CCS Northern Utah director leaves post; new director in place

Friday, Dec. 25, 2015

OGDEN — Marcie Valdez, Catholic Community Services Northern Utah director, has accepted a position at the Davis Applied Technology College as the foundation director. 
Randy Chappell has replaced Valdez as the CCS Northern Utah director. He previously was the CCS operations manager of Refugee Resettlement.
Valdez began serving as the director in northern Utah in February 2009. She has a degree in sociology and served as a social worker for 15 years prior to working at CCS.
Bradford Drake, CCS executive director, recognized CCS was in need of “strong leadership” in Northern Utah when he hired Valdez, he said.
“I had invited her to a lunch and I was so impressed with her that I offered her the job,” Drake said. “That is not a normal procedure I would follow, but I could sense she was the person we needed for that job. She had so many wonderful qualities, but her compassion for those who struggle with the basic necessities in life stands out more than any. She was a champion of those who are less fortunate. She will be greatly missed.” 
Valdez said serving as the director was an honor, a privilege and an opportunity. 
“I immediately fell in love with the mission at Catholic Community Services, and being able to live that mission every day through my job – to provide the Gospel values of love, compassion and hope through service, support and collaboration,” she said. “It has always been my philosophy to treat every person who walks through the door with dignity and respect. A part of that is knowing them, and letting them know that they matter and that they are important – it makes such a difference to them when we remember their name and know something about them. I always tried to make that a priority.” 
Valdez said that philosophy made a difference in her; she learned from many of them as well, she said. “The clients are people in need and we were not always able to help them with the things that they needed, but I learned that a simple smile and taking a moment just to visit with somebody made a bigger difference than anything else I could have done for them,” she said as her voice began to choke with emotion.
Valdez tried to manage her day so that she had time to meet with the clients and the volunteers when the food pantry was open, and also to serve with the volunteers in the Bridge the Gap Program, an extension of the food pantry that provides groceries to school children for the weekend.
“That is what kept me motivated and inspired to push through whatever challenges came along,” she said.
The work done behind the scenes in the CCS Northern Utah programs “often times goes unnoticed, but makes such a difference for the people we served,” Valdez said. “I worked with incredible people from the diocese, the CCS staff, the volunteers and so many people in the community who supported our work through food and money donations.”
Valdez said she learned a lot through Drake’s leadership; also from Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw, the Diocese of Salt Lake City administrator; Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general emeritus; and the Most Rev. John C. Wester, ninth Bishop of Salt Lake City, now Archbishop of Santa Fe.
“Bishop Wester was a mentor and such an example of service,” Valdez said. “It was great to work under a bishop who exemplified our mission as well. I would like to thank all those who supported my vision and the work that we’ve done; CCS couldn’t do what it does without the support of the community.” 

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