DIOCESAN FINANCE COUNCIL OVERVIEW

A Diocesan Finance Council is required by canon law in every diocese (see canon law summary below).  The members of the DFC provide advice to the diocesan Bishop about financial matters affecting the diocese.  The Memphis DFC meetings are attended by the Bishop, the Vicar General, the Moderator of the Curia, the Judicial Vicar/Chancellor, six appointed priests, and ten lay people who are expert in financial affairs and civil law and are appointed by the Bishop. The Diocesan CFO and Controller also attend all meetings. The Council meetings occur every other month on the last Thursday at 3:30pm and is chaired by the Bishop appointed Chair Person.

Within the DFC, there are four subcommittees which can meet outside of the full DFC meetings to conduct business and then report back to the full DFC and in turn make recommendations to the Bishop.  All lay members and appointed priests make up the subcommittees and the subcommittee chair is one of the lay members and is appointed by the Bishop. The subcommittees are:

  1. Audit Committee – This committee is responsible for the overview of the independent audit of the books and records of the Diocese.  They meet with the audit firm and financial staff prior to the audit to assist in scope and setting of fees, are responsible for the selection or retention of the audit firm, and review the preliminary audit report before it is deemed final. Finally, this committee assists the Bishop in presenting to the DFC the final yearend financial statements for all entities under the sponsorship of the Ordinary.
  2. Budget Committee – This committee is responsible for the fiscal year budget of all income and expense items for the Diocese.  The committee meets with the individual stakeholders to review and, as appropriate, revise budget numbers to ensure that a balanced budget is submitted to the DFC for final review followed by recommendation to the Bishop.
  3. Revenue, Banking and Investments Committee – this committee has oversight for the Diocesan financial investments and revenue earned.  They provide oversite to the money managers for the diocesan investments and deliver to the DFC an update on what investments have been made and a summary of returns earned, including a comparison to industry benchmarks.  Additionally, this committee reviews banking relationships, both lending and transactional, to ensure that daily financial transactions are safe, secure and diversified. Finally, this committee meets with the parish pastors and finance councils to review and recommend approval or denial to the Bishop for all projects which exceed the pastors’ spending limit. 
  4. Compensation and Benefits Committee – this committee provides oversite and recommendations to the Bishop for all compensation levels, annual cost of living increases and diocesan employee benefits. It also reviews compensation and benefits for both retired lay and priests.

DIOCESAN FINANCE COUNCIL MEMBERS

Joe Evangelisti, Council Chair, serves as an Executive Vice President with First Horizon Bank, which is headquartered in Memphis, one of the largest banks in the southeastern US.  His 40 plus year career with First Horizon includes leadership positions in National Accounts, International Banking, Credit and Operational Risk Management and Chair of a Corporate Governance Committee.  He currently leads the Financial Technology partnership initiative for the bank.  He has served as a member of the Finance Council since February of 2008.  He is also a Knight Commander in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Joe’s current term ends June 30, 2023. joe.evangelisti@cc.cdom.org

John Bossier retired from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he managed the university’s Employee Health and Safety programs. He and his wife, Angelique, are parishioners at the Catholic Church of the Resurrection, where he served on the Parish Council for 10 years, and currently serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee. He is a member, and Past Grand Knight, of Knights of Columbus Council 10327. John’s term will run through June 30, 2026. john.bossier@cc.cdom.org

Christy Cornell is Vice President, Wealth Management with Raymond James & Associates, and has been a financial advisor for 20 years. She received both her Executive Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Memphis. She is a lifelong community volunteer and has served on the following non-profit boards: Diocese of Memphis Housing Board, Habitat for Humanity, Christ Community Healthcare, Junior League of Memphis, Hope House, Thrive Memphis, as well as on the Pastoral Council and other positions as an active parishioner of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Christy and her husband Steve Knott live in midtown, and have three children. Christy’s term will run through June 30, 2026. christi.cornell@cc.cdom.org

