Faith at workplace focus of leadership seminar March 12

By: By Tom Dermody

A college sports coach, a lawyer, a corporate consultant and the Bishop of Peoria will all share how they integrate the Catholic faith into their work during a Faith-Based Leadership Seminar planned for Saturday, March 12, at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria.

Business leaders and managers from around the Diocese of Peoria are invited to the seminar, which is sponsored by the diocesan Office of Evangelization. An application form appears on page 24 of this issue of The Catholic Post, and more information is available online at

“There is a real thirst out there for people to know it’s OK to be Catholic in the workplace,” said Jack Desatnick, whose vision inspired the diocese’s first Faith-Based Leadership Seminar a year ago that drew 65 participants. Desatnick, a member of St. Edward’s Parish in Chillicothe, is chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Enercon Engineering.

Following registration at 8:30 a.m., this year’s seminar opens with a 9 a.m. Mass to be celebrated at the pastoral center by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.

Seminar participants will then hear from three featured speakers, including:

— Jim DeRose, the head soccer coach at Bradley University in Peoria. DeRose, a member of St. Philomena’s Parish in Peoria, was named the 2007 Soccer America Magazine Coach of the Year after guiding Bradley to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament.

— Mike Seghetti, a lawyer with the firm Elias, Meginnes, Riffle and Seghetti, and a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Peoria, and

— Dr. Lisa Feeney, head of the Bloomington-based corporate training company Feeney Consulting, and a member of Epiphany Parish in Normal.

“Each speaker brings a different leadership perspective and yet they have some similarities,” said Dodie Gomer, a member of the seminar planning committee who is in leadership with Caterpillar Inc. “They have grown in their Catholic faith as their career developed, their leadership is often public or widely known, and they each have an opportunity to develop and influence a large population of the new wave of leaders.”

After their individual presentations, the three will be part of a panel discussion inviting questions from participants.

Both Desatnick and Gomer are hopeful for a large turnout of a diverse group of leaders from all fields, including health care, engineering, sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc.

“Not all of us have to manage the serious ethical issues,” said Gomer, “but each one of us is confronted with difficult people, or office gossip, or that colleague that takes credit for others’ work.”

This year’s theme is “Living Always,” and participants will learn how to use Catholic values and principles even in the often difficult situations of business.

Gomer, who was a seminar presenter a year ago, especially challenged business leaders from areas such as Bloomington, Galesburg, and the Quad Cities to “charter a coach and fill the conference.”

“We all want to grow in our faith and we have an opportunity to learn from each other,” she said. “This diocese is filled with talented Catholics with years of work experience.”

Cost is $25, including lunch. (The cost rises to $30 after March 2.) For more information, contact the Office of Evangelization at (309) 671-1550.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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