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Cristo Rey Network Announces New Board Chair and Appointments
Cristo Rey Network Announces New Board Chair and Appointments
Jessie Fenton

John O'Shea's leadership will continue to make a lasting impact to the Cristo Rey movement locally and nationally.


July 15, 2020 – CHICAGO – Today, the Cristo Rey Network announced that the national Board of Directors has elected John O'Shea as the organization's Board Chair. O'Shea served as Vice-Chair in Fiscal Year 2020 and succeeds W. Nicholas Howley, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of TransDigm Group, who will continue serving on the Cristo Rey Network Board.

As President of JCJ Energy and Chairman of Gemini Midstream, O'Shea brings more than 30 years of experience developing, acquiring, and operating growth businesses in the oil and natural gas midstream sectors. John's professional success is coupled by his and his wife Charlene's extensive philanthropic endeavors.

"John's entrepreneurial ventures and philanthropic mind-set have contributed to continued growth and impact of the Cristo Rey movement for more than a decade," said Cristo Rey Network President and CEO Elizabeth Goettl. "We are grateful for and look forward to his leadership in this new role."

O'Shea was instrumental in the development and opening of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston and served as a founding member of the school's Board of Trustees. His local leadership scaled nationally in 2013 when he joined the Cristo Rey Network Board of Directors. Shortly after, in 2014, he was named the national office's Interim President for six months. His continued engagement on the Board has strengthened the national office's financial position and robust fundraising efforts. Over the past two years, O'Shea also served as Chair of the Finance Committee.

As Board Chair, O'Shea will provide oversight of 28 prominent business, education, and religious leaders who govern the Cristo Rey Network. His election was accompanied by the appointment of three new members: Sr. Maryalyce Gilfeather, Jeb Myers, and Chris Shea.

"We are pleased to welcome Sr. Maryalyce, Jeb, and Chris to our Board," said Cristo Rey Network President and CEO Elizabeth Goettl. "These individuals have already demonstrated extensive leadership and commitment to the Cristo Rey movement locally and nationally."

Sr. Maryalyce Gilfeather, SNDdeN is President of Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Lawrence, MA. Engaged in the founding of Notre Dame Cristo Rey, Sr. Maryalyce was Vice President of Administrative Services and then Director of the Corporate Work Study Program before being named President in 2015. Prior, she served on the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ipswich Province Leadership Team and was responsible for extensive ministry needs, including four community owned and sponsored schools. Read more.

Jeb Myers is President of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School - Twin Cities and has more than a decade of Cristo Rey school leadership experience. After joining the school's team as Assistant Principal, he was named Principal in 2010, and subsequently, in 2015, Jeb was appointed President. Read more.

Chris Shea is a retired Executive Vice-President, External Relations, with General Mills. She spent 25 years heading marketing and operations in various capacities, including the Betty Crocker Division and the New Ventures Division. In addition, Shea has a decade of experience leading General Mills' external relations and the General Mills Foundation's corporate social responsibility strategy. Currently, Shea serves on the Board of San Miguel High School, a member school in Tucson. Read more.

To advance the Cristo Rey Network's national strategic priorities, each Board member serves on two Committees, under the leadership of the following Committee Chairs:

Martha Wyrsch, Governance and Nominating Committee Chair
Preston Kendall, Corporate Work Study Program Committee Chair
James Gartland, S.J., Mission Support and Accountability Committee Chair
Leo Sheridan, Advancement Committee Chair
Tom O'Connor, Finance Committee Chair
Dan McCallin, School Growth Committee Chair
Darren Jackson, Academics and College Initiatives Committee Chair

The Cristo Rey Network gratefully recognizes departing Board Member, Sr. Jeanne Bessette, who was involved in founding DePaul Cristo Rey High School in Cincinnati and served as the school's Founding President from 2011-2020.

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About Cristo Rey Network

The Cristo Rey Network of 37 high schools delivers a career focused, college preparatory education in the Catholic tradition for students with limited economic resources, uniquely integrating rigorous academic curricula with four years of professional work experience and support to and through college. Cristo Rey partners with educators, businesses and communities to enable students to fulfill their aspirations for a lifetime of success: students are three times more likely to complete a bachelor's degree by age 24, compared to the total U.S. low-income population.