Lisa Louis, CFRE
Leading the Catholic Foundation was an opportunity Lisa could not pass up. “It is a pleasure for me to put my professional skills to work for causes that inspire me personally,” she says. In collaboration with its board of directors, Lisa guides the work of the foundation to raise, manage growth and grant funds to support the mission and ministries of the Catholic faith following each donor’s intent.
Prior to her work with the Catholic Foundation, Lisa held a variety of leadership positions in marketing, communications, and fundraising at the Regional Cancer Center over the course of more than 20 years. She earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2018.
Lisa holds a BA in speech communication from Miami University of Ohio and an MA in communication studies from West Virginia University. She and her husband, Mark, have four children and are active members at St. Jude parish.
James E. Martin
In his role as the Foundation’s development director, Jim will work with donors who wish to advance the future of Catholic causes through endowments. “We are delighted to welcome Jim to our team,” says Lisa Louis, executive director of the Catholic Foundation. “Jim’s wealth of experience and strong affinity for our Catholic mission make him uniquely suited for this role. It’s really a great match for both of us.”
After more than 35 years working at Northwest, the past 16 as its Erie region president, Jim appreciates this opportunity for professional change and personal growth. “I have been involved with my church my entire life,” he says. From grade school at Saint George, through high school at Cathedral Prep and college at Saint Louis University, Jim embraced his Catholic environment. As an adult, he was on many Catholic committees and boards including serving, at the bishop’s invitation, on the finance council of the Diocese of Erie. “My faith has always been an integral part of my life,” he says. “This new role is an opportunity for me to give back and pay it forward for the future of our Catholic community in a way that is very meaningful to me.”
Throughout his professional career at Northwest Jim worked with many area non-profits and served on many boards, among them the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership and United Way of Erie County, where he also served as board chair. Although retired from banking, Jim wants to continue being actively involved in developing the Erie region while doing something different.
“I look forward to putting my professional skills to work for something that inspires me personally,” he says.
Inspired by her experiences as a parish volunteer, Julia Cooney has a deep appreciation for the difference donors and organizations can make together. “Connecting donors with the causes they are passionate about can truly advance the mission of the church and, ultimately, change the lives of both philanthropic individuals and those who are impacted by their generosity,” she says.
As Operations Manager, Julia directs day-to-day Foundation operations, ensuring accuracy and consistency in processes, financial transactions, data management, and collaboration with ministries and organizations. She also serves as the Recording Secretary of the Catholic Foundation.
In addition to her extensive volunteer work at Our Lady of Peace parish and school, Julia previously worked as the Catholic Foundation Development Services Coordinator and has experience as a programmer/analyst. She earned a BS in Computer Information Systems from Westminster College. She and her husband Michael are proud parents of three daughters.
After retiring from her career as a dietitian to stay home and raise her sons, Kathy found herself with spare time on her hands and a need to serve in her heart. While volunteering in many capacities at Our Lady of Peace School, she became an integral part of building a development effort to replace the typical school fundraising efforts. Kathy says, “I was definitely in the right place at the right time. Our school board was on track with their decision and the diocese was offering a series of seminars on the topic that I attended on behalf of the school. Development was and is a natural fit for me.”
As Development Associate for the Catholic Foundation, Kathy coordinates foundation events and other donor-related activities.
In addition to her years as a dietitian, Kathy has held positions as the Advancement Director for Our Lady of Peace School and as the Director of Special Events for Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy. She earned her BS in Dietetics and MS in Nutrition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She and husband, Doug, are members of Our Lady of Peace Parish and have two adult sons.