth Knight, General Counsel

Elizabeth leads the Legal and Compliance team at Catholic Charities. Elizabeth is responsible for legal analysis and advice to Catholic Charities on issues that affect its work – including those that impact clients. The General Counsel serves as Catholic Charities’ Chief Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer, and her team is responsible for overseeing the organization’s compliance program. The Legal and Compliance Department also manages all contracts and grants, organizational policies and procedures, general risk management, and Catholic Charities’ insurance portfolio.  elizabeth.knight@cctwincities.org

Leadership team member Keith Kozerski

Keith Kozerski, Chief Program Officer

Keith oversees and supports the vision, administration and culture of our Housing and Emergency Services, Aging and Disability Services, and Children and Families Services programs. Keith is a licensed social worker who joined Catholic Charities in 2007 as Director of St. Joe’s Home for Children, becoming Senior Director of Children and Families in 2012. Prior to his career with Catholic Charities, Keith gained over 16 years of experience in a variety of social service arenas. He has worked in hospitals, residential treatment, public child welfare/child protection and community-based settings. Keith has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the Human Services program at Upper Iowa University. Keith currently serves as board member of AspireMN and Connections to Independence.  keith.kozerski@cctwincities.org

Patricia McCardle

Patricia McArdle, Division Director, Aging and Disability Services

Patricia leads seven teams of social workers and administrative assistants who provide care coordination services to older adults and individuals with disabilities in order to ensure they can remain supported in the home of their choice. This includes the unique Homeless Elders team doing intensive care management to work through all barriers in achieving housing for our most vulnerable neighbors. The contracts she oversees are with both Hennepin and Ramsey county and UCare, Medica and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. She advocates for equitable resources and services for older adults by being on the Board of the MN Leadership Council on Aging. Patricia.McArdle@cctwincities.org

Leadership team member

Michael McRath, Chief Human Resource Officer

Michael leads the Human Resources team at Catholic Charities. He and his team are responsible for all people matters: Staffing, Learning and Development, Employee Relations, Compensation, and Benefits and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He provides oversight of how these services are delivered in strategic and tactical ways. You can contact him at 612-204-8346 or Michael.mcrath@cctwincities.org..

Jessica MeyersonJessica Meyerson, Chief Quality Officer

Jessica oversees the agency’s performance and quality improvement work, including its strategic and annual planning processes and organization wide-initiatives to adopt “best practices” such as trauma-informed care. She also leads the Data Analysis, Research, and Technology (DART) team at Catholic Charities. She and her team are responsible for the agency’s performance measurement, research, evaluation, and IT functions. They conduct research on best practices in social services programming and operations; analyze and interpret agency data ; assess CC’s performance and impact in key strategic areas; support quality improvement initiatives and processes; and manage the agency’s IT infrastructure and information systems. You can contact Jessica at Jessica.meyerson@cctwincities.org or 612-219-5694.

Wendy Underwood

Wendy Underwood, Vice President of Social Justice Advocacy and Engagement

Wendy leads the Social Justice Advocacy and Engagement Department, bringing together state and local advocacy, communications and marketing, community engagement, volunteerism, and social justice education. SJAE shares the stories of the people served by Catholic Charities and its incredible team members to drive education, awareness, and personal and financial support. Wendy.underwood@cctwincities.org

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