Catholic Charities Staff
Tracy Morrison, M.S., L.M.H.C.
Tracy joined Catholic Charities in 2007 and has been the Executive Director since January 2009. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling and is licensed in Iowa and Illinois. She is a National Certified Counselor and has spent her entire career working for non-profits advocating for those in need. Prior to her work at Catholic Charities, Tracy was as a counselor working primarily with abused and neglected children and their families. Tracy’s passion for her work led her to opening Tyler’s Justice Center for Children, a non-profit children’s advocacy center in Stockton, Illinois that coordinates the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse cases. She served as the Executive Director of this organization for 5 1/2 years until she began her ministry with Catholic Charities.
Deacon Bill Hickson
Jail & Prison Ministry Coordinator
In his role as Jail & Prison Ministry Coordinator Bill trains, assigns, and coordinates the activities of over 200 volunteers involved in jail and prison visitation, mentoring, and circles of support and accountability. He is assigned to ministry at St. Anthony Parish in Dubuque. Bill holds a Bachelor’s degree from Loras College and a Master’s degree from Clarke University.
Grant Writer & Community Relations Director
Stacy joined the Catholic Charities team in October 2016 and is responsible for grant research and writing, as well as community engagement activities. For 3 years, Stacy served as the Executive Director of Project Concern, a non-profit social service agency that provided services for individuals and families in need. Stacy also has experience as a marketing coordinator for a senior living community. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.
Deb began working at the Pastoral Center in 1998 and began at Catholic Charities in 2002. Her duties as Executive Assistant include providing assistance as needed to the executive director and preparation of program reports and minutes for board and committee meetings. Deb also oversees the administrative staff.
Angella M. Link, M.A., L.M.S.W.
Counselor/Adoption Search Coordinator
Angie has a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and is a licensed master level social worker and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She has been employed at Catholic Charities since 1994. Angie provides individual, marriage and family counseling. Examples of issues treated include: anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, grief/loss, relationship concerns, trauma and abuse recovery. Special interests include women’s issues, depression and anxiety. Angie is committed to helping people restore hope and healing to their lives. In addition to her counseling duties, Angie coordinates Catholic Charities’ Post Adoption Search program.
Lynne Lutze, Ph.D., LMHC
Lynne has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis, and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Iowa, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and licensed as a Professional Counselor in Wisconsin. She is trained in Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), and is Breakthrough Parenting Certified. Lynne has been in private practice with Crossroads in Dubuque since this group was established in 2006. Previous to Crossroads, Lynne has worked at Platteville Family Resources, Gannon Center, and the University of Dubuque. Additionally, Lynne has been adjunct professor at Northeast Iowa Community College and Clarke University. Lynne enjoys working with individuals of all ages who want to work toward personal growth and change, deal with depression or anxiety, or work through past trauma.
Amy G. Mahoney, M.S.W., L.I.S.W.
Amy has been working at Catholic Charities as a therapist since 2004. She enjoys providing counseling to individuals, couples and families struggling with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, grief and relationship issues. Prior to working at Catholic Charities she was a mental health Counselor at Backbone Area Counseling Center in Manchester, Iowa. Amy has her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loras College and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
Amy schedules clients on Mondays from 12:30 – 8:00 pm and Tuesday – Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (4:00 pm appointments upon request).
Cristy began working for Catholic Charities in April of 2015 after serving as a medical transcriptionist for over 20 years. She provides administrative support to the Dubuque office staff as well as greeting clients and providing community resource information to those who call or visit the office. Cristy has a degree from Kirkwood Community College and enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her husband and children. She has lived in Cascade for most of her life.
Todd Ostwinkle, L.M.H.C, I.A.D.C.
Todd joined Catholic Charities in March 2015. He has his Master’s degree in General Psychology from Loras College in Dubuque and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Iowa. Additionally, he is certified as an International Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IADC). Todd works with individuals seeking improvement of their mental or emotional wellness. This includes anxiety, depression, grief, and other various issues. Prior to working at Catholic Charities, Todd worked as a counselor at Substance Abuse Services Center for six years. He then worked with Hillcrest Family Services as a crisis counselor and general therapist. Todd joined Catholic Charities eager to support wellness, change, and recovery.
