Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thank You to Our Friends Who Made the New Website Possible

"Being and Acting as One" is really hard work under any circumstances.  The US Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph now have a tool that provides concrete ways for the sisters, associates and agregees to share their message of unioning love with all through our new website.  Visit us at .

This website would not have been possible without the voluntary assistance provided by several of our Congregations.  Two committees provided the muscle we needed to do the heavy lifting on this project.

The first committee was the one that proof read our proposal for the bidders who wanted to build our website. They provided valuable feedback and then evaluated the submissions we received from several companies.  The committee helped us evaluate whether the companies had the technical expertise we were looking for, the experience in creating the type of outcome we needed, and had a competitive pricing structure. 

Barbara Hecht
Jenny Beatrice

Our committee of 5 consisted of two public relations people, Barbara Hecht of the Baden CSJs and Jenny Beatrice from the Carondelet-St. Louis CSJs; our two technical experts, Sasha Josipovic from the Carondelet- St. Louis CSJs and Joe Favazza from the US Federation Office, and me, Sr. Patty Johnson, also from the US Federation Office. 

After reading the proposals and evaluating them, we concluded that the Hopeworks proposal was the one we recommended.  Hopeworks  provides learning opportunities for inner-city Camden, New Jersey youth, The heart of their program is technology training. They train their youth in state-of-the art computer applications: Web site design, geographic information services (GIS), computer networking and repair, and video.  Additionally, for the youth they work with they try to keep them in school and prepare them for good-paying jobs.  Many of the youth they serve are African-American and Hispanic youth between the ages of 17 and 25 who have dropped out of school.

I want to be clear; Hopeworks won the US Federation website development project totally on the merits of their proposal and experience.  They received no extra points for their mission.  They had the unanimous backing of the whole committee.  They were the right group for the job, as you will see if you visit our new website.

Sr. Joanne Gallagher
Dawn Gruba
So, then we had to develop our plan for the site.  Again, a volunteer committee really helped us make the important decisions.  This committee benefitted from the expertise of four professional communicators, Sr. Joanne Gallagher of the Boston CSJs, Stephanie Hall Cabelof from the Erie SSJs, Sr. Rosemary Noonan from Carondelet-Albany and Dawn Gruba from Rochester SSJs.  This group helped to determine the layout, color-scheme, look and feel of the website and type of content we would need.  The expertise of this group was invaluable.

Stephanie Hall Cabelof
Sr. Mary Rose Noonan

The adult/youth team from Hopeworks that worked on our project was Terran and Zjustyn.  They were easy to work with, flexible, and responsive to our suggestions.  Technology changes every day.  I was very impressed when they reworked a few pages to incorporate new and better technology that just became available.
Zjustyn and Terran

Last but surely not least is our administrative assistant at the US Federation Office and our new webmaster, Joe Favazza.  It was Joe’s expertise that helped us at every major decision point.  He researched all the tools that we are using on the website to ensure that they would achieve the goals that we set and were cost-efficient.  As my eyes would glaze over as he tried to explain a decision we had to make, he would patiently start over and try to explain it in a more basic way so that I was making informed decisions at every turn. 
Joe Favazza, Administrative Assistant and Web Master

And now on to the future.  We have several feature pages which be updated with new content on a regular basis.  Several people have volunteered to serve on the editorial boards for those sections:
  •  Justice and Peace Editorial Board: Marie Elaina Perales, Orange, and Esther Pineda, Concordia
  • Becoming a Sister: Jill Underdahl and Jean Marie Gocha, Carondelet
  • Archivists from each Congregation will be suggesting sisters to be featured on our history page.
  • We are looking for two or three people who might be willing to serve as the editorial board for the spirituality section. 

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