Our Patron and Trustees | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Our Patron and Trustees

Her Grace, The Duchess of Norfolk - Patron, Depaul International 

Her Grace first became a Trustee of Depaul International in 2006, a role she held until 2010 when she became Patron. Over the years she has made many trips in a private capacity to Depaul's projects in Slovakia and Ukraine and to our services in other countries. She is a strong advocate of Depaul's work and continues to fundraise for all the charities in the Depaul Group, including holding events such as abseiling down the Bakehouse Tower of Arundel Castle and hosting private dinners in support of Depaul's work.

"I'm proud to be Patron of Depaul International and having visited projects in each of the countries where Depaul works I've seen at first hand the vital difference Depaul's activities can make to the lives of people who are homeless.  I am committed to their work to help change the lives of individuals who are often excluded and ignored by society.  I wish the charity continued success in this aim."

John Darley - Chair of Trustees, Depaul International 

John has served as Chair of Depaul International since 2009.  He spent his working life with Shell International, and post retirement he has held various trustee roles and volunteer positions in several voluntary sector organisations in the UK in the areas of criminal rehabilitation, homelessness, and international aid.  He brings strong business management skills, with a good understanding of governance and audit roles, together with a keen interest in mentoring.

Patrick Litton, Treasurer, Depaul International

Patrick is a chartered accountant with over 25 years experience working in multinational companies around the world, principally Latin America and Turkey. He has worked in the educational and consumer publishing world for many years, specialising in finance, mainly in risk management, financial reporting and controls.

Adrian Abel, nominee of the Society of St Vincent de Paul

Adrian first joined the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) in 1965 while a student at Leeds Unviersity, and became its Treasurer in 2009.  He was elected National President of the Society (England and Wales) in 2012.  A chemist by profession, he has also served on the boards of a number of other charities, as well as maintaining links to various SVP initiatives, including their West Yorkshire Community Support Project, which includes two furniture stores, an advice centre specialising in housing issues, and 12 community shops.

Sr Margaret Barrett DC, nominee of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul

Involved with the founding of Depaul as a charity in 1989, Sr Margaret's links continue on the Depaul International board of trustees. Previously Sr Margaret has been Provincial of the Daughters of Charity in the UK, and was General Councillor of the worldwide community of English-speaking Daughters of Charity for nine years. She is currently based in London, where she also serves on the client services committee of The Passage, our sister charity for homeless people.

Kay Gerhardt, Subsidiary Perspective Trustee for USA, UK and Ireland

Kay Gerhardt comes to the board of Depaul International as the Chair of Depaul USA.  An attorney by profession, she has practiced law for many years and is now mostly retired.  Although she continues to do some legal work on a limited basis, she is enjoying the opportunity to devote more time to volunteer work.  Kay first became involved with Depaul USA when she was asked to help with the organization and development of Daybreak, a Depaul project in her home town of Macon, Georgia, and that led to her service on the Depaul USA board.  She is most interested in neighbourhood revitalisation, urban redevelopment and quality of life issues, and serves on a number of community boards with that focus.

Fr Dennis Holtschneider CM, Ed.D, nominee of Congregation of the Mission

Fr Dennis is a Vincentian priest, currently working as Executive Vice-President/Chief Operations Officer at the USA's largest non-profit healthcare provider Ascension Health in St Louis, Missouri. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2017, he was President of DePaul University Chicago, where he continues as its Chancellor. His hugely successful leadership over those years saw DePaul adding more than 170 new academic programs, including the expansion of its health science programs in response to growing demand for healthcare professionals across the States. The University created the College of Science and Health in 2011, offering an innovative curriculum with a strong Vincentian commitment to social justice and civic engagement. Fr Dennis was also instrumental in the establishment of the Institute of Global Homelessness, a partnership between DePaul University and Depaul International.

Patricia Jones CBE, independent trustee

Pat was Depaul International's Chief Operations Officer for two years until 2015, before leaving to pursue a research doctorate at the University of Durham. During her career other key roles included: Director of Prisoners Education Trust; Deputy Director at CAFOD; Assistant General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales; and Adviser and later Director of Adult Christian Education, Archdiocese of Liverpoool. She has also held trustee positions at many other charities, including Christian Aid, Jubilee 2000, Responding to Conflict, African Prisons project, St Columba's House, and The Tablet.

Heidi Kruitwagen, independent trustee

Heidi is a finance professional working over the past twenty years in a broad spectrum of roles in the European investment sector both as an investment banker and wealth manager. In a recent career break, she has worked for a Ugandan charity which focuses on vulnerable children in poor urban markets by supporting their mothers to provide healthcare and education, to empower the children to become pillars of change within the community.

Fr Vitaliy Novak CM, Subsidiary Perspective Trustee for Ukraine, Slovakia, Croatia and France 

Fr Vitaliy is a Vincentian priest who has worked in Ukraine for many years and has been involved with delivery of Depaul Ukraine's services since they were first set up in 2007, acting as both its Director of Services, alongside managing his parish, and now in a governance role as its Chair of Trustees. Under his guidance the number of services has increased steadily across the country including in its three largest cities Kharkiv, Kiev and Odessa.

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