A seamless transition in leadership at Catholic Charities Fort Worth is ‘a God-given gift’

North Texas Catholic
(Jun 23, 2023) Local

A smiling Michael Iglio

Michael Iglio, the new CEO for Catholic Charities Fort Worth, is seen at the main campus on May 4, 2023. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

FORT WORTH - Catholic Charities Fort Worth is thriving and growing during a time of transition in leadership while continuing to pursue its mission to help clients break the cycle of poverty. 

Father Anthony Chandler is wrapping up a year of service as interim president and CEO of the organization while Michael Iglio, the chief operating officer for CCFW, takes over at the helm.

On loan from the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, Fr. Chandler began serving on June 27, 2022, and will complete his service on June 30.

“Fr. Chandler has been a breath of fresh air, with his passion for helping others and helping organizations,” said Deb McNamara, former board chair for CCFW and current executive board committee member. “He’s brought a sense of calmness and focus on our mission of helping clients out of poverty.”

McNamara said Fr. Chandler encouraged others to share his passion for “serving the needs of the most vulnerable.”

He quickly became a leader who could share the CCFW mission and vision with the broader Catholic and North Texas communities.

She also appreciated his service to staff with offering Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation.

“He helped calm and steady our organization during a time of change, and we’re grateful for his leadership and his friendship,” McNamara said.

Johanna Brewington, director of executive fundraising, said Fr. Chandler “has been an incredible blessing” to the staff at CCFW.

“He prioritizes everything in order of God, family, and work, and he’s making sure we’re taking care of ourselves so we can take care of clients,” Brewington said.

Fr. Chandler has taken the time to get to know and care for everyone on staff.

“He truly has been a gift,” she said.

Incoming President and CEO Iglio called Fr. Chandler “a phenomenal leader.”

“I can’t say enough great things about him, his leadership style, and how great he is to work with and great to learn from,” Iglio said.


‘Seamless’ transition 

When Fr. Chandler leaves his interim role at CCFW, he will return to his home diocese in Kentucky. On July 8, he will begin to serve as rector of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, rector of priest personnel, and vicar for clergy.

“I’m going from one big job to three big jobs, but I enjoy challenges,” he said.

He sees challenges as opportunities to “make ourselves better.”

Fr. Chandler said he has enjoyed his time in Fort Worth and was impressed by the organization’s mission and service to over 13,000 people across 28 counties in the last year.

“We’re not just giving someone a handout, it’s a holistic approach to moving people out of poverty,” he said. “I don’t know of any other program like it in the country.”

Highlights of his year in Texas include meeting clients and donors and working with the dedicated staff.

He also said he appreciated the support of Bishop Michael Olson, both to CCFW and to him personally as the interim leader. 

Fr. Chandler said the organization is doing great and poised for even more growth.

“I think it’s gone very well, and I feel like it’s in a great spot right now,” he said.

Part of the reason the organization is in a great spot right now is because of Iglio, the incoming president and CEO.

Fr. Chandler said, “He brings a servant’s heart.”

The executive board looked at more than 40 candidates, with many good, qualified people, but Iglio stood out.

McNamara said, “In our search for what was best for our agency, we came back to a leader in our own backyard.”

Iglio showed “a strong sense of strategy and vision,” McNamara said. As COO, he also had strong relationships with the community, other nonprofits, Bishop Olson, and parishes in the diocese.

After much consideration and prayer, the board chose Iglio for his demonstrated strengths and for the consistency he would bring to the role as someone well-versed in the work of CCFW. 

Fr. Chandler and Iglio are working together during the transition period.

McNamara said, “It’s been seamless, a God-given gift.”


A smiling Father Chandler
Father Chandler is one of many attending the Advocacy day with the Catholic Diocese at the state capitol in Austin, Texas on March 28, 2023.

Trust and transformation

Iglio came to CCFW in April 2020, the early days of the pandemic and a time of great upheaval as the organization had to pivot how it operated and the ways it assisted clients.

Why did he decide to make the switch from the corporate world to working with a nonprofit?

“I prayed about it a lot,” Iglio said. “It was an opportunity to live out my faith and what I learned about organizations.”

After receiving a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M University, he spent 17 years with Frito-Lay in positions of increasing responsibility, as well as leading operations for two other businesses before coming to CCFW.

Iglio brings his engineering and operations backgrounds, using data analytics and return on investment approaches to find solutions to help clients break the poverty cycle. 

A key element is building trust with clients, the community, and staff, he said.

When clients trust the staff, they can be more vulnerable, get to the root causes of their problems, and receive guidance that improves their lives going forward.

“That foundation of trust is in everything we do,” Iglio said.

Iglio wants to continue to uplift the CCFW culture.

“If you’re not healthy and strong internally, you can’t be strong externally,” he said. “I want us to keep pouring into staff so we can serve our clients and community in the strongest, healthiest way.

“We want to truly eradicate poverty and transform lives,” he said.

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