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Welcome, Sister Nancy Downing!

January 16, 2024

St. Ann's Center staff, Board members, program alumni, and supporters gathered on Thursday, January 11 at Busboys and Poets (Brookland) to welcome Sister Nancy Downing, CND, as St. Ann's next CEO. Press play to watch a photo slideshow from this event!

St. Ann's Center Stakeholders Officially Welcome New CEO Sister Nancy Downing at Busboys and Poets Gathering

A new chapter in St. Ann's Center's 164-year story began last Monday when Sister Nancy Downing, CND, officially began as St. Ann's next CEO. A highlight of Sister Nancy's first week on the job was a community get-together held on Thursday evening, January 11, at Busboys and Poets (Brookland).

75+ stakeholders - including staff, Board members, alumni, and children of alumni - gathered with longtime and first-time supporters of our mission to welcome Sister Nancy and share their personal "St. Ann's stories" with her.

Following wonderful food and conversations, Jeff Franco (who, with Karen Gilroy, guided St. Ann's in our CEO interim period) briefly addressed the room and acknowledged guests, including:

  • Sisters Cecilia, Nancy Dunn, and Anne Marie representing the Daughters of Charity who founded St. Ann's Center in 1860.
  • The Honorable Michael Steele, MSNBC analyst and former Lt. Governor of Maryland.
  • Gabriel Albornoz, Montgomery County Councilmember and former St. Ann's Board member.
  • Msgr. John Enzler, Mission Advocate and former CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.
  • Judy and John Ritz, Philanthropists, 2022 Hope Blossoms honorees
  • Vincent C. Burke, III, Brown Advisory, 2019 Hope Blossoms honoree
  • Andy Shallal, CEO of Busboys and Poets.

Jeff introduced Sister Nancy Downing as CEO. She then officially addressed St. Ann's community for the first time - echoing Jeff's thanks to the Board, staff, supporters, and St. Ann's alumni (and their children) present. Sister Nancy offered additional thanks to the Daughters of Charity in attendance:

"We are all here tonight because of the Daughters’ vision and commitment to St. Ann’s mission, started 164 years ago. As I begin this role, I am keenly aware that I stand on very tall - and strong - shoulders."

Sister Nancy also thanked: "Our community of supporters who 'spark' our fire and help us to accompany and support the moms and their children at St. Ann's overcoming significant challenges."

"It is a privilege to be here, and begin writing St. Ann's next chapter with you!" said Sister Nancy, before the event concluded.

Thank You to Everyone Who Helped Us Welcome Sister Nancy Downing!

Special thanks to Jeff Franco and Kinyatta E. Gray (Founder - The Heart of Miss Bee, Inc.) for photo submissions.