Four men were elected to the community’s board of governors on May 11 in South Bend: Sean Connolly (South Bend), Phil Monaco (Corvallis), Jim Mysliwiec (northern Virginia) and Mike Zusi (South Bend).
Each will serve a six-year term that begins on August 1, 2016. They will join seven other men who continue to serve on the board: Mike Coney (New Orleans), Nick Holovaty (Mission Division, Evansville), Joel Kibler (Vancouver-Portland), Craig Lent (chairman, South Bend), Bob McDonough (South Bend), Pat Murphy (Servant Branch) and John Zwerneman (South Bend).
Mike, Phil and Jim were re-elected and will be serving their second consecutive terms. Sean will be serving his first term.
Mike Zusi, 56, is the community’s Action program coordinator, a position he has held since 2004. A native of Clarence, New York, he joined the community in 1977 while a student at the University of Notre Dame. In 1984, he moved to Grenada with the first wave of community volunteers, living in household with Dominic Jeremiah, Jim Ganther, Chuck Wood and Greg Brombach. For thirty years, Mike worked at Bendix Corporation (now Honeywell), where he was a program manager overseeing the production and delivery of equipment to service jet engines. He retired from Honeywell in 2014 and began working for the People of Praise and Trinity Schools. At Trinity, he is the assistant vice president of business affairs, handling special projects, including an educational technology initiative. He is responsible for insurance and safety matters for the People of Praise. Mike and his wife Nora, also a former Grenada volunteer, married in 1994. They have five children, including community members Lily and Tom (both South Bend).
Phil Monaco, 63, is the principal branch coordinator for Corvallis, currently serving his second consecutive term. (He served two prior terms from 1985-1997). A great lover of the outdoors, he manages an analytical chemistry lab, CSS-Dynamac, which tests soil, water and plant samples from around the country. Phil and his wife Jean were part of the Vine and Branches community which began in Corvallis in the early 1970s. There they got to know Fr. Charlie Harris, Chris and Colette Taylor, Terry and Connie Hackenbruck and others who are now part of the Corvallis branch. Married in 1974, Phil and Jean joined the community in 1982 along with others from Corvallis who became the community’s first branch. The Monacos have three grown sons. Phil is an avid reader who loves spiritual books and literature, along with hiking, fishing and mountaineering.
Jim Mysliwiec, 55, has been the Action division coordinator for the northern Virginia branch since 2003. He works as an information technology consultant for Phase One, a company that contracts with the US Agency for International Development. In 2015, Jim retired from IBM after working for 33 years as a software developer, program manager and consultant. Jim and his wife Margherite have four children, including community members Brigette (Allendale), Claire and Ben (both South Bend). As Action division coordinator, Jim has led annual fundraising efforts that have raised more than $250,000 for Action since 2003. A former state champion quarterback, Jim enjoys basketball, bicycling and hiking. In 2014, he hiked 450 miles on the Camino de Santiago in Spain with fellow branch members Lek Kadeli and Dennis Burke.
Sean Connolly, 37, is the community’s communications program coordinator, a position he has held since 2010. His responsibilities include publishing Vine & Branches, managing Greenlawn Films and overseeing the community’s website and Facebook page. Sean joined the community in 1999 while a student at the University of Notre Dame. In 2002, he and J-T Kelly moved to Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood to help launch the community’s outreach there. Sean and his wife Gretchen, who also served in Allendale, were married in 2009. They have three children, with a fourth expected in late May. Sean loves running and has completed five marathons. His mother, Marge Connolly, is a member of the South Bend branch.