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Four new members join the SP Ministry Corporation Board

John Dowd, Jr.

Dennis Fitzpatrick

Diane LaCosse
James Wall

The Sisters of Providence announced on January 24, 2018 the appointment of four new Directors to the Board of the Sisters of Providence Ministry Corporation (SPMC). This significant action is the next step in the restructuring process the Sisters of Providence began in 2014 by forming SPMC as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and moving most of their current ministries under this new corporation.


“This is an important moment for us,” commented Sister Kathleen Popko, SP, president of the Sisters of Providence. “We are asking these committed community leaders to play a key role in assuring the continued vitality of our ministries by positioning them for the future.” She added, “These new Directors have shared a long history with the Sisters of Providence and already have contributed significantly in many ways to the effectiveness and success of our diverse good works in service to the people of Western Massachusetts and beyond.”

SPMC functions as the holding company for Providence Place, Inc., Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place, Inc.; Providence Ministries for the Needy, Inc., all in Holyoke; and Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center in Westfield.

The Sisters of Providence Executive Council serves as the Corporation’s Members on the SPMC Board and as its officers: Sister Kathleen Popko, Board president; Sister Mary Caritas Geary, vice president; and Sister Senga Fulton, secretary/treasurer.

New appointees are John Dowd, Jr., Dennis Fitzpatrick, Diane LaCosse and James Wall. All four have been trustees of other Sisters of Providence Boards in the past.

John Dowd, Jr., president and CEO of The Dowd Insurance Agencies, has served on numerous boards including the Sisters of Providence Health System and Foundation Board, NUVO Bank & Trust Company, and CityStage & Symphony Hall.

Dennis Fitzpatrick, president of The O’Connell Companies, was Chair of the Board of The Brightside for Families and Children; Chair of the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS); and Chair of Catholic Health East of which SPHS was a founding member.

Diane LaCosse, senior vice president of United Bank’s commercial banking division in West Springfield, is currently a member of the Providence Place and Mary’s Meadow Board and Finance Committee. She is a volunteer for the WestMass Eldercare Money Manager Program, an Associate of the Sisters of Providence, and formerly a member of The Brightside for Families and Children Board.

James Wall retired in 2012 as global managing director of talent and chief diversity officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., U.S. He currently is on two Boards of Trustees—as Vice-chair of The American Management Association International, NYC, and on the Board and chair-elect of Providence Ministries for the Needy, Inc., Holyoke.

Defining role and goals
Dowd sees the SPMC Board’s role as ensuring that the Sisters’ mission “grows and flourishes into the future.” Playing “a part in perpetuating the Sisters’ mission” is what his service on the Board will be all about. He adds, “What makes all of the Sisters’ affiliates unique is that they are mission-driven enterprises. Their mission, in addition to quality health care, is to serve…the most needy among us.”

Commenting, Fitzpatrick elaborated, “The Sisters’ mission of caring for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society has always been an important part of my core values and I’m honored to be asked (through the SPMC Board) to help secure the future of the Sisters’ legacy.”

LaCosse says her relationship with the Sisters of Providence “goes back decades to the 1980s when I served on the Sisters’ Board for The Brightside for Families and Children and others of their Boards. It’s a privilege to continue to share in some small way in the Sisters’ legacy through their ministries helping children, the poor, the sick and elderly.”

Wall added, “As the Sisters prepare to transition more of the responsibility for their ministries to the laity, I believe the SPMC Board must take a collaborative leadership role with them. Our role will be to engage the broader laity and to build their commitment, passion and support of the ministries of the Sisters of Providence.” Noting that his parents had lived at Providence Place for 17 years, Wall concluded, “The passion and commitment of the staff of each of these ministries is inspiring to me and motivates me to support the Sisters, and all those they serve.”


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