Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has announced the appointment of Fort Wayne native Jennifer Simerman as the new Secretary for Communications for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Simerman’s responsibilities include marketing and communication activities for the diocese, business management of Today’s Catholic, coordination of the weekly TV Mass and management of 7th Floor Productions. She began her duties May 28.
In 2001, Simerman obtained a bachelor’s degree in communication from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne with a concentration in interpersonal communication and a Spanish minor. She has more than 15 years of experience in the fields of marketing, communications, multimedia and public relations for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she was the marketing director for a civil engineering firm with four office locations serving communities across the state of Indiana.
Additional previous employment expertise includes strategic planning and execution, grant and proposal writing, mission development, special event planning and fundraising for organizations such as the Franciscan Center in Fort Wayne and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana. Simerman is currently a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services.
A lifelong Catholic, Simerman is formerly a freelance writer for Today’s Catholic newspaper. She graduated from Bishop Luers High School, at which she continues to volunteer, and is active at her family’s parish of St. Aloysius, Yoder.
Outside of work, she and her husband, Eric, keep busy with their children Cecilia, Paul, James and Charles; and with their large extended families, which include upwards of 100 first cousins just on Eric’s side, Simerman said. Their family time consists watching movies, spending time at the lake, gardening, crafts, listening to or playing music, or just hanging out in their country home.
While she said she never imagined herself an “outdoor girl,” moving to the country after marrying her high school sweetheart helped her to see the beauty of God’s handiwork in nature. “There’s nothing quite like a quiet summer evening, sitting on your front porch and watching the sunset above an Indiana cornfield,” she said.
Nowadays, when she has a moment’s break from being her kids’ chauffeur, she might even be found fishing with her boys — although her husband still has to bait the hook, she said — or enjoying a bonfire in the backyard.
Simerman said she feels “blessed to be a part of an amazing communications team whose commitment and love for their faith shines through their daily interactions and creative process.” “Every person I’ve met at my new office home has welcomed me with open arms. I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to grow in my own faith and make a positive impact evangelizing for the Church.”
“Even as a young child. I often wondered if I was being called to religious life,” Simerman continued. “After learning my true calling to be a wife and mother, the greatest gift and privilege of my life, I could have never imagined the complex way in which God was working to shape me in preparation for the next step. Over the past 20 years, I’ve been walking along two paths simultaneously, learning and growing in both. The first path, my faith and family, and the second path, my career, are now converging and showing me God’s purpose for me all along. I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve as a source and facilitator for communication between diocesan staff, our parishes, schools, ministries and the general community.”
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