Q&A with Maureen Gross (Donovan), Director of Meetings and Events
Where are you based?
Fairfield, Connecticut (Diocese of Bridgeport)
How long have you worked for NFCYM?
As of January 29, 2021, I will have been with NFCYM for twenty years!
Outside of work, what do you like to do?
I like spending time with my family. I particularly love cuddling up with one (or more) of my children and reading a book or watching a movie. I like travel. My family and I were supposed to go to Ireland at Easter, but that trip is postponed – at least until Ireland will let us in. We went as a family two years ago and it was universally one of the best experiences we’ve had. Our kids can’t wait to go back.
What is something about you that most folks might not know?
I am a third-class relic. Right after college graduation, I was hired by World Youth Day 1993. I was blessed to be in the presence of Pope John Paul II on six occasions between Denver and Rome, including the celebration of Mass in his private chapel in the Vatican. I also met my husband through my work at NFCYM. Patrick was a board member when I started. We were married four days after his board term ended. We now have four children.
What do you do at NFCYM?
I assist members with the planning and implementation of NFCYM events. I manage vendor and contractor relationships, conduct site visits, draft and monitor budgets, and support program development.
What is the best part about your job – why do you do what you do?
The best part of my job is NCYC! But the reason I do what I do is because, other than my family of origin, the biggest impact on my life as an adult is my own youth ministry experience in high school and college. I can trace a direct path from my high school campus and parish youth ministry experiences to where I am today. It was the incredible adults I encountered who helped deepen my commitment to my faith and who continually gave me opportunities to hone planning and leadership skills I didn’t realize I had. I never felt called to be a youth minister, but I am honored and blessed to be able to use my skills to help those who are called to ministry to do their jobs more effectively and to influence new generations of young people, now including my own children.
Why should members connect with you?
I am happy to answer questions about NCYC and our annual meeting and help members navigate contracts and budgeting for their gathered events. I, too, am learning about virtual meetings so can’t claim expertise, but I can be a sounding board and share trends that are emerging within the meetings industry.