The position of Communications Coordinator was added to the parish office roster the summer of 2014. Marlen Kemmet, who spent the previous 27 years at Meredith Corporation as Managing Editor of WOOD magazine, applied for and was selected for the position.
To learn more about this new role at St. Boniface we visit with Kemmet about his duties.
Q. What impact does your work have on the parish?
A. Before working at St. Boniface, I spent 30 years in corporate America gaining a broad range of skills in print and digital communications and management. One of my biggest responsibilities at St. Boniface is to promote the numerous activities we have occurring within our parish and to get people excited and involved in these events. To accomplish this we rebuilt the website using a WordPress platform, started a YouTube channel, created a Facebook page, and wrote lots of new content for our weekly bulletins. We just completed adding timelines to the website for St. Boniface and our efforts in El Recreo. Hopefully, the more parishioners that know about what we are doing at St. Boniface, the more inclined they will be to participate. In addition, a group of us within St. Boniface created and shared with the parish a detailed Five-Year Plan. We continue to update it to better address the concerns of our growing parish.
Q. Give an overview of your daily tasks at St. Boniface?
A. Each day I review upcoming events and how I can assist the group leaders to better promote their activity. I review and update the website with events, photos, and content. I work with writers within the parish or write articles myself for bulletin and web content. I work with dozens of volunteers to coordinate their efforts with parish needs. I also take on a few handyman tasks within the church where I can save us money by doing tasks rather than hiring them out.
Q. Give an example of something associated with your work that was a feel-good moment.
A. We created a group within St. Boniface called the Multi-Media Communications Committee. The mission of the group is to provide direction for communication issues facing the parish in order to enhance our ministries. The committee is divided into the following areas: media presentation, photography, videography, surveys, social media, website, and editorial. Instead of assigning tasks, we encourage group members to take on projects they are passionate about. We are always looking for new members to showcase their skills.
The summer of 2014, St. Boniface was asked to host the Digital Discipleship Workshop due to our numerous successes in this area. Office staff from more than 20 central Iowa Catholic churches attended the one-day event.
Q. What activities or volunteerism of others at St. Boniface have inspired you and why?
A. I love working with all our numerous committees and volunteers. It is great to see people take their passion and use it to improve the lives of others. We recently finished the Coat Drive where hundreds of pieces of clothing were donated to the Adel Crisis Center. We have performed numerous projects with our sister parish in El Recreo. Currently we are in the process of our annual Angel Tree project which provides hundreds of gifts to needy children and families. All of these are only possible due to some very generous and energetic parishioners.
Q. If someone asked you to describe St. Boniface in just a few sentences, what would that be?
A. Working at St. Boniface has allowed me to work one-on-one with numerous people inside the parish to help promote their projects or ministries. It is inspiring and inspirational to see how much work goes on behind the scenes where people do so much to help others. In the past some of this has gone unnoticed. Hopefully by sharing these good deeds we can get others involved as well.
Q. What are you favorite hobbies or activities away from church?
A. I am an avid woodworker and wildlife photographer. I work with people in my shop to develop or hone their woodworking skills, and I teach wildlife photography seminars to aspiring photographers. My wife and I love traveling the western US. I also enjoy scuba diving. But, my main passion is spending time with our four children and grandchildren.