OSV Institute Expands Ability to Support Catholic Partnerships

20 Feb 2020

OSV Institute (OSVi) enhances its ability to support parishes, dioceses, and organizations dedicated to advancing Catholic values nationwide by adding two new members to the team, including Matt Smith, Ph.D., as its new Director of Strategic Alliances and Jason Nees as its new Director of Marketing Services.

Huntington, IN: OSV Institute (OSVi) enhances its ability to support parishes, dioceses, and organizations dedicated to advancing Catholic values nationwide by adding two new members to the team, including Matt Smith, Ph.D., as its new Director of Strategic Alliances and Jason Nees as its new Director of Marketing Services.


Matt Smith - Director of Strategic Alliances

Matt Smith brings to OSVi 18 years of progressive success in academic, program assessment, management, and fundraising experience – all performed in an authentically Catholic environment.

Matt, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, comes to OSVi from the Fort Wayne-based University of St. Francis, which he joined as a professor in 2002. Smith’s responsibilities at the university increased in scope with his initial appointment as the university’s Director of Writing, followed by Department Chair, Director of General Education, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President of Institutional Advancement. In the last six years, Smith helped secure more than $33 million in grants and gifts to the university.

“Matt knows how to generate visibility and resources to grow Catholic programs and services,” said Jason Shanks, President of the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. “We are thrilled to have Matt on our team.”

As OSVi’s Director of Strategic Alliances, Matt will manage existing relationships while generating new opportunities on a national basis with Catholic institutions, service providers, start-up businesses, and Catholic ministries. Recent OSVi partnerships include support provided to the Word on Fire ministry founded by Bishop Robert Baron; Focus, the fellowship of Catholic University students; the Messy Family Project, dedicated to strengthening marriage and family life; ; Exodus Ninety Days, a 90-day spiritual exercise for men; and, V Encuentro, a national Hispanic and Latino ministry.

Beyond his extensive Catholic academic and institutional accomplishments, Matt has ongoing involvement in several civic, professional, and community organizations as a volunteer and board member. Matt earned his undergraduate degree at DePauw University, followed by masters and doctoral degrees at Purdue. He then served as a professor at colleges in Tennessee and Illinois before returning to Fort Wayne to teach at University of Saint Francis.


Jason Nees - Director of Marketing Services

Jason Nees joins OSVi with 15 years of professional experience in creative, marketing, and communications execution, direction, and leadership. Jason, also from Fort Wayne, comes to OSVi from Franklin Electric, a leading global manufacturer of systems focused on moving and managing water and fuel.

In his most recent role, Director, Branding & Innovation, Jason led a team of marketing and creative professionals responsible for marketing communications within the US/Canada Water Systems business unit of Franklin Electric, focused on developing and executing effective marketing strategies, creative solutions, and customer interactions.

In his longest standing role while at Franklin Electric as Director, Corporate Communications, Jason led a team of creative professionals responsible for the development and maintenance of the public image of the company. Jason and his team ensured appropriate and consistent visual representation of the brand in all company activities globally, internally and externally, including advertising, marketing collateral, website design and development, photography, video, trade shows, presentations, and communications.

In his new role as Director of Marketing Services for OSVi, Jason will be responsible for the direction and execution of all marketing, media, public relations, and communications provided to external entities working with OSVi, as well as developing and implementing strategies to build the OSVi brand nationally.

“Jason brings a broad knowledge of all aspects of marketing and communications,“ said Jason Shanks, President of OSV Institute. “He will not only be key in positioning OSVi as a Catholic thought leader but will be integral to providing strategic marketing support to grantees and those we fund through our innovation challenge.”

In recent years, OSVi has expanded its national reach by providing seed funding to innovative Catholic organizations whose missions align with the priorities of OSV.

“Both Matt and Jason bring the innovative and strategic thinking we need to identify, build, manage, and promote partnerships to strengthen our faith and fulfill the call of Jesus to become fishers of men,” said Shanks.

About OSV Institute: In 1915, Fr. John Francis Noll began the OSV Institute to extend the reach of Our Sunday Visitor in service and support of Catholic organizations. With over $75 million returned to Catholic organizations to date, the OSV Institute continues to serve the Church by supporting and encouraging innovative and effective Church-related programs and activities. Three areas of special interest for funding are Unaffiliated Millennials, Hispanic Experience and Parent Project. In 2017 the Institute expanded its reach to provide support for new innovation and to serve as an incubator for new efforts supporting the Catholic Church. Learn more at www.osvinstitute.com.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 20, 2020

Contact:
Jason Shanks
President of OSV Institute
jshanks@osv.com