John Berry

John Berry Becomes 14th National President

John Berry Becomes 14th National President 1024 683 SVDP USA

At a Mass at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, John Berry of Atlanta, Georgia, was installed as the 14th National President of the National Council of the United States, Society of St. Vincent de Paul. His six-year term in office will begin October 1, 2023.

An experienced senior executive and tireless advocate for people in poverty, Berry served as Chief Executive Officer for SVdP Georgia for 14 years before retiring in 2020. In his work there, he championed national, state, and local efforts to fight poverty, dependence, and need. In September 2020, he founded Berry Consulting Solutions, LLC; consulting experts in Nonprofit Board Governance, Organizational Dynamics, Strategic Planning, and Development & Fundraising.

During his 14 years at SVdP Georgia, Berry led an organization that impacted poverty by hundreds of millions of dollars. Berry is a vocal advocate at the National and State levels, working with Congress and the Georgia State Legislature on issues related to children, families, the poor, and those at the margins.

Berry’s role at SVdP Georgia followed his successful 25-year business and federal government career, beginning as an engineer in the commercial nuclear power industry and leading to senior executive management positions with Fortune 100 companies in the nuclear power, environmental engineering, and high technology sectors, which included extensive international experience in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

An active member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul since 1996, Berry’s presidency will focus on growing and expanding the Society’s membership, with a special focus on diverse communities, youth, and young adults. He wants to create an inclusive Society that provides opportunities for everyone to grow in holiness and friendship through service to those in need.

“As National President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,” he says, “I will work tirelessly with all our Conferences and Councils to ensure that we remain a vibrant and relevant ministry service those who need our hands, our voice, and our love.”

1-19-2023 A Letter From Our Servant Leaders

1-19-2023 A Letter From Our Servant Leaders 900 900 SVDP USA

Dear Vincentian Friends,

September 30th is a long way away. That is when my six-year term as National Council President ends and someone else steps into the office. Last Friday we learned who that will be. The National Council Election Committee counted the 107 ballots submitted by your Council representatives and informed the Board of Directors that on October 1st, John Berry will become the 14th President of the National Council of the United States.

The election process began last summer with the nomination of four highly qualified candidates. In September at our National Assembly, the field was narrowed to Brian Burgess and John Berry. For the past several months, all members of the Society had the opportunity to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice. Just as our founders did when they chose Jules Gossin to succeed Emmanuel Bailly, we prayed during those months that the Holy Spirit would direct our discernment. We trust that God’s providence has supplied the leadership we need for the future of our Society in the United States.

An eight-month transition period may seem long, but there’s much to accomplish during this time. In the months to come, I will be working with our current Board to continue the work we have been doing for the past five years, while John will have time to evaluate the organization’s needs and recruit new officers and board and committee members. It is important for him to have this time to put together a new team of servant leaders that is diverse, talented, and representative of the members of our Councils and Conferences across the country.

In 1844, after the Society’s first President, Emmanuel Bailly, resigned, Frederic Ozanam described the qualities he thought the next President should have. Frederic wrote: “He must have the habit of devotion, the spirit of true fraternity, the experience of good works; he must join the zeal which founds with the prudence which preserves; he must be able to maintain the Society in the paths of simplicity and prudent liberty along which God has led it.”

I have known John Berry for many years, and I am confident that you will find him to be that servant leader Frederic Ozanam described. Please join me in asking the Holy Spirit to guide John as he prepares to take office.

Serviens in spe,
Ralph Middlecamp
National Council President

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