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New Board Members Bring Exceptional Expertise

by MOSAIC Editorial Team

The Sacred Heart community welcomes three members to the seminary Board of Trustees: Denise Bertin-Epp, John Cullen, and Kenneth Svoboda. These new leaders bring with them fresh perspectives and new energy to help the seminary to fulfill its mission of forming and educating leaders of the new evangelization locally, nationally, and internationally.

All three began their inaugural terms at the board meeting in November 2014. The seminary offers a grateful thank you to departing board members Michael Monahan, James Graham, and Adriana Vlasic for their generous donation of time and expertise through the years.

Denise Bertin-Epp has held an array of healthcare and executive leadership positions in her career. She is currently CEO of Crossroads Centre Antigua, an international addiction treatment facility located in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda, and is the former CEO of Guest House, a Lake Orion, Michigan, addiction treatment facility serving Catholic clergy.

Ms. Bertin-Epp is well known in the behavioral health treatment industry and frequently gives presentations to international audiences. She has been the recipient of the Michigan Nightingale Award for Nursing Leaders in Healthcare as well as being selected a National Behavioral Healthcare Champion in 2010, by Behavioral Healthcare magazine.

I believe my experience in the healthcare industry, in particular behavioral health, supports the seminary as it creates curriculum and environment around the continuum of the overall wellbeing of seminarians and priests throughout their lifetime, Ms. Bertin-Epp says. When in Michigan, she and her husband, Jack, live in Lake Orion and are members of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, also in Lake Orion.

John (Jack) Cullen is a retired president and CEO of the St. Joseph Mercy Community Health Care System in Pontiac. Mr. Cullen has served on many boards and committees related to the provision of Catholic health care, including with the Sisters of Mercy Health Corporation and the Michigan Catholic Health Association. He has served on the Sacred Heart Major Seminary Finance and Audit Committee for the past two years. Mr. Cullen also served on the Michigan Catholic Conference Pension Committee and was one of two appointees from the Archdiocese of Detroit.

My career in Catholic health care has exposed me to people struggling with many issues in their daily lives, he says. It has given me perspectives I believe are applicable to the issues that challenge the seminary and its student population.

As a tested business person, Mr. Cullen believes he can help the seminary to become an organization that is forward-thinking with respect to the best practices in the economies of scale in all we do.

Mr. Cullen is a former adjunct professor at the University of Detroit/Mercy in the College of Health Professions. He is an alumnus of Michigan State University and the Lawrence Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Joy, reside in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and attend Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Orchard Lake, Michigan.

Kenneth Svoboda is a certified public accountant and attorney, a registered investment advisor, and owner of the Svoboda McDaniel Group, a CPA firm based in Northville, Michigan. Previously, Mr. Svoboda was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked for twenty-three years. He is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Mr. Svoboda hopes to add value to the mission of the seminary through his skills in accounting, finance, and law. He believes Sacred Heart can play an important role in the revitalization of Detroit. Having weathered the storm and remaining in the city when the easy path would have been to leave, the seminary is in a critical position to do this.

Mr. Svoboda is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Michigan Association of CPAs, the American Bar Association, and the Michigan Bar Association. He is a vice president and Audit Committee chairman of the Detroit Historical Society, and is a member of the Finance Committee for Sacred Heart. He and his wife, Kathleen, live in Northville. They are members of St. John Neumann Parish in Canton, Michigan.

MOSAIC Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.