By Mark Gasper
Members and friends of the Catholic Business Network met Thursday morning, Aug. 18, for the nonprofit organization’s annual “Inspirational Insights” program. Each year, the event features local Catholic business leaders and citizens who are recognized for their contributions to the community. Featured members provide motivational speeches to the attendees. The program also recognizes Catholics who have demonstrated leadership and have provided life lessons to the entire community, not only within the Catholic community.
This year’s Inspirational Insights program featured two motivation speakers, plus two recipients of awards from the Catholic Business Network. Roncalli High School President Chuck Weisenbach served as host and Master of Ceremonies for the program.
Scott Williams, CEO of Catholic Concepts, was the first speaker. He shared thoughtful and humorous stories from his life and faith journey, from college through the creation of his business. Catholic Concepts began as a small company operating out of Scott and his wife, Elisabeth’s Southside home but now employs over 20 local workers, with sales across the country and around the world.
The first recipient of an award at the event was Cathy Myers, co-owner of The Southside Times and other newspapers, accepting the “Spirit of Community” award on behalf of her late husband, Rick Myers, former publisher of The Times. Cathy shared memories of Rick’s (and her) commitment to the Catholic faith and local community in their home life, with their children and family, and in how they conducted business with their company.
The next honoree was Joe Hollowell, president of Roncalli High School for 25 years until his retirement. Joe was named the “Catholic Person of the Year” by the Catholic Business Network. He was introduced by two of his 11 children, who he thanked in addition to thanking his wife, Diane for their roles in his life. Mr. Hollowell talked about the value of a Catholic education, comparing it to the premium fuel that goes into an expensive vehicle, and how a vehicle wouldn’t operate at its full capabilities without having that special fuel. Noting that all human life is of greater importance than a mere vehicle, Hollowell observed that a Catholic education similarly provides the necessary fuel to enable a student – Catholic or non-Catholic – to perform at their fullest capabilities.
Closing the program was local media legend Jimmy “Mad Dog” Matis, a native of Beech Grove, graduate of Holy Name Catholic School and Roncalli High School and known across the country for his work on the “Bob and Tom” radio program, as well as his work with the Indianapolis Colts. “Dog” talked fondly about his Catholic upbringing from his family – with parents named Mary and Joseph – and always knowing how he should live his life thanks to the example of his parents and siblings. Jimmy shared many humorous stories about his life – after all, he made his name outside the Indy area from his comedy club days and his years with “Bob & Tom” – but shared a few tearful moments as well, telling the attendees “all I ever wanted in life was to be a husband and a dad.”
Catholic Business Network President Mike Lenahan invited attendees and members of the Catholic community to join the CBN. Information is available from their website: indycbn.org.