Conzemius Retiring as President/CEO After 29 Years | Continuing as a consultant and producer of “Christmas at The Cathedral”

After leading the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota (CCFESD) for 29 years, Mark Conzemius will be officially stepping down as President/CEO at the end of 2023. “I have been so very blessed to be involved in the work of the Church through the CCFESD,” said Conzemius. “To journey with faith-filled, generous donors who joyfully share their blessings with others has been an inspiration and enriched my life and that of my family.”

To provide a good leadership transition, the CCFESD Board of Directors designed a plan that includes Conzemius continuing as a consultant to the staff and Producer of the annual “Christmas at the Cathedral” concerts. “The core of our ministry is relationships. I’m grateful to be able to continue to provide a connection for the CCFESD with the many wonderful clergy and lay leaders that I’ve been privileged to work with over the past 29 years,” added Conzemius.

Tremendous Growth

Beginning as the first full-time employee in the fall of 1994, Conzemius has witnessed tremendous growth in the CCFESD’s impact. During that time, the CCFESD has grown from a $9 million foundation to a $147 million foundation, with another $129 million in future documented pledges and estate gifts. Over 134,000 gifts have been processed totaling over $311 million – all for the benefit of donor-designated charities. In addition to building up a source of sustainable income through endowments for parishes, schools and other ministries, the CCFESD has also played a lead role in capital projects, including the building of the Broom Tree Retreat Center, Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, Mater Ecclesiae Monastery for the Adoration Sisters, the restoration of the Cathedral and several parishes. “It’s amazing to think of how good God has been to His Church in eastern South Dakota through its good, faithful members,” said Conzemius. “While there are many challenges living in this post-Christendom era, I can already see how God is raising up many Catholic missionary leaders. And the CCFESD will be here to support God’s work through them.”

Searching for the next President/CEO

The CCFESD Board of Directors has established a Search Committee to oversee the process of recruiting and hiring its next President/CEO who will provide leadership, in collaboration with a dedicated Board of Directors and a talented staff of twenty, to establish and successfully implement strategic plans. They are looking for an accomplished leader with demonstrated success in relational fundraising, entrepreneurial thinking, planning and cultivating strategic partnerships. “The CCFESD is one of the most dynamic Catholic organizations of its type in the country,” Conzemius enthusiastically added. “If anyone is seeking a mission driven, servant leadership career, they should apply.” For more information visit, contact Twila Roman, Director of Human Resources at or by calling (605)988‐3741 to obtain a copy of the job description and details on how to apply.

“It has been a privilege, especially as a lay person, to work closely with four bishops, many holy clergy and religious, dedicated CCFESD and Diocesan staff – and especially to journey with individual donors and the beneficiaries that they support,” concluded Conzemius. “I totally believe in our lofty mission to help people grow deeper in love with Christ, by sharing their gifts in gratitude to God.”