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Board of Directors
Our Management Team

Chip Cieslinski, President/CEO


Kara Steinke, COO

Donna Hardies, Prevention Supervisor

Sarah Hegg, Western and Southwestern Region Clinical Supervisor

Theresa Kerry, Senior Volunteer Programs Director

Susan Kirkman, Digital Marketing/Charitable Giving Manager

Larry LaCross, Eastern Region Clinical Supervisor

Pamela Morgridge, Central Region Clinical Supervisor

Lauren Reed, Western Region Prevention Supervisor

Rhonda Reynolds, Human Resources/Accounting

Kayla Thomas, Quality Assurance/ Continuous Quality Improvement

Board of Directors
Bishop Jeffrey J. Walsh

The Most Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh was born on November 29, 1965. The son of Jerome and Nancy Walsh, he is a native of Scranton, Pa., and is a graduate of Scranton Central High School. He is one of three children, with brothers James and Joseph Walsh. He graduated from the University of Scranton in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Resources. He went on to complete his priestly studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., earning a Master of Divinity Degree. Bishop Walsh received a Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in 1999 and a Master of Social Work Degree from Marywood University in 2010.

Bishop Walsh was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Scranton by Bishop James C. Timlin at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton, Pa., on June 25, 1994. After ordination, Bishop Walsh served as assistant pastor at Saint Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale, and the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton. In July 1999, he was appointed to his first pastorate at Saint Mary of the Lake Church, Lake Winola, as well as Director of Spiritual & Liturgical Formation at Saint Pius X Seminary in Dalton, Pa.. From July 2004-July 2006, he served as pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Tunkhannock, until being appointed to serve as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Pastoral Region of the Diocese of Scranton.

In 2008, Bishop Walsh became administrator of Saint Rita Church, Gouldsboro, and in 2009 was appointed administrator of Saint Anthony, Saint Bridget and Saint John the Baptist parishes in Throop. In July 2010, Bishop Walsh was appointed to serve as pastor at the Church of Saint John, East Stroudsburg.

In January 2015, he was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Clergy by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera. While serving in that role, Bishop Walsh also served as Sacramental Minister for Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish, Pittston. In July 2020, he was appointed pastor at Saint Rose of Lima Parish, Carbondale, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Carbondale.

During his years of pastoral ministry, Bishop Walsh also served in a variety of diocesan positions, including Director of Religious Formation at the former Sacred Heart High School in Carbondale and the former Bishop Hannan High School in Scranton. For five years he was chaplain at Saint Michael’s School and for 12 years (1995-2007) he served as chaplain to the Deaf Community. Bishop Walsh has also served as diocesan vocations director, was director of youth and young adult retreats at Fatima Center, and served for one year as the Diocesan Deputy Secretary for Catholic Human Services. In 2007, he was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Notre Dame Regional School System.

On December 21, 2021, the Diocese of Gaylord, Mich., announced that Bishop Walsh had been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as sixth bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. As bishop of Gaylord, he succeeds the Most Reverend Steven J. Raica, J.C.D., D.D., who served as shepherd of the diocese from August 28, 2014 until June 23, 2020, at which time he was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama. Since June 2020, while the diocese was a vacant see, Bishop Walter A. Hurley has served as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord.


Bishop Walsh’s episcopal ordination and installation as the sixth bishop of Gaylord took place on March 4, 2022 at Saint Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Gaylord.

Barb Soffredine - Chairperson
Barb Soffredine

Barbara Soffredine is a long-time member of the CHS Board of Directors and currently serves as the vice-chair. She is also a member of the Otsego Human Services Network (chair), the Michigan Comprehensive School Health Coordinators Association, the Otsego County Committee to End Homelessness, and the Otsego chapter of the Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.


Barb holds bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Eastern Michigan University. She has held teaching positions at Eastern Michigan University, Macomb Community College, St. Mary Cathedral High School, and currently teaches Anatomy and Physiology for Kirtland Community College.


She recently retired from Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle Educational Service District where she served as the Director of General Education. Barb and her husband Russ have lived in Gaylord for almost 40 years. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.

James Supina - Vice Chairperson
James Supina

Jim is a member of St. Mary Parish in Mio, where he is a Eucharistic minister, lector, usher, member of Our Lady of the Woods Shrine committee, and chair of the Shrine scholarship committee. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Detroit and a master's degree in engineering from Northwestern University. Jim is retired from the Ford Motor Company and Mascotech.


Jim and his wife Chris are the proud parents of four children and four grandchildren. Jim enjoys all outdoor activities, youth education, and natural resource conservation. He is currently the vice-chairman of HeadWaters Land Conservancy, a member of the Pigeon River Advisory Council, and active in other conservation-related organizations.

Dawn Ewald - Secretary
Dawn Ewald

Dawn joins us with over 40 years of healthcare experience. Early in her career, she was primarily involved in maternal/child/infant health both clinically and in the public health arena. For over 20 years, Dawn directed a variety of hospital areas at a local Catholic hospital ensuring Mission integrity through community outreach activities.


Dawn established the first area-wide community health assessment and implementation strategy focusing on patient access for substance abuse, chronic disease, and health and wellness especially for the underserved and marginalized.


Dawn is retired from the former Mercy Hospital in Cadillac and most recently as the temporary Director of the Stehouwer Free Clinic. She is now focusing her time in community areas that she still has an interest in serving, such as the “All Saints” cluster of churches in the Wexford, Missaukee counties in Parish Health Ministry.


