Before Rita McGovern began working at Mercy Home, it was something she heard about from many different places—friends, coworkers, and even at her parish, St. Juliana’s—but she didn’t know very much about it.

It wasn’t until she was looking for a new job that she looked into Mercy Home further. She connected with Mimi LeClair, the Vice President of Advancement at that time, and eventually applied for the job she holds now, the Director of Affiliated Constituencies. Though it went to an internal candidate, she took another job at Mercy Home—working directly with Mimi, which she loved.

“[It was] great, fabulous,” she said. “She was wonderful.”

Eventually, her current position opened again, and this time she got the job.

“It all worked out in the end,” she said. “It was perfect, probably better, the way it happened.”

Rita McGovern

Rita majored in business and worked her way through school. After college, she worked at the law firm Corboy & Demetrio as part of the night crew—a group Mercy Home’s Leader Council Chairwoman, Marcy Twardak, put together. Rita worked from 5 p.m. through midnight three nights a week, which worked wonderfully because she had three small children at home.

“I loved it because I was able to be with my kids during the day, my husband had them at night … and it was a great place to work for,” she said. “They were very generous, and I worked with great people and [it was] just a nice atmosphere.”

After 10 years at Corboy & Demetrio, Rita took on a new challenge—become the executive director of the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce. It was here that she first “forayed into fundraising.” Though the city gave the chamber a grant for some expenses, they were tasked with raising the rest.

During her time as executive director and “one-woman show”, Rita organized a street festival, which steadily grew, and raised about $50,000 each year, more than half of the total budget. She also found unique ways to raise money, “any way that you possibly think of,” she said.

“It was a really fun job, it was very flexible,” she said. “My kids were in school, so it was mostly nights and weekends that I was doing stuff [where] I had to be away from home. That was what my impetus was for taking that job, but it ended up being very fun. It was good. And then it tended to be a little bit political, too, so that fed my interest in politics, which was fun.”

Rita has been at Mercy Home for nine years now, and despite coming into this job “not knowing what she was getting into,” she has been happy for each of those years

“[Mercy Home] is just a really great place to work,” she said. “The people that I work with are amazing and you know, it’s always a feel-good [place], you feel good about what you do, so that’s kept me here.”

“[Mercy Home] is just a really great place to work. The people that I work with are amazing and you know, it’s always a feel-good [place], you feel good about what you do, so that’s kept me here.”

As the Director of Affiliated Constituencies, Rita manages all five of our fundraising boards, which include four active boards—the Board of Regents, Leader Council, Ambassadors of Mercy, and Associate Board—and one inactive board, the Emeritus Board.

Though our boards don’t play any role in creating policy at our Home, they do a tremendous amount of fundraising, which Rita supports through her work. In addition to managing the relationships with our board members, she plans their meetings and fundraising strategy. She also attends all events where board members are present.

“It’s great working with board members,” she said. “[They] are the people who are closest to the mission and closest to the Home and in essence, they’re our best friends. It’s very rewarding and they’re an easy population to work with because they are so dedicated and close to the Home. … They’re all really nice and professional and interesting.

“They’re just people who want to help. Most of them just feel like they want to give back, and I can honestly say, I can’t even think of one who doesn’t have a big heart that way. We have the best board members.”

“It’s great working with board members. [They] are the people who are closest to the mission and closest to the Home and in essence, they’re our best friends.”

And another best at Mercy Home? Our coworkers.

“My relationship with my coworkers, I would have to say that’s the best part,” she said. “There’s a lot of different personalities and [they’re] just fun and good people.”

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