New executive director of Catholic Charities hopes to build on momentum

Wendy Glick talks with people eating dinner in 2011 at the Lord’s Diner. Glick is the new executive director of Catholic Charities.
Wendy Glick talks with people eating dinner in 2011 at the Lord’s Diner. Glick is the new executive director of Catholic Charities. File photo

Upon reflection, Wendy Glick suspects she has been getting ready for her new job since 1998.

Glick has been appointed executive director of Catholic Charities, replacing the retiring Mike Burrus. She assumes her new duties April 3.

“I just thought I’d throw my hat in the ring, and feel so fortunate and humble that they have the confidence in me to do the job,” said Glick, who is currently senior director of mission services and development for the organization.

“It does almost feel like over the past 18 years I’ve been preparing for this,” she said.

After running a skating rink with her husband, Karl, for 18 years, Glick accepted a job organizing a volunteer coordination system for Catholic Charities in 1998.

She later accepted a job as coordinator of volunteers for the Lord’s Diner, which provides a free meal to anyone who wants one in downtown Wichita. She became director of the diner, which is run by the Wichita Catholic Diocese, in 2003.

Seeking new challenges, she left the diner in 2011 and accepted a position with Catholic Charities a month later. Since she joined Catholic Charities as director of development and community relations, the agency has seen a 317 percent increase in revenue generated by its Annual Fund.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with excellent development and leadership skills as the face of this organization and its mission to serve families,” Arlin Beer, chairman of the board for Catholic Charities, said in a statement.

Glick is quick to say she doesn’t know everything she needs to, but she’s not concerned.

“I feel like I have the skills and I know the people that can help me lead the organization,” which has 14 programs designed to alleviate poverty and build strong families.

The leaders of those programs are “very good at the work that they do,” she said. “I’ll rely heavily on them.”

Glick said she will focus on innovation and collaboration to strengthen and build Catholic Charities. Though she has overseen a substantial increase in revenue generated by the agency’s Annual Fund, Glick points to the organization rather than herself for the reason it occurred.

“The good work that has taken place has inspired people,” she said.

Glick wants to keep that momentum building, saying “it will continue to allow us to meet community needs that are forever changing.”

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger