Executive Director Announcement

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West Side Catholic Center, one of Cleveland’s premier social service agencies, today announced its Board of Directors has selected John Litten as the organization’s new Executive Director.  The announcement follows a four-month search undertaken after current Executive Director Anita Cook’s announcement in March that she would be retiring in September of 2017.  Litten currently serves as the Executive Director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.  He and Cook will begin a one-month transition starting in September. 

“We believe that John will be a transformational leader for West Side Catholic Center as it continues to serve both the immediate, short-term needs of the clients and the long-term goals of putting them on the path to self-sufficiency,” says Christopher Koehler, Board President. “John immediately stood out as someone who has the experience in addressing the challenges that our homeless population faces on a daily basis.” 

“Anita has been a mentor to me for the past five years, so I know firsthand how good she is, and what a challenge I will have to rise up to the bar she has set for West Side Catholic Center,” remarked Litten.  “I welcome this opportunity with open arms, and look forward to working with the wonderful staff and volunteers.”

“I am excited to work with John as we transition the leadership of the WSCC,” says Cook.  “John is passionate about the work we do and will bring new spirit and energy to the organization. I am grateful to Chris Koehler, Board President, and the Search Committee for the time and effort put into this process. It was thoughtful and inclusive and resulted in an excellent choice.”

Prior to serving as Executive Director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Litten served as Director of Camp Christopher where he also was employed as Program Coordinator prior to being Executive Director.  Litten holds a Master of Public Administration from Cleveland State University and a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Ohio University. The eldest of six children, this Cleveland native is a graduate of St. Edward High School and resides in Lakewood with his wife, Carrie Anne, and three children. He is Ward 3 Councilman in Lakewood and is a member of St. Luke the Evangelist Church.

For additional information, contact Jennifer Highfield at 216-631-4741.