Wyoming native Shanna F. Harris has been named the new executive director of Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota.
Harris comes to Winona from Casper, Wyoming, and previously served as director of the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies for seven years. Before that, she was executive director of the United Way of Natrona County in Wyoming for 10 years.
Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota is a social service program that offers a wide range of programs for those in need, from adoption to financial literacy to refugee resettlement, among many others.
The organization describes its mission as “serving the poor and vulnerable, the marginalized, the alienated and the stranger … without regard to religion, race, gender or ability to pay.”
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Harris, a lifelong Catholic, credits her faith and years of public service as the reason for her appointment as director.
“I’m familiar with this kind of work — working with a vulnerable population” Harris said. “I have a heart for it and I want to help people who are less fortunate.”
Harris said she is assessing how well the various programs Catholic Services provides are doing and will offer suggestions for how they can be better run if she comes across any issues.
Harris welcomes her new role and place in Winona and sees plenty of room for Catholic Charities to grow.
“I’m very happy to be here in Winona,” Harris said. “There’s a lot of opportunities for the Catholic Charities to grow in our diocese across the southern part of the state.”