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About Us


Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri is led by committed professionals dedicated to serving the vulnerable and adhering to standards of excellence in social services


Ken Palermo was named Executive Director of CCSOMO by Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Edward M. Rice and the Search Committee of the CCSOMO Board of Directors, on December 22, 2022, replacing Maura Taylor who served for more than 11 years in the role. Ken brings more than 27 years of experience working in public health. He assumes his leadership post on January 30, 2023, and will be based in Springfield. PHOTO: Submitted by Ken Palermo/CCSOMO


Board of Directors

Steven Frye, President 

Gerry Salter

Del Elfrink

Nicki Gamet

Joe Blanton

Deacon David Farris

Jody King

Cynthia Brown

Beth Johnson

Mark Weidenbenner

Ken Palermo, Executive Director (ex officio)

Leadership Team


Ken Palermo, Executive Director -
Portland office


Claudia Baer, Director of Human
Portland office


Susan Cox, Director of Grants and Compliance –
Portland office


Cindi Kopel, Director of Maternal and Family Programs –
Monastery office


John Lunardini, Director of Social Enterprise and Facilities –
Monastery office


Jeremy Rowland, Regional Director –
Cape Girardeau office


Cindy VanBuskirk, Director of Housing –
Portland office


Jeff Wiskur, Director of Finance -
Portland office


Suzanne Cronkhite, Director of Advancement –
Monastery office


Holly Wilson, Director of Consumer Credit Counseling of the Ozarks –
Glenstone office


Cape Girardeau Office

Jeremy Rowland, Regional Director -

Joplin Office

Diana Kilguss, Housing Case Management Coordinator -

Sikeston Office

Gina Blocker, Director of Developmental Disabilities Program –

Van Buren Office

Angie Webb, Housing Supervisor -

Updated 20230114