Leadership transition at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Madison – Madison Catholic Herald

Julie Bennett

MADSON — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP)-Madison District Council Board of Directors is pleased to announce Julie Bennett as the organization’s new chief executive officer and executive director.

Bennett joined the SVdP-Madison staff two years ago as the associate executive director. She came to the Society with 15 years of church and nonprofit leadership experience.

Bennett is the first woman to lead SVdP-Madison in its 98-year history, beginning in the role on October 1.

“Back in February, the Board unanimously voted to offer Julie the position of CEO, to begin when Ernie [Stetenfeld] retired at the end of our fiscal year,” Jim Oeth, board and district council president, said. “Her experience with us for nearly two years, the skills she brought when she joined us, and the eight-month transition and learning time have prepared her well to lead us into the future. Most importantly, Julie has the heart for our mission to provide basic needs to people in our community who are coping with poverty and the knowledge and wisdom to guide our efforts to meet growing demand.”

During her tenure at SVdP-Madison, Bennett has overseen corporate communications, participated in the Housing Programs task force, led the task force that reimagined the longstanding St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House into the new Seton Program, supported the completion of several strategic plan goals , and championed two successful virtual Care Café fundraising events.

Bennett also worked closely with retiring CEO and Executive Director Ernie Stetenfeld to support staff across the organization’s thrift store operations and mission programs.

“The Madison area is an incredible community filled with people who want to make our world better,” Bennett said. “I’m honored by the trust our Board has placed in me to continue and grow the good work the Society of St Vincent de Paul does in Dane County. Too many local people struggled to meet their basic needs. Our members, volunteers, donors, and staff work hard to provide food, medicine, clothing, housing, and other support for people coping with poverty, and to treat each person with kindness, dignity, and respect. I look forward to growing our capacity to serve and inviting new partners into our mission of helping our neighbors in need.”

New associate executive director

Amy Overby

SVdP-Madison is also pleased to announce that Amy Overby joined the staff as the associate executive director in late August.

Overby has deep ties to the Madison community, having grown up on the near west side and spent most of her career in the area.

Her connection to SVdP-Madison began when she was the vice president of donor engagement during her 25-year service to the Madison Community Foundation.

She will serve in a similar capacity as Bennett did during her time as the associate executive director.

“Joining SVdP fulfills a longtime dream of mine to have a career that helps people through financially difficult times with care and dignity,” Overby said. “SVdP is a unique place where service and hope lead everything we do. I’m honored to work alongside many talented staff colleagues and incredibly dedicated volunteers.”

“I am grateful that Amy will share her experience in nonprofit leadership with us,” Bennett said. “She will help us grow our ability to evaluate and meet emerging needs, expand our resources to help our neighbors, and tell our story of nearly 100 years of service in Madison. Amy has a deep love for people and a strong commitment to charity and justice.”

Helping others

The District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul will provide more than $3 million in charitable help in Dane County this year.

The organization operates a variety of programs that meet basic needs.

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry provides food, diapers, toiletries, and household essentials to 50,000 people annually.

The Charitable Pharmacy, the only one of its kind in Wisconsin, gives free prescription medications and other health services to eligible uninsured adult patients.

Port St. Vincent de Paul is the longest-running men’s housing program in Madison.

The St Elizabeth Ann Seton Program offers poverty mitigation and remediation support for single adult households with minor children.

Vinny’s Lockers is the only long-term goods storage program for people who are homeless in Madison.

Additionally, the organization provides utility and other financial assistance to eligible families.

They also give vouchers valued at around $350,000 annually for clothing, furniture, and household goods to families in need.

Vouchers may be redeemed at their seven Dane County thrift stores, three in Madison and one each in Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona, and Waunakee.

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