By Michelle McDaniel
Special to The Texas Catholic
Michael Pazzaglini will retire from his seven-year tenure as CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of North Texas on Sept. 30. Prior to his employment, Pazzaglini served as a volunteer for 17 years.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul — a 60-year old, volunteer-driven service organization most known for its thrift stores and emergency assistance — underwent vast systematic and organizational improvement under Pazzaglini’s leadership.
“The goal of alleviating the corporal suffering of people is our main mode of operation, so that doesn’t go away. That’s always there,” Pazzaglini said. “But, if we can address that root cause that’s causing them to be in front of us asking for help, being so desperate that they need the help, if we can alleviate that suffering before it happens, then we should do that.”
Pazzaglini oversaw several initiatives, including the formation of the “Mini Loan Program” to help people combat predatory lending; a pharmacy which provides free medications; a program to help the unemployed find work; and more. The organization as a whole experienced over tenfold growth in revenue, providing St. Vincent de Paul more opportunities to help those in need.
“First and foremost, Mike is a leader… He’s got a burning passion for the work that St. Vincent de Paul does, which is helping those who are disadvantaged, especially economically, to survive and thrive and implement some things that will hopefully catch somebody when they need a hand,” St. Vincent de Paul Board President Sean Myers said.
Providing a much-needed healthcare hand is the pharmacy, which has filled over 50,000 prescriptions in the last three years. This initiative required an appeal to the legislature to change a state law, as the original rule required that all pharmacies have attached clinics.
Both physical and spiritual health are important to Pazzaglini.
“The goal of our organization is to grow our members in holiness, and spiritual growth is a key component of serving people, and that allows us to encounter the face of Christ during those interactions,” he said. “We’ve been doing that right along, and now we have a lot more tools in our tool kit to help people out of their situations.”
In retirement, the soon-to-be former CEO plans to become a consultant, working remotely to help people with the experience he has gained at St. Vincent de Paul, and looks forward to spending more time with his wife.
“Mike’s a great guy and well-liked by all, but he’s also someone who gets things done… He’s somebody who’s contributed greatly to our community,” Catholic Charities Dallas President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Woodyard said.
Pazzaglini shared that he will miss the people he works with and is grateful for the experiences he has had through St. Vincent de Paul.
“I can’t say thank you enough for the opportunity to get to know the community, to be a part of the community, and to get to make such wonderful relationships and friendships with people across the board. It’s been wonderful. It’s been a great experience. I just want to say thank you.”