Ashley Bluml, M.S.W.
Ashley joined Catholic Charities in August 2017. She has her Master’s degree in Social Work from Clarke University. She provides support to students at two parochial schools within the Archdiocese and in addition, provides counseling to individuals of all ages in the Dubuque office. Ashley enjoys working with individuals who want to work towards personal growth and change in a variety of areas including self-esteem, depression, anxiety, stress, and overall personal, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
Cedar Rapids Office
Ellen began working for Catholic Charities in July 2013, after serving for 34 years as an office and customer service specialist for J.C. Penney Co. Ellen provides administrative support to the Cedar Rapids office staff as well as greeting and providing community resource information to those who call, or visit the office. Ellen has a degree from the University of Iowa in home economics and also works part time for Hancock Fabrics. She comes from a family of 9 with 7 sisters and one brother and has lived in Cedar Rapids for most of her life.
Refugee Resettlement Case Manager
Caleb joined Catholic Charities in December 2014 as the Refugee Resettlement Case Manager. He received his B.A. in Biblical Studies/Spanish from Faith Baptist Bible College and an M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Caleb has studied abroad in Peru, Ecuador, and Japan. He began working with Refugees in 2011 through Catholic Charities in Louisville, KY. In Louisville he taught computer skills to refugees and worked with Cuban/Haitian clients. He is fluent in Spanish and enjoys learning languages, reading, and philosophy. Caleb helps new refugees transition to life here in the United States.
Refugee Resettlement Employment Specialist/Case Manager
Terina relocated to Cedar Rapids to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Coe College in 2009, where she began working with Catholic Charities as a Case Advocate intern for flood recovery, receiving Case Advocacy and Strengths Model training. During her internship she assisted UMCOR with volunteer management. Following her internship, Terina joined Catholic Charities in a permanent position. Terina currently works as an employment specialist and case manager in our Refugee Resettlement program, helping new refugees transition to life here in the United States. Terina has a vast knowledge of community resources and service providers. She believes in empowerment of individuals and advocating for those who need it most.
Immigration Legal Representative
Mike began working with the Catholic Charities in March of 2014 as an Immigration Legal Services Coordinator. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining Catholic Charities, Mike had been working with immigrants to the United States since 2011, and became accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2013. Mike’s primary duty as an Immigration Legal Services Coordinator at Catholic Charities is to provide immigration legal advice and services to eligible individuals, as well as administrative support for the Immigration Legal Services program.
Emily began working with Catholic Charities in August 2017 as an Immigration Attorney.
Director of Immigration & Refugee Services
Attorney Yer L. Vang first joined Catholic Charities in February 2016 as the Immigration Attorney but currently is the Director of the Immigration and Refugee Services. Yer is a 2001 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Attorney Vang has worked with immigrant and refugee communities for over 16 years. After graduating from law school, Yer joined the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Immigrant Project of Wisconsin) and served as the immigration attorney. She provided legal technical assistance and training to domestic violence programs and advocated on matters relating to the intersection of immigration law and domestic violence. Additionally, while in private practice, Yer provided legal representation to immigrant/refugee survivors of violence on various immigration remedies, such as VAWA, U visas, family based visa petitions, asylum and deportation/removal defense. As Director of Immigration and Refugee Services, Yer provides leadership and vision in the agency’s services to immigrants and refugees. Yer provides overall management, planning and coordination for our immigration and refugee services and projects including assisting in the exploration of emerging issues and parish engagement.
Social Ministry Liaison
Steve has been with Catholic Charities since 2010. As Social Ministry Liaison, Steve helps facilitate networking between parish-based social ministry staff, parish volunteers, community volunteers and community agencies in the Archdiocese. His goals are to encourage best practices sharing, problem solving, community building, and spiritual development to assess and address the social service needs in the communities. Steve comes to Catholic Charities after flood recovery work as the Director of the Linn Area Long Term Recovery Coalition and two plus decades as the IT director for the Gazette.
Lori Eastwood, L.I.S.W.
