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CMH President Search


Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Board of Directors of Catholic Memorial High School (CMH) is pleased to announce that the new President of CMH will be Mrs. Donna Bembenek.

Following the announcement in February that CMH’s former president, Fr. Paul Hartmann, would be returning to parish work, the Presidential Search Committee collaborated with key stakeholders including CMH Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and parents to identify the key attributes for a successful candidate. A few of those qualities and qualifications were: a visionary leader with a strategic mindset, a dynamic leader able to work with internal cross functional teams and external stakeholders, and a devotion to living out their Catholic faith in all aspects of their life. It was also very important to the Search Committee to find a candidate who had pre-established connections with the CMH community. “We are pleased we were able to fulfill all these objectives in Mrs. Bembenek,” said Ann Marie Wick, CMH Board Chair, alumna (CMH ’88), and member of the Search Committee.

Mrs. Bembenek comes to CMH from the YMCA of the USA where she served as the Vice President of Marketing Communication. There she was a visionary leader directing the department in its efforts to drive a significant increase in external engagement and internal commitment to the YMCA cause. Prior to her current role, she spent 30 years as a marketing and communications executive in publicly traded, closely held, and not-for-profit environments. Her past experiences also include branding, marketing, advertising, public relations, crisis communication, event planning, donor cultivation and stewardship. Her work at the YMCA demonstrates her passion for developing the youth of SE Wisconsin, focused on the whole person and founded in Christian values.

“Throughout the search process, Mrs. Bembenek impressed the Committee by demonstrating her leadership and her strong character through her core values of honesty, respect, inclusiveness, perseverance, and moral courage,” said Ms. Wick. “These are qualities, in addition to her unwavering commitment to Catholic education, will serve the Catholic Memorial community well in the future.”

Mrs. Bembenek benefitted from her own Catholic education, and along with her husband Alan, has passed that gift on to their two children, Lindsay (CMH ’07) and Scott (CMH ’13). She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Alverno College.

“As a CMH alumni parent, I understand first-hand the immense value a Catholic education provided my children,” Mrs. Bembenek said. “Yes, the academic rigor prepared them well, but the Catholic foundation, the commitment to service, and the encouragement to expand their horizons, made all the difference.”

The Board of Directors is confident they have hired a President who understands and values the school’s fundamental commitment to academic excellence, but also a leader who completely aligns with CMH’s shared values of faith, trust, respect, memorial, inclusiveness and Caritas in Omnibus, charity in all things.

When asked to say a few more words about her new appointment, Mrs. Bembenek stated, “As a cause-driven leader, I am capable of developing sound strategy, making data driven decisions, inspiring others and delivering on expected outcomes. I combine those leadership competencies with a firm belief in the good of the human spirit and in the strength of a team that is more powerful in its unity than any one person can be individually. My faith in God has always served as my leadership compass. I look forward to leading a school that is developing students who proudly lead with their faith in God. Catholic Memorial is a living example of individuals whose character and commitment to service places the needs of a broader community above their own.”

Mrs. Bembenek will assume her duties on July 31, 2017. She will be officially installed by Archbishop Jerome Listecki at the All-School Mass on the first day of school, August 17, 2017.



Thanks to God for having granted me the gift of a vocation; to Archbishop Listecki, and Cardinal Dolan before him, for allowing me to serve here at CMH; and to all of you for being the community that has made for so many joys and successes – for being the Catholic Memorial family. 

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

Fr. Paul Hartmann '84

The CMH Board of Directors has been regularly updating a succession plan should this day ever come. The Archbishop has asked that in the search CMH must "keep a clear commitment, before all else, to strong Catholic identity." A search committee has been identified and will work to identify and screen candidates, and actively participate in the interview process.

Please see the links below for communications on the search to date and the full position profile which will be used throughout the process.


CMH President Position Profile


CMH President Search Correspondence

Letter to Community CMH Search Committee Update, 4/28/17
Board of Directors Chair Ann Marie Wick '88

Pastoral Assignment Announcement Letter, 4/27/17 
President Fr. Paul Hartmann '84

Board of Directors Letter, 3/22/17
Board of Directors

Letter to Parents of Catholic Memorial, 2/24/17
Board of Directors Chair Ann Marie Wick '88

Announcement Letter, 2/22/17 
President Fr. Paul Hartmann '84



CMH President Search Committee

Ann Marie Wick, CPA, CIA
(Search Committee Chair)
      Sr. Director Global Compliance, Briggs & Stratton Corporation
CMH: Board of Directors (chairperson), Alumna '88
Michael Grubich   Sr. Vice President Talent & Organization Development, Aurora Health Care
CMH: Board of Directors (HR committee chairperson), Alumni & Current Parent ('15, '20)

Dawn Keller   CMH: Director of Finance & Business Administration, Current Parent ('20)

Fr. Tony Zimmer   Pastor, St. Anthony on the Lake Parish
CMH: Board of Directors (member)

Stephanie Diedrich   CMH: Faculty Representative, World Languages Department Chair

Susan Nelson   Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
CMH: Board Member, Archdiocesan Representative

Timothy Hanley   Global Leader - Consumer & Industrial Products, Deloitte
CMH: Alumnus '74, Alumni Parent ('04, '06, '07, '10)

Kristine Rappé   Experienced C-Suite Executive & Board Member
CMH: Alumni Parent ('04, '06, '10)

Questions or feedback can be sent to the Board of Directors using the following email address: