It started with a few of us talking about today’s economic uncertainties and the need for Catholic businesses to support one another. “Wouldn’t it be great," we thought, "If we could keep money spent by Catholics 'in the family' by directing business from Catholics in the pews to Catholic businesses?” A couple months went by and in our conversations with family, friends, and fellow parishioners the topic always seemed to turn towards families struggling financially. Whether it was an inability to live on one income, trouble saving for a down payment, worrying about affording another child, or a mountain of student loans, it became clear that our Catholic families needed help.
So we decided to form the St. Joseph Business Guild to do just that: help Catholic families flourish financially in these uncertain times. How? By helping Catholic businessmen and women network, get a better job, find customers and clients, get advice, and find mentors.
We're all in this together. Now is the time to band together to help others help themselves.
Roger spent 30 years working at Vasko Rubbish Removal, the family business started by his dad in 1968. He began driving on a garbage route in high school and bought the company with his younger brother Gary at the age of 28. The business expanded into different types of services including roll off boxes for construction sites and a solid waste transfer station and public pay dump. His areas of responsibility were sales & customer service management, advertising & marketing, and human resources. Roger currently serves as a parish trustee and on the finance council at St. Peter in North St. Paul and on the Grants Committee of the Catholic Community Foundation.
Jeff is a Strategic/Operational Executive focused on developing/executing strategies that drive growth while delivering exceptional strategic, financial and customer outcomes. Operations, sales, and business unit experience developing sustainable/scalable capabilities while leading initiatives that improve capacity, reduce costs, and deliver best in class customer experiences. Ability to influence at all levels and manages diverse groups of people.
Currently Jeff is teaching a class on Entrepreneurship to middle grade students at St. Peter’s Catholic School and is currently a member of the School Advisory Committee.
Currently specializing in small business solutions for Paychex, Bret Sutton works with mission-oriented organizations that need out-of-box thinking and team building where he puts his revenue-building, community-engagement, and entrepreneurial skills to work, spearheading new ideas, concepts, and methods in conjunction with time-tested strategies for advancing sustainable models. The North Dakota native traveled extensively throughout Europe after attending the University of St. Thomas, ending up in the Metro NYC area where he met and married his wife in 2005 and then convinced her to move back to the Twin Cities, where he is now the proud father of five children.
Dr. Michael Naughton, Director, Center for Catholic Studies
Anne Cullen Miller, President, Catholic Community Foundation
Richard Aleman, Former Executive Director, American Chesterton Society
Bob Harvey, Owner, Edelweiss Design
Fr. Spencer Howe, Pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church
Fr. Byron Hagan, Pastor of St. Mary’s, Lowertown St. Paul
What is a guild?A guild is an association of workers for collaborative aid and self-help inspired by spiritual values. Guilds were prevalent in medieval times and, generally speaking, they were groups of craftsman and merchants in England and elsewhere who submitted themselves to a system of mutual aid, but also to mutual discipline. Guilds had the effect of leading to the best pay and working conditions for the ordinary working man for five centuries! Learn more about the history of the guilds here.
Why was the Guild started?The Guild was started to support families. We want to direct our business and best jobs to faithful Catholics who support our parishes and schools. The Guild crosses boundaries of parish, age, and occupation and provides the platform, tools, and networking opportunities to assist a community of Catholics help each other.
Who are members of the Guild?Our members are Catholic men and women who are working hard to provide for their families. They are young and old, novices and experts, students and retirees, employees and employers of all occupations. We group our members into one of six categories: Business Owner- Owner of a for-profit business that employs at least one other employee. Student- High School, Vocational, or College student. Entrepreneur- Owner of a for-profit business with no employees, aspiring business owner, free-lancer. Mentor- Experienced businessperson willing to share skills, knowledge, and expertise with others. Individual Member- Employed, unemployed looking for work, student in search of an internship. Parish/Non-Profit- Parishes and non-profit organizations
What benefits does membership provide me?Access to our Guild Member Directory Business owners will find qualified employees to grow their companies to a new level. Job seekers will be provided the contacts to find career changing jobs. Entrepreneurs will be informed of business opportunities based on the needs of our Catholic community. Mentors will give practical advice to new and existing businesses owners. Our business directory provides businesses with a customer base without the cost of advertising.
What does a normal meeting look like?The Guild holds quarterly meetings for all members, which have previously included Mass, Adoration & Benediction, networking time, dinner, lectures, and member spotlights. Networking meetings are also periodically held at a brewery or bar over happy hour.
Do I have to pay to be a member of the Guild?Dues vary depending on one's member type. The annual dues schedule is as follows:
What are the expectations of a Guild member?Guild members are expected to follow the precepts of the Catholic Church and to practice relational networking – giving without the expectation of receiving in return. Guild members should have a desire to help other members find jobs, employees or business contacts. The Guild seeks members’ commitment of enthusiasm for our mission, not a commitment of time.