Lori has been a counselor with Catholic Charities since January 2005. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the state of Iowa. Lori provides therapy to individuals, couples, and families in the Decorah office. She also spends time between four local parochial schools providing clinical support to students and consultation to teachers and staff. Additionally, Lori is a certified trainer in the Nurtured Heart Approach© and is a trained independent facilitator of ‘Becoming a Love and Logic Parent’ and facilitates multiple classes each year in three counties. Lori is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She works closely with other agencies in Decorah and attends local meetings that advocate for the needs of families from preventative services to providing aid for meeting basic needs.
Lori schedules clients on Mondays, Wednesday afternoons and evenings, Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings.
Yer Vang, J.D.
Attorney Yer L. Vang joined Catholic Charities in February 2016. Yer is a 2001 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Attorney Vang has worked with immigrant and refugee communities for over 15 years. After graduating from law school, Yer joined the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Immigrant Project of Wisconsin) and served as the immigration attorney. She provided legal technical assistance and training to domestic violence programs and advocated on matters relating to the intersection of immigration law and domestic violence. Additionally, while in private practice, Yer provided legal representation to immigrant/refugee survivors of violence on various immigration remedies, such as VAWA, U visas, family based visa petitions, asylum and deportation/removal defense. As Immigration Attorney for Catholic Charities, Yer helps immigrants and refugees navigate the complex US immigration system by providing quality and compassionate legal services.
Sr. Rita Menart, PBVM, LMHC
Sister Rita is a Sister of the Presentation. She began working with Catholic Charities as a therapist in March of 2012. Rita has a master´s degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and licensure as a mental health counselor in Iowa. She counsels in both English and Spanish. Sr. Rita is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Her interest is to help families, individuals and groups reduce violence and stress through counseling and education.
Sr. Rita counsels in Marshalltown and New Hampton on alternating Tuesdays, and in Williams and Waterloo on alternating Thursdays. She also counsels in Waterloo on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Deacon Jeff Harris
Assistant Jail & Prison Ministry Coordinator
In his role as Assistant Jail & Prison Ministry Coordinator, Jeff trains, assigns, and coordinates the activities of volunteers involved in jail and prison visitation, mentoring, and circles of support and accountability, focusing on the western part of the Archdiocese. He joined the Catholic Charities team in the summer of 2016. After a career in sales he is eager to serve others in a new way. Deacon Jeff is assigned to ministry at St. Mary Parish in Marshalltown. He and his wife Nancy have two grown daughters.
Agnes began working for Catholic Charities in February of 2015. As Volunteer Coordinator she oversees the volunteers in each of Catholic Charities’ programs. Agnes helps to provide training, guidance and inspiration for volunteers in addition to recruiting new volunteers to support our work. Prior to joining Catholic Charities, Agnes was the morning director at KWWL for 11 years. Agnes earned her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from the University of Dubuque. A native of Waterloo, Agnes is very active in her local community and hopes to make a positive impact in Northeast Iowa.
Refugee Resettlement Manager
Mary joined Catholic Charities in February 2015 as a Refugee Resettlement Intern. After receiving her B.A. in English Literature and International Studies from Loras College in May 2015, Mary joined the team full-time as a Refugee Resettlement Case Manager. She began working with refugees in 2012 as an intern with World Relief in Moline, IL and continued her professional experience with migrant populations while interning with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB-MRS) in Washington, DC. Mary has a passion for international service work, which has stemmed from experiences in Haiti, Guatemala, and Honduras. In her role as Refugee Resettlement Manager, Mary oversees the arrivals of new refugee families as they transition into a new life in the United States.
Mason City Office
Sr. Rita Cameron, PBVM
Sister Rita has her Master’s degree in School Guidance and Counseling from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Northern State University. Sr. Rita has worked in public school settings in South Dakota, Catholic Schools in Mason City and Dubuque, Iowa, and has also worked with college students as a member of the Campus Ministry staff at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Sister Rita enjoys working with people of all ages who are looking for ways to learn and grow as they work through difficulties in their lives.
Sr. Rita’s office hours are Tuesday-Friday from 8:00-4:00 and can be reached at 641-424-9683.
Lisa Turner, L.M.F.T.
Lisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and PR from Biola University in La Mirada, California, where she also completed a minor in Bible. She received her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Lisa is a Level I trained Gottman Method Couples Therapist. She is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Lisa counsels from a Biblical perspective, helping people who struggle with depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, interpersonal/relationship issues, divorce/separation, and grief. She also works with those living with chronic mental illness.
Lisa schedules clients on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.
Quality Assurance Director/Disaster Services Coordinator
Lori has worked with Catholic Charities since 2010. As Quality Assurance Director, Lori helps identify program/service level impacts, outcomes, and indicators of success that Catholic Charities uses to strengthen programs that help meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Additionally, Lori oversees the Jail & Prison Ministry and Volunteer Services for Catholic Charities. As the Disaster Services Coordinator, Lori assists parishes and community members throughout the Archdiocese in preparing for and recovering from disasters that may affect their areas. In this role, Lori connects with local, state, and national agencies to share information, locate resources, and provide technical assistance to improve preparedness measures across the Archdiocese. In 2011 and 2012 Lori joined Catholic Charities USA’s Disaster Case Management team and deployed to New York and New Jersey for two and three week stints to provide disaster case management to residents affected by recent hurricanes and tropical storms in those areas.
Mary Jo Pfeifer Wulf, MS. Ed., L.M.H.C.
Mary Jo is a licensed mental health counselor with over 30 years of counseling experience. She received a Masters Degree in Counseling from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota and She is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Solution Focused Therapy as well as many other approaches. Mary Jo enjoys working with individuals of all ages who want to work toward personal growth and change, deal with depression or anxiety, or work through past trauma. She also works with couples to improve their marital relationships.
Mary Jo schedules clients on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Housing Office – Ecumenical Tower
Matthew has spent his entire 35-year career in affordable housing development and management. After initially managing a small portfolio for his church, he joined Holsten Development of Chicago, Illinois, in 1984. Matthew managed the day-day operations of the property management company, as well as the construction and construction management operations, while Holsten emerged as a national leader and visionary in the redevelopment of public housing in Chicago. Holsten became a leader in the creation of mixed-income communities combining limited income and special needs populations with high-end for-sale units. In 2008, Matthew and his wife of 32 years, Rebekah left the city and moved to rural Wisconsin where they raise goats, chickens, and sheep. Matthew enjoys managing Ecumenical Tower, as it takes him back to what he enjoys most, relationships with residents, and the hands-on activity of running a building.
Assistant Site Manager
Kayci has been with Catholic Charities since February of 2015, She has a background in both healthcare and real estate, making her a perfect fit in her position at Ecumenical Tower as Assistant Site Manager. Kayci was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa and recently moved to Farley Iowa with husband and their two boys. Kayci enjoys her work at Catholic Charities as it aligns well with her own values of helping others in need.
Aaron has been working for Catholic Charities Affordable Housing doing maintenance and janitorial work for over 30 years. His primary functions include day-to-day maintenance and janitorial duties servicing buildings, grounds and individual tenants at all four housing projects including Kennedy Manor, Ecumenical Tower, Carter Plaza and Alabar Plaza.
Housing Office – Kennedy Park West
Pat has been working in maintenance for Catholic Charities Housing for over 30 years and now leads the maintenance team as Maintenance Supervisor. He is responsible for all day-to-day rental property needs, including scheduling maintenance staff, purchasing supplies, soliciting contractor bids, and tending to after-hours emergencies. Pat and his maintenance staff also volunteer at monthly events for the elderly and disabled residents at Ecumenical Tower.
As site manager, Steve is responsible for overseeing the operations of Kennedy Manor, Alabar Plaza and Carter Plaza, properties in Dubuque and Waterloo. This includes, oversight of housing personnel, monitoring revenue and expenses, oversight of facilities, operating and capital budgeting, marketing, tenant relations, regulatory compliance, funding and service development and long range planning.
Resident Manager/Maintenance Mechanic
Aaron is the most recent addition to the Housing team, and works full-time at our family complex, Kennedy Park West. His primary duties are maintenance and janitorial, so he spends his days completing work orders, getting vacant apartments ready to rent, and making sure the buildings and the site are beautiful and orderly. Since he and his family live onsite, Aaron is able to respond quickly to calls to the answering service, and his family’s presence at Kennedy Park West contribute to the quality of life and sense of community.