October 27, 2021
|Christoper Plumlee (NTC/Juan Guajardo)|
FORT WORTH — During his first weeks as President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, Christopher Plumlee just listened.
Plumlee, who assumed his new role at CCFW on Sept. 7, planned a “listening tour” with the nonprofit’s 278 employees to learn “what’s working exceedingly well, where we have some gaps, and where we need additional resources.”
For the long-term, however, Plumlee wants “to do more, faster.”
“My goal is to bring more minds, hearts, and wallets to Catholic Charities’ door … Our story is so compelling, our mission is so engaging that the more who hear it will understand that we’re not trying to give folks a fish. We’re trying to teach them to fish for a lifetime.”
Plumlee has been immersed in the work of Catholic Charities since he was about 10 years old, often attending Catholic Charities functions with his father, Frank Ennis Plumlee, who was Chair of the Board for Catholic Charities Dallas.
He said he once asked his father why they were going to food drives, clothing drives, and toy drives. His father responded by opening “an old, worn, tattered Bible he inherited from my grandmother and reading Matthew 25:35-40.”
The verse begins: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me …”
Bishop Michael Olson commented on Plumlee’s commitment to CCFW’s mission of lifting people out of poverty.
“Christopher Plumlee holds a compassion and an understanding of how Catholic Charities Fort Worth serves God and our neighbor, a compassion and understanding he learned by accompanying his father’s work for Catholic Charities Dallas and in his own experience as a board member and chair of Catholic Charities Fort Worth,” he said.
“This commitment first to love God and to help those in need and his willingness to work with all people of good will is at the heart of Christopher’s leadership through service in our mission to eradicate oppressive poverty,” he added.
Plumlee served as chair of the CCFW Board for the past 16 months and as a board member for an additional 4 ½ years.
He has 25 years in senior leadership at several corporations, including Bank of America, Dell, and Hewlett Packard. He also started a sales consultant firm, Elevate Strategy Group, and has served on corporate advisory boards.
Plumlee said he and his wife, Natalie, always pray over major decisions. So, before accepting the top position at CCFW they “sat down and prayed about it.”
“We’ve been very blessed that God has given us great guidance and direction,” he said.
A motivating factor in accepting the new role at CCFW was “the people,” Plumlee said.
“There’s an incredible team already in place. They are the best people — the hardest working, most creative, most dedicated, and most focused,” he said.
In leading CCFW, Plumlee expects to “get out into the marketplace, let people know the incredible work that God has called us to do and ask them … to come on this mission with us.”
“We have a real responsibility to give back to our brothers and sisters — those who need a hand up and those who need to be fed or nourished and all those things that speak to Matthew 25:35-40.”