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Former trustee honored as Catholic business leader

Yvonne Houle-Gillard ’91
Yvonne Houle-Gillard ’91

For her service as “an exemplary role model for others,” Yvonne Houle-Gillard ’91 has been named a 2012 “Leading with Faith” award winner by The Catholic Spirit newspaper. She and nine others accepted their awards from Archbishop John C. Nienstedt at a noon luncheon held at St. Catherine University on Aug. 15.

Since 2002 The Catholic Spirit has honored business owners, managers and executives whose business practices reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church. Nominations come from parish members and others within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Winners fall into three categories: large business, small business and nonprofit organizations.

Houle-Gillard, consumer/office IT manager at 3M Co., was nominated for her ethics and integrity both on and off the job. With a new company-wide computer system on the horizon, she has been proactive in arranging for IT employees to have the training and knowledge needed to move forward in their careers at 3M after the transition.

Away from the workplace she serves at the Church of St. Peter in Mendota as parish council member, choir member, church cantor and religious education teacher.

“Yvonne is an exceptional example of ‘leading with faith,’” says St. Catherine Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance SP’70, who nominated Houle-Gillard for the honor. “She brings her faith into every aspect of her work and interactions with others. She is an exemplary mother, spouse, business leader and volunteer.”

Houle-Gillard devotes many of those volunteer hours to her alma mater. She is a member of the St. Catherine University Alumnae Council and served on the Board of Trustees for three years while president of the Alumnae Association. She helped guide the University through two significant changes: the transition from the College of St. Catherine to St. Catherine University, which took effect June 1, 2009, and the formerly freestanding Alumnae Association’s integration into the University as a department in the External Relations division, which is headed by Mathison Hance.

Ruth Haag Brombach ’60, St. Catherine University alumnae liaison, describes Houle-Gillard’s leadership during these transitions. “She was a direct, insightful leader who managed the alumnae organization using the terrific skills that she has — business leadership, the ability to look into the future — all done in a framework of ethics and honor. She did a skillful job of asking the right questions, pulling out the right information, pointing out difficulties and moving ahead.”

Houle-Gillard says it was particularly meaningful to receive this award on the St. Catherine campus, surrounded by family and friends. She speaks humbly about her accomplishments. “I’ve just been doing what my parents and mother-in-law have done all their lives — being active in their community.”

Click here to learn about all of the 2012 “Leading with Faith” award winners.

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Aug. 19, 2012 by Deb Olsen Jacobe ’82

See also: Alumnae/i, Business, Catholic Identity, Leadership