CINCINNATI – November 5, 2019 – Ted Bergh has announced his retirement as the CEO of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio. Mr. Bergh will complete 8 years of service when he retires in April 2020. He came to Catholic Charities after being the Interim Executive Director of Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, CFO of SORTA and CFO of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mr. Bergh expressed, “My last eight years at Catholic Charities are the highlight of my career for all the good work in serving local families in Cincinnati who are experiencing poverty.”
During his tenure, many positive and constructive changes took place at Catholic Charities. One was the relocation of the main office to Bond Hill / Roselawn after spending the first 99 years in downtown Cincinnati. “Our client base had changed, so we moved and consolidated 4 offices into one location to improve efficiency. We took the opportunity to remove barriers between programs and to focus multiple services on the needs of families being served,” said Mr. Bergh.
In 2016, the agency celebrated its centennial, 100 Years of Mercy, by naming 100 Champions of Mercy at a gala. The agency continues to celebrate by naming Champions of Mercy each year. Mr. Bergh explained, “These Individuals and agencies are the people who bring God’s Mercy into the world and we recognize their Works of Mercy to show what is possible.”
With an increase in funding from the One Faith, One Hope, One Love Campaign, Catholic Charities began the Food for All program in 2016 to deliver food in rural and urban food deserts in the Archdiocese. This initiative is almost completely volunteer and operates in community accessible locations where there is a lack of healthy food sources. The pantry sets up, delivers the food and cleans up by the end of the day. It is only possible through the faithful service of volunteers.
The Su Casa Hispanic Center, Refugee Resettlement Services, Legal Immigration Services, and Accuracy Now Language Services programs have grown to make Catholic Charities the largest provider of immigration services in the Cincinnati region. All services are provided to Cincinnati families and include: legal immigration services, emergency case management, English and Spanish language courses, healthcare screenings and referrals to healthcare providers, job and career skills, interpretation services and training, bilingual mental health with trauma informed care, summer student enrichment and tutoring.
Accuracy Now Language Services is a social enterprise launched in 2017. It provides in-person interpretation (in over 125 languages), telephone interpretation and translation services. This program has over 500 interpreters who may be booked through the AccuracyNow.org website. There is a mutual benefit to the interpreters who earn income and to Catholic Charities, generating funds for its immigration programs.
Many seniors need special assistance with transportation and other daily activities. Others are looking for a way to find value and contribute to their community. Catholic Charities is there to serve those who are 55+ and does so with its Foster Grandparents Program, Senior Companions Program, Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Caregivers Assistance Network. These programs continue provide vital, unique and high quality services to vulnerable populations.
Another big change is coming at the end of 2019. After nearly 40 years of service, Catholic Charities will transfer operation of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield, Ohio to the Tri-County Food Alliance. This newly formed local charity will continue to feed the hungry with uninterrupted service. By establishing local administration, the foodbank will be better equipped to recognize and serve local needs.
Joel Handorf, Catholic Charities board chair recognized Ted, “He was the right person with many talents that advanced the mission of Catholic Charities and implemented change to continue to expand and strengthen the mission.”
Ted is clear that he will “not disappear into retirement” but continue to engage in issues that are important to him where he “will continue to encounter people to serve and to promote justice.” Retirement will also provide time for family and activities he enjoys – boating, hiking and outdoor living, as well as, expanded writing and spiritual time.
Ted sums up his experience with, “It’s been a real blessing delivering the mission to serve and protect the poor and vulnerable and to welcome the stranger in our midst with the dedicated team, and it has changed my life. I know the committed Catholic Charities team will continue its works of mercy in Cincinnati.”