Jim McMahon, Chair of the Budget Committee has a degree in accounting and finance from Marquette University and began his career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago. He joined ServiceMaster initially as VP Internal Audit, then as VP of Financial Planning & Analysis and moved to Memphis to serve as Sr. VP & CFO of Terminix. After leaving Terminex in 2003, Jim served as Sr. VP & CFO for the Trauma Division of Smith & Nephew before joining American Residential Services in 2006 in a similar role. In 2015 Jim was recognized as CFO of the Year by the Memphis Business Journal. Jim serves on numerous boards in Memphis, including Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis, The AutoZone Liberty Bowl, the CFO Advisory Committee for ALSAC, and Ave Maria Nursing Home. Jim has served on the finance council since November of 2006. Jim and his wife Denice live in Germantown, TN and have two children. Jim’s current term runs until June 30, 2022. jim.mcmahon@cc.cdom.org

Tom Scherer, Chair of the Revenue, Banking, Investment & Facilities Committee, has retired from ServiceMaster where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Tom is currently the Co-Chair of the Investment Committee and Treasurer for the Assisi Foundation of Memphis and the Chair of the Investment Committee for St. Agnes Academy/St. Dominic School. He also served on the Diocese of Memphis Development Board from 1997 until 2006. Tom was appointed to the Diocesan Finance Council in June 2006 and his current term ends June 30, 2026. tom.scherer@cc.cdom.org

Sam King, Chair of the Pension, Employee Compensation & Benefits Committee has been with Pinnacle Financial Partners since 2015 as a financial advisor and area manager.   Prior to that, he was with First Horizon Bank for 24 years in several positions with the last being SVP in the Diversity Banking division.  He has served as a board member and treasurer at Omnicare HMO and was the chair of the Finance Council at St. Augustine Catholic Church from 2005 to July 2019. Sam’s current term ends June 30, 2026. sam.king@cc.cdom.org

Greg Barnes is the Memphis Office Managing Partner for KPMG LLP, a position that he has held for nine years. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst and has over 30 years of public accounting experience. Greg was appointed to the Diocesan Finance Council in November of 2018 and his current term ends June 30, 2023. greg.barnes@cc.cdom.org

Jonathan Frase holds a bachelor of science degree in aerospace and a minor in business from Middle Tennessee State University and is the owner and President of Frase Protection, a second generation home security firm with 25 employees. He also serves as a board member and treasurer for both Guiding Star Memphis and the Order of Malta Memphis Chapter and is an active parishioner of the Church of the Holy Spirit. He has been married for 16 years and counting and is the father of three children. Jonathan was appointed to the Diocesan Finance Council in November 2018 and his current term ends June 30, 2023. jonathon.frase@cc.cdom.org

Ross Harris is the CEO of A3 Freight Payment, a business process outsourcing firm for freight payables. Ross has previously served in other executive roles in that industry including CFO for U.S. Bank’s PowerTrack division and Executive Vice President of AIMS Logistics. He is a CPA and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He received a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Christian Brothers University and a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Memphis. Ross was appointed to the Diocesan Finance Council in November 2011 and his current term ends June 30, 2026. ross.harris@cc.cdom.org

Ali Sinkular has a background which encompasses over 25 years of accounting experience primarily in the public accounting sector, including eight years with a national firm and 11 years with a regional firm. She joined Reynolds Bone & Griesbeck in 2014 and currently serves as the firm’s Partner in-charge of the Accounting and Auditing practice. Ali is a graduate of Delta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy and has significant experience in auditing a variety of entities such as, non-profits, private schools, colleges and universities, private foundations, manufacturing and distribution entities, employee benefit plans and real estate. Her affiliations include memberships in the AICPA, the TSCPA and she is also a member of the Board of Directors and the Vice-Chair for Momentum Nonprofit Partners. Ali’s term will run through June 30, 2026. ali.sinkular@cc.cdom.org

Msgr. Victor Ciaramitaro
Fr. Richard Coy
Fr. Dennis Schenkel
Fr. Gerald Azike
Fr. Jose’ Cruz Zapata
Fr. Mike Werkhoven

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