Dawn obtained her education in nursing from North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Ferris State University, and Michigan State University. Her husband Bill retired from the army 12 years ago but remains very active in the community. They are the parents of two boys and grandparents of two girls and one boy. 

Dan Smith - Treasurer
Dan Smith

Dan is a member of St. Mary's Cathedral Parish in Gaylord. He is an active member of the Gaylord community serving on several boards, including the Otsego Memorial Hospital and the OMH Foundation boards, and the Otsego County Sports Hall of Fame.


Dan graduated from St. Mary's Cathedral School and attended Lake Superior State University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He is a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He currently operates his own accounting business in the Gaylord area.


Dan is married to his wife Kim who is employed at the Diocese of Gaylord. Together they have six children. Dan enjoys coaching his children in sporting activities. In addition, he enjoys working out on a regular basis and golfing in the summer.

Paul Beachnau
Paul Beachnau.jpg

I am the youngest of 7 siblings born to Richard and Rosemary Beachnau. My dad Richard was the first Director of C.H.S in the Diocese of Gaylord when it was formed in 1971. He was appointed by Edmund Cardinal Szoka, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. Our entire family moved to Gaylord in 1972 from Lansing where all 7 of us Mike, Pat, Brian, Mary, Karen, Greg, and I were enrolled at Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral High School. Prior to that I had attended Holy Cross grade school in Lansing. I can proudly say that I have 12 years of Catholic education.


Following High School, I attended and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Public Administration. I have served as the Executive Director of the Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce and\ or the Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau for my entire working career. I held a dual role as Director of both organizations until 2017 when I was appointed to serve exclusively as the Executive Director of the Gaylord Tourism Bureau. I have always had an interest in State and Local Government and was elected to the Otsego County Board of Commissioners where I served 18 years. I was Chairman of the Finance Committee and served as Chairman of the Board for two of my 9 terms.


I am an active parishioner at Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral and serve as a lector. I have also served on the Parish Finance Council. I have been member of the Gaylord Rotary Club for 36 years.

I am the proud parent of two adult children Daughter Abby – 22 and Son – Timmy 21. Both of my children serve our country as active-duty members of the United States Air Force.


In my spare time you will find me out enjoying nature where I love to bike, ski, snowshoe, hike and take my beloved Golden Retriever – MAC for long walks on the trails. You might also spot me up in Paradise, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula where the family has owned a cabin on Lake Superior for 44 years.

Dr. Jaci Fitzgerald
Dr. Jaci Fitzgerald

Dr. Jaci lives on the Sunrise side of the diocese in Harrisville, her husband's hometown, Dr. John MacMaster. They live on the MacMaster Centennial Farm, raising four children, registered Angus cattle, a large vegetable garden, and various 4-H livestock projects. 


As a family physician, her medical practice includes active work in the evaluation and treatment of child abuse in a leadership role for the NE MI Child Advocacy Center. She is also a volunteer medical consultant for the diocesan Natural Family Planning programs.


She is active in her community as a 4-H leader, Safe Sitter instructor, and a supporter of the local FFA chapter and high school golf teams. At St Anne’s Parish she serves as lector, cantor, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, and in various hospitality roles.


The CHS adoption program blessed the MacMaster family with their youngest child. Dr. Jaci and the baby’s birth mother have appeared together at speaking engagements promoting open adoption. Dr. Jaci is honored to serve her first term on the board.

Betsy Hardy, MSN, RN

Betsy Hardy MSN, RN has been a nurse for nearly 30-years, working in areas of perinatal-infant health, early childhood, community collaboration, relationship-based care, trauma-awareness, and resilience.

In early 2000, Betsy worked with a multi-organizational regional team representing health departments, hospitals, community agencies, and health care providers, to build the nationally recognized program Healthy Futures.  This collaborative, innovative program was the first of its kind, offering nursing support and home visiting resources for all families delivering babies in the northern Michigan region.  Betsy is currently working in public health at the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, helping to build nursing programs in area schools.  


Betsy is a member of St. Francis Church in Traverse City.  She is married to Tom, both graduating from St. Francis High School.  They have five children who have all attended Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, two sons-in-law, and one granddaughter.  Betsy enjoys attending her children’s sporting events and being outdoors, especially gardening. She is honored to be a part of Catholic Human Services. 

Christine Hitch

Christine Hitch is the Marketing Communications Director and Affiliate Director for the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan where she has worked since 2005 serving the communities she has always called “home”. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University.


Christine is active throughout her community as a member of the Rotary Club of Alpena where she serves as the grants committee chairperson, and with Alcona Fit Club where she teaches group exercise classes for community members. She is a lifelong member of St. Anne Catholic Church in Harrisville.


She and her husband Adam have two sons, ages 9 and 6. As a homeschool family, they enjoy outside activities, traveling and exploring new, hidden places in northeast Michigan.

Renee Shimmel

Renee joins us with nearly 40 years of experience in marketing communications. Currently, she is the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Gaylord. Prior to joining the diocese, she created and executed marketing and communications plans for a variety of healthcare companies, including Bi-County Community Hospital, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, Henry Ford Health System, and McLaren Northern Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism/PR from Wayne State University. 


Originally from metro Detroit, Renee and her husband Dave, moved to Petoskey in 2021. They are members of Holy Childhood of Jesus in Harbor Springs, where Dave is the communications coordinator. Renee and Dave have been married for more than 30 years and are the proud parents of two adult sons who both wed in 2023. 

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