Our new Gift & Database Coordinator, Ann Bender, and her family have lived in several places — Pennsylvania, Maryland, and even in England for a year. One of her favorite places to visit, though, is her family's cabin in central Pennsylvania. Along with 2 older brothers and two older sisters, she grew up in Pittsburgh, where she attended 12 years of Catholic schooling and then studied marketing at Penn State. She worked as a buyer for Kaufmann's, the May Co. department store in the Pittsburgh area. She and her husband Bob met in Pittsburgh. Her mom is in the process of selling her childhood home, but just plans to move into a duplex next door. It's obviously a place where her roots run deep.
Over time, though, she and Bob and their two sons — Jack, 16, and Sean, 14 — have moved around, first to Baltimore, then to St. Louis 10.5 years ago. After moving to St. Louis, Bob's work sent them to England for a year, where they lived in St. Alban's while their sons were in elementary school "It was our first experience with the British-style school system before coming to Priory," she says. "But the school was actually run by Brothers of the Sacred Heart from America!"
Back in St. Louis, Ann was operating a business selling home accessories and working as a "professional volunteer" at Holy Infant serving as chair of their auction and a member of the facilities committee when she saw the ad in the St. Louis Review for the open position in the Development Office at Priory. She started here at the end of October. "I had experience working with the database at Holy Infant and thought it could be a good fit, and it has been. This is a great place to work," she says.
Outside of work, Ann enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family. A book she read recently that she recommends is "Girls of the Atomic City," by Denise Kiernan, the story of women who worked at a facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that was a part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. Her sons, who both attend SLU High, also keep her and Bob busy, with Jack playing CYC basketball and participating in Model U.N. and National Honor Society and Sean playing football and basketball. They both are also involved in the LifeTeen program at Holy Infant.
In the Development Office, Ann's job involves coordinating and maintaining the database of contact information and gift history for students and parents, alumni and alumni parents and friends of the Abbey. She helps with the logistics of events and with constituent correspondence, and also handles RSVPs, so if you haven't yet bought your tickets for Xanadu or the Father & Son Banquet, send in your response card or buy Xanadu tickets online so she can take care of that for you!