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2019 Speakers

Mr. Matt Bell
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Matt Bell is 32 year old Toledo native who graduated from St. Francis de Sales in 2005 and earned an academic/athletic scholarship to the University of Toledo, where he played baseball. After a shoulder injury during practice that resulted in surgery, he became addicted to the pain killers that were prescribed to him, which turned into a 9 year bout with heroin.

Despite a wonderful upbringing and endless opportunities, his reality became jails, arrests, overdoses, and homelessness.

Today, as the President, co-founder & CEO of Team Recovery and Midwest Recovery Center, he uses his past & his biggest liabilities as assets to help the individuals and families who are still suffering from the disease of addiction and to carry an important message to our youth. In 4 years the organization has grown to operate in two counties, has 18 properties, and currently employs around 200 people.

Mrs. Sara Best

Sara Best is a people and performance development champion, with over 25 years experience serving global, national and regional organizations in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Best holds certifications in the EQ-I 2.0 and EQ 360 assessments, The Predictive Index, and Talent Organization. She is a seasoned Executive and Performance Coach focused on high performance, team dynamics, leadership, and communication. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in administration from Eastern Michigan University.

Mrs. Danielle Cisterino - Hajdu
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Danielle Cisterino-Hajdu holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Toledo. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from
Eastern Michigan University. Mrs. Cisterino-Hajdu is currently the Project Director for the Teen PEP program at Promedica Toledo Children’s Hospital. Teen PEP (Peers Educating Peers) is a youth-led violence and prevention education program that operates in 14 Northwest Ohio area schools. The program utilizes trained teen leaders in each of the participating schools to deal with topics such as teen relationship (dating) violence,
bullying, and sexual assault prevention. The program was started in 1993 and Mrs. Cisterino-Hajdu began her involvement with Teen PEP as a teen leader in 1995. Since
then she has appeared on several local television talk forums as an expert panelist on both teen relationship violence and bullying prevention. Danielle has trained hundreds of professional educators and thousands of youth on how to detect warning signs of abusive teen relationships and how they can prevent bullying in their schools.

Mr. Clinton Longenecker

Clinton Oliver Longenecker, is an award winning educator, one of “America’s leaders in creating high performance leaders and organizations,” and is a Distinguished University Professor and the Director of The Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in The College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo. He has been recognized by The Economist as one of the Top Fifteen Business Professors in the World and his teaching, research and consulting interests are in creating high performance leadership and great organizations.  He has been the recipient of over sixty (60) outstanding teaching, service and research awards and numerous industry awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Toastmasters International Leadership Award, The Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service, and numerous “Best Professor” recognitions. In 2017, Clint was recognized as one of the top three University Professors in the USA as a Finalist for Baylor University’s Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching and as one of the top thirty (30) “transformational leaders” in America by The John Maxwell Organization.

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Mr. Pat McNamara

Pat McNamara is President of Archbold Furniture Company (AFC) where he and his wife, Patti Savage-McNamara, are owners. AFC builds solid wood residential furniture in Archbold Ohio with globally sourced wood while offering custom finishes applied by Amish craftsman. Their products are sold in over 500 furniture retailers throughout the US. Apart from “American Built, Solid Wood Furniture with Custom Amish Finishes”, Pat is a 1984 graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School and a 1989 graduate of the University of Toledo where he earned a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Marketing. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Patti, who graduated from NDA in 1985. They have five kids: Megan (Nick) Rightnowar (NDA 2011), Kerigan (Evan) Gardner (NDA 2013), Teagan (NDA 2015), Brennan (SFS 2015) and Logan (SFS 2015).

Pat and his family are members of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Parish where Patti runs the in-house food pantry and together, they are actively involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Both Pat and Patti are passionate about the dignity of all human lives, faith-filled families and Catholic education. They support the development of youth through various campus ministries. As Catholic business leaders, Pat and Patti are also members of the Genesis chapter of Legatus. Pat was first introduced to Salesian Spirituality as a 7th-grade camper at Camp de Sales in Brooklyn, MI and embraced the principles of our patron saint. Raised in St. Catherine’s parish, Pat is from a family of ten kids (three brothers also attended SFS; John 1980, Tim 1982 and Denny 1985). He credits the foundation of Salesian Spirituality for providing opportunities beyond his expectations. Pat’s message to current and future Knights: Embrace Salesian Spirituality, get to know your fellow classmates because you never know how they will come back into your life, extend yourself with no regrets and keep Salesian Spirituality at the forefront of your decisions throughout your life - both at home and in your profession.

