A Heart for Service
By Erin Reder
In April 2022, Associate in Mission Maureen Maxfield was honored by the Leadership Council for Nonprofits with the ‘Visionary Board Leader’ Leadership Legacy Award. The award honors an established and proven board member of a nonprofit organization in the Greater Cincinnati region who has led their organization through transformational change, weathered difficult circumstances, and demonstrated outstanding vision and achievement.
To know Maureen is to understand that while she appreciates the accolades, she wishes the focus to remain on the organization for which she was honored – Santa Maria Community Services. Santa Maria became near and dear to Maureen years ago. As an employee of the Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems, she attended a Christmas party for the children in Santa Maria’s day care at Seton High School in 1986. Years later, as the program officer at SC Ministry Foundation, she worked closely with Santa Maria on its funding requests to the foundation. This connection only became stronger as a volunteer through Santa Maria’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program where she served as a tax preparer for 10 years.
With a heart for service and the Charity charism, Maureen began serving on the board at Santa Maria in 2017. She was the co-chair of the development committee before taking on the position of committee chair. Included in the initiatives that she has introduced are the Sr. Margarita Brewer Hope Fund, Sister Blandina and Sister Justina Founders Fund and the H.A. Musser Anniversary Fund.
Board chair Guillermo Villa, said, “Since joining the board, Maureen has been a catalyst in our area of development. She not only provides exceptional leadership to our development committee, but is never afraid to roll up her sleeves and support the organization as a volunteer herself. Her passion for Santa Maria Community Services is contagious.” Added S. Patmarie Bernard, “Maureen has been invaluable to Santa Maria Community Services, presenting many good ideas for their financial well-being.”
Maureen has been particularly involved with the planning and celebrations related to the organization’s 125th anniversary and wants people to know that Santa Maria truly reflects the spirit of Elizabeth Seton and Sisters Blandina and Justina Segale and their commitment to working with the vulnerable and marginalized. She says Santa Maria knows the needs of the neighborhood and determines what has to be done to help – a reason why the organization is known throughout the Price Hill neighborhood as trustworthy and dependable.
Maureen has had the opportunity to meet many local people who have a passion for the organization’s mission and a deep love and appreciation for the Sisters of Charity. In preparation of the anniversary she herself has connected with many community members to hear their stories and ties to the organization and the SCs. She has unearthed countless stories of gratitude; stories of service, faith and generosity.
An Associate of the Sisters of Charity since 2002, the spirit of the Community continues to call and guide her today. She looks to the future of Santa Maria with hope and excitement and it motivates her to continue to educate others about the services and impact the organization has today on the Price Hill community. And while humble, Maureen is grateful for this most recent honor, as it too allows her to continue to bring the organization and its services into the spotlight.