Society of St. Vincent de Paul announces new executive director

Crain’s Cleveland Business – November 20, 2017
by Lydia Coutre


Directors of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) have selected John P. Patton as the organization’s new executive director, according to a news release.

Patton, the incoming board president, has been serving as the organization’s interim leader since September, when previous executive director John Litten resigned.

Robert Reuter, SVDP vice president, will serve as interim board president until a replacement is elected.

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John P. Patton

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Announces New Executive Director



November 17, 2017

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520

CLEVELAND, OH – November 17, 2017 – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Diocese of Cleveland Board of Directors announced today that it has selected John P. Patton as the organization’s new Executive Director. The announcement follows a two-month search after the previous Executive Director, John Litten, resigned effective September 1, 2017.  With an extensive career in medical device sales, Patton was St. Vincent de Paul Society’s incoming Board President and has been serving as the organization’s interim Executive Director since September. SVDP Vice President, Robert Reuter, will take on the role of interim Board President until the election of a replacement. Patton was one of more than 70 applicants for the leadership position.

“John’s business background and expertise in high level negotiations will be an asset to the Society,” Reuter said. “In addition, he brings to the role a thorough understanding of the organization’s mission. He has been a long-time St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteer at both Gesu Church in University Heights and at SVDP’s Fr. Wittman Hunger Center in East Cleveland.”

Patton said that his previous work in the medical industry and his new role at the charity are similar in the sense that he is moving from a position that improves patient outcomes to one that improves people’s lives. “I look forward to working with the Society’s Board, staff and volunteers to build upon the organization’s success and continue to make a significant impact on so many people in need throughout the Society’s eight-county service area,” he added.

Patton’s medical device background includes sales and business development positions in orthopedics, cardiology and ophthalmology for medical companies, including Arthrex Medical, Arteriocyte Medical Systems, Fortec On-Sight, and Zimmer, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton and is a graduate of St. Ignatius High School. A native of Fairview Park, Ohio, he resides in University Heights with his wife, Mary, and daughter.


Established in 1865, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland, is a local human services and welfare organization of neighborhood volunteer groups primarily residing in participating parishes (“Conferences”) throughout the Diocese of Cleveland’s eight-county service area. Volunteers (“Vincentians”) provide face-to-face emergency assistance to people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity or religious affiliation. Last year alone, more than 250,000 low-income individuals in Northeast Ohio received over $9 million in direct assistance and in-kind services, which included food at SVDP’s multiple hunger centers, clothing, school supplies and financial assistance with utilities and rent. SVDP’s Central Office is located at 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland. For more information, call 216-696-6525 x. 3150 or



Sweet Idea: YP Board Scoops up Advocacy and Ice Cream



The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Diocese of Cleveland’s newly-formed Young Professionals (YP) Board recently launched its first advocacy effort.

Held at a Tremont Scoops ice cream store on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the group of volunteers hosted a letter-writing initiative to members of Congress in support of programs that benefit the hungry and impoverished. To sweeten the deal, ice cream store patrons even received a discount on their purchase if they participated in the campaign.

More than 40 letters were collected, said YP Board member Jon Gromek.

YP Board members Jon Gromek & Melissa Olenik

Advocacy for the people SVDP serves is a key component of the Cleveland YP Board’s mission, he explained. “We thought mixing in a fun event like getting ice cream with something needed right now — given the political climate — to advocate for SVDP clients would be an engaging and purposeful event that would attract young adults and others.”

The initiative, which was held on September 9, also presented another opportunity to promote the Society and its good works to the general public.

The National Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s advocacy arm, Voice of the Poor, encourages SVDP Councils across the U.S. to bring attention to the issues critical to people living in poverty.




SVDP Cleveland Encourages Hurricane Disaster Relief Donations to Galveston-Houston SVDP

Wish Cleveland Blog – August 30, 2017

In an effort to expedite emergency assistance to the thousands of victims recently displaced by Hurricane Harvey’s damage and flooding, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Diocese of Cleveland, is encouraging Northeast Ohio residents to make monetary donations directly to its counterpart in Galveston-Houston.


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Kentucky Derby Party Featured in Cleveland Magazine’s “Party Scene”

Cleveland Magazine July, 2017

Cleveland Magazine’s “Party Scene” captured the fun at this year’s annual Kentucky Derby Party fundraiser for our hunger centers.








Cleve. Mag. Party Scene July 2017




Hunger Doesn’t Vacation in Summer

“If It wasn’t for St. Vincent de Paul Society’s hunger centers, we wouldn’t have any food in our house right now.”

Erika & Daughter for Letter

Erika & Daughter Natalia


Children love summer.

But while sunny warm days beckon hours of outdoor fun, friends and travel, it’s also a time of anxiety and hardship for thousands of poor kids in our community who go hungry because they lose their daily school lunch programs.  What’s more, because summer is also a time of higher utility costs there is even less money available for necessities like food and rent.

As a result, many parents are faced with the heart-breaking choice between feeding their family and paying the rent to avoid homelessness.

As a parent of two girls, Erika knows firsthand the agonizing struggle to prevent her children from feeling the pains of hunger, especially during summer break.

She recently moved to Cleveland from Connecticut — where she worked as a medical assistant — only to learn that she couldn’t practice her profession in Cleveland until she obtained her Ohio certificate.  In an effort to create a better life for her daughters, she enrolled in classes to earn her Ohio state medical assistant license so she could once again help others through her profession.

But because she is temporarily unemployed, her family runs out of food at certain times each and every month.

Fortunately, she found help nearby at St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Brookside Hunger Center.

“If it wasn’t for St. Vincent de Paul Society’s hunger centers, we wouldn’t have any food in our house right now,” she says.  “If they weren’t here, I don’t think we’d even survive the summer in Cleveland.”

Erika was so impressed by the kindness of St. Vincent de Paul Society’s hunger center staff and volunteers that she wanted to give back by volunteering herself.

And she wants others to realize that their financial donations have a huge impact on real children and adults in Northeast Ohio.

In fact, every $1 donated feeds a family of four.

Help fight summer hunger among local children today by clicking here to make a donation.  Or simply mail your check to St. Vincent de Paul Society Summer Hunger Relief, 1404 East 9th Street-3rd Floor, Cleveland, OH  44114.

Thank you for helping us bring summer back to children in need!


WEWS News 5 “Kaleidoscope”

WEWS News 5 Cleveland – April 16, 2017

Marketing and Development Manager for St. Vincent de Paul Society Natalie Schrimpf  discusses the annual Kentucky Derby Party which is a fundraiser to support the organization’s food pantries.
(SVDP segment starts at 15:16 minutes into video).
Click here to view


Kaleidoscope 5

Host Leon Bibb and SVDP Marketing & Development Manager Natalie Schrimpf