|Rick Medina, the new director of Catholic World Mission.|
October 17, 2011. Catholic World Mission, a Regnum Christi
outreach to the poor worldwide, now has a new executive
director. Rick Medina, a former Wall Street financier, seasoned entrepreneur
(he founded and directed several successful energy businesses), and fundraiser
for Catholic schools, has come to CWM with a clear
commitment: to put his experience and gifts at the service
of a mission that brings education, health, and evangelization to
those who need it most.
In the following interview, Mr.
Medina shares more about what drew him to Catholic World
Mission, what he hopes to achieve, and what skills—along with
faith—will help CWM keep growing and serving the poor.
attracted you to CWM?
Medina: I was attracted to CWM’s mission.
Catholic World Mission transforms society by helping to eliminate spiritual,
physical and educational poverty. CWM works to transform societies in
highly targeted ways. CWM does not “feed the masses” but
rather provides tools for communities to use and invest in,
leading to self-sufficiency and societal benefits for generations to come.
CWM affects three main areas to achieve their goal: education,
healthcare and evangelization.
It is clear the model works. Since
its humble beginning in 1998 CWM has provided education to
over 21,000 students. Without the generosity of our loyal donors
I can’t imagine where these students would be. CWM gives
tens of thousands of children a chance at a better
There is a holistic approach to CWM. Although majority
of CWM’s donations go towards providing education to the poorest
areas of the world, they also recognize the need to
care for the physical and spiritual well being of those
they are helping. Students will not be inclined to study
if they (or members of their family) are sick. CWM
recognizes that students will need the guidance and support of
the entire family and hence they provide training to parents
Finally, and this for me is the most
important thing, CWM ensures that people they help know about
the goodness of God. There is no point of having
earthly success if we do not know or forget about
the God who has provided for all things. It would
be a shame to have life here on earth and
not share in the life of the Lord. CWM is
not afraid to proclaim, in words and deeds, the Good
News that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
do you see as the main priorities for CWM in
the coming years?
Medina: Our main goal this year is to
ensure CWM can withstand the current economic crisis. We have
so many people, especially students in our 35 partner schools
worldwide, depending on us. There is an unwritten mantra in
the fundraising office that goes “if you mail them, donations
will come” (reminds me of the memorable movie line from
“Field of Dreams” – ‘if you build it, he will
come’). Unfortunately, it costs money to create our mailing brochures,
print and mail them. The returns on our solicitation campaigns
(mailings) have been affected by the general economy. We need
to be selective in whom we mail. Not all of
our donors are interested in the same causes. Some are
interested in education, others in evangelization, health care, etc. What
we need to do is to reach and communicate to
donors the areas of CWM they are most interested in.
My other main priority is to expand the ways CWM
reaches out and is known by the general population. We
have reached out traditionally to potential donors via “mail solicitations.”
We want to utilize social media more and have an
integrated marketing approach. We will use Facebook, Twitter, and e-blasts
along with our traditional mailings. We will also redesign our
website to feature more relevant and timely contents. The goal
is to publicize CWM consistently across different media platforms.
are you hoping to achieve?
Medina: We have specific goals internal
and external to the company. In terms of our schools,
we want to be able to sponsor another 235 Mano
Amiga kids. We also want to be able to build
our reserves so we can be prepared in case of
disaster relief. Having a healthy reserve will allow us to
quickly respond to opportunities when they present themselves. For instance
we just shipped much-needed medical supplies to Ghana. There are
currently over 80,000 cases of death from preventable diseases in
Ghana. The fact that we had the reserve allowed us
to take advantage of the opportunity to partner with another
entity interested in the same things we are in the
area of health.
We also want to let the general
public know about the work we do in the area
of evangelization. We have a very special group of lay
missionaries bringing hope and the word of God to poor
areas of Mexico and Latin America. They minister to thousands
of families, personifying the grace of God through corporal and
spiritual works of mercy.
It is also important for us
to increase our bottom line (net income). The more efficient
we become as a company, the more we will be
able to help. The main goal for this year is
to keep our existing donors updated by giving them timely
and frequent information about our schools, children and the many
areas we help at CWM.
We also want to increase
our donor base. We have a consistent and integrated strategy
for keeping and expanding our donor base. We will strengthen
connection to our donors, and attract new ones, by highlighting
the many good works we do on a more frequent
basis via all forms of media communications.
Q: What unique
skill set do you bring to the position?
Medina: I bring
a lot of enthusiasm and passion in everything I do.
I firmly believe in the mission of CWM. As to
unique skills, I have successfully built businesses in the past,
so I know how to run profitable companies. I have
also worked in some of the largest investment houses in
the world, and I bring the analytical skills honed in
my Wall Street days to running an efficient and focused
company. I am very technically proficient; my original background is
in Computer Science and Mathematics.
I have raised money for
various causes in the past. My last project provided scholarships
to students from families that would not normally be able
to attend the many private Catholic schools in the entire
state of Georgia. I was also co-Executive Director with my
wife in raising money to build a house in Kingston,
Jamaica (Holy Innocents home) to encourage mothers to not abort
their babies. This is a project for Father Ho Lung
and the Missionaries of the Poor. The most important attribute
I bring to the position is my belief and trust
in God’s divine providence. At CWM, we work as if
everything is dependent on us, but we pray knowing it
is all up to God. Working for CWM is not
just a job; it is part of my baptismal responsibility.
I want to share something personal with the community. I
am currently in my fourth year of Diaconate formation for
the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I ask for prayers from your
readers for perseverance during my formation, and for me to
always recognize God’s will in all that I do. Thank
you for the opportunity to talk about the work that
is Catholic World Mission.
Catholic World Mission, originally founded by Fr
Thomas Moylan, LC, in 1998, focuses on five core development
areas, working as a team with other Catholic agencies: education,
medical missionary work, evangelization, disaster relief, and building physical infrastructure.
Its current president is Bishop Pedro Pablo Elizondo, LC, the
Prelate of the Territorial Prelature of Cancún-Chetumal in Mexico. To
learn more about Catholic World Mission, visit the web site