Jim Mertes is a successful, experienced HR Executive with 39 years as an HR generalist with a strong emphasis in labor relations, employee/management training and recruiting and selection.

Jim graduated from the University of Toledo and earned his MBA from Ohio University. Jim opened his own HR consulting firm in 2013. Mertes HR Resource, LLC. As President/consultant, he has assisted two small companies with recruiting (hourly and professional positions), interviewing, selection and hiring. Instituted a peer grievance review process at a private paper mill and conducts six panelist training sessions per year at that mill. As an independent
contractor for Positive Management Leadership (PML), Jim has conducted management development at various levels, union vulnerability audits and succession development assessments for various PML clients. He has conducted a series of Leadership Development programs for a power utility in New Hampshire.
Recognizing the need for the soft skills/intangibles needed for success in today’s collaborative work environments, Jim was trained to be an assessor for simulations to identify high-potential employees for future executive positions. He also served on several assessment boards with and developed the succession program for managers. Personally, Jim was very involved in community activities such as Board of Directors for local Red Cross, the Sidney/Shelby County
Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Chairman for the local community fund, and a director for local Jaycees. During the last several years of his career, he served on the Industry Association Pulp and Papers Manufacturing Assoc. in WI. Jim and his wife, Holly, reside in Indian Land, South Carolina. He is a proud graduate of St.
Francis de Sales School, Class of 1967.

Mr. Jim Mertes
Fr. Jeremy Miller

Father Jeremy Miller is the pastor at Corpus Christi University Parish. Fr. Jeremy was raised in Marblehead, Ohio and attended Junior High and High School in Sandusky, Ohio. He attended Xavier University in Cincinnati for college, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy. He received his seminary formation at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati and earned a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. Fr. Jeremy was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Toledo on June 22, 2013.
Following his priestly ordination, Fr. Jeremy was assigned to St. Peter’s Parish in Mansfield, Ohio. He spent four years at St. Peter’s, ministering in the parish and the school.
Fr. Jeremy joined Corpus Christi as associate pastor in 2017 while also serving as associate pastor at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Toledo.  He was named the full time pastor of Corpus Christi in 2018.
In his free time, Fr. Jeremy enjoys sports (especially tennis, basketball, and golf), playing music on the guitar, and reading.

Mrs. Anna Toney
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Anna Toney, a Toledo Native is the current executive director at Leadership Toledo. Moving back to the area in 2011, Anna was a participant in the Leadership Toledo class where she discovered her passion for the non-profit world, the NW Ohio region and celebrating all that it has to offer.  In 2012, she was hired as the program coordinator for the organization; eventually becoming the program director for Youth Leadership Toledo. At that time, she also began her master’s in organizational leadership at Lourdes University, graduating in 2014.  After five years with LT, Anna was hired as only the third executive director in the organization’s 38 year history. Since taking on that role, Anna is taking action to keep the vision of cultivating a community of leaders, both youth and adults, in the Toledo Region.
Anna lives in Toledo with her husband, Kevan SFS '04,  and two daughters Emma and Maxine ages 4 and 3 with another little one on the way!

Lt. Kevan Toney

Lieutenant Kevan Toney ’04 is the public information officer for the Toledo Police Department.  Prior to his current position, he served as a patrol sergeant, SWAT Team member, and patrol officer. Toney is an Air Force veteran and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice from Bowling Green State University. Currently, he sits on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo board as an associate trustee in addition to a variety of other volunteer activities. Toney married Anna Malone, NDA ’04, and has two young girls, Emma, 4, and Maxine, 3, with another baby on the way.

Mr. Caleb White

Caleb White is the founder of the Caleb White Project, a youth-led non-profit organization with a two-fold mission to help the homeless and less fortunate and to build youth leaders through volunteerism. Caleb is a senior at Detroit Catholic Central High School where he is a varsity wrestler looking to secure a 4th straight team title this year. Caleb was the recipient of the State and National Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. He has also received the President's Volunteer Service Award, the Governor's Youth Leader of the Year Award, the Sparky Anderson Youth in Philanthropy Award, the Nickelodeon Halo Award and the National Catholic Education Association Philanthropy Award. Caleb carries a 4.3 GPA and is a member of his National Honors Society. He hopes to attend Brown, Notre Dame, or the University of Michigan next fall.

Past Speakers
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