Jesse Brunette was appointed as St. John’s Ministries’ Executive Director on October 2, 2023. He leads the strategic direction and operations of two homeless shelters and two daytime resource centers.
“After an extensive interview process that lasted six months, with a number of highly qualified candidates, the board of directors stood unanimously behind selecting Jesse,” said St. John’s Ministries’ board of directors’ chair Dennis Grusnick. “His experience, leadership, knowledge, and vision for the future made him the ideal choice to take St. John’s Ministries to the next level.”
Brunette will succeed Dr. Alexia Wood, who will transition to Executive Director of The Gateway Collective, which oversees Socially Inclusive Housing.
“As wonderful as life is in Green Bay, there are some among us who are struggling with a variety of issues that have caused them to experience homelessness or housing instability,” Brunette said. “The mission of St. John’s Ministries is critically important as we encounter, assist, and encourage people along their paths from homelessness to stable housing. It is an honor to lead and represent our staff, volunteers, and donors as we impact more lives through our many values, most specifically hope, love, and compassion.”
Brunette has spent much of his professional life advocating to meet the needs of Green Bay residents and to elevate the quality of life for all. As a dedicated, well-respected member of the community, he brings nearly 10 years of leadership experience in faith-based non-profit organizations. During his time at St. John’s Ministries, Brunette has been responsible for building relationships with ecumenical partners and engaging the community about the mission of St. John’s Ministries.
He has a deep understanding and appreciation for partnerships and collaborations within social ministry, including service to the homeless and those facing housing instability. In addition, he has a strong understanding of social service delivery, trauma-informed care, mental health, substance abuse, and the financial and housing-related difficulties guests at St. John’s Ministries face. He served Catholic Charities through a variety of roles over a 9-year tenure, including financial counseling and education, administrative management, parish and community engagement, and social ministry. He gained valuable experience in strategic and organizational leadership, financial management, advocacy for underserved populations, and program support.
“Jesse is deeply invested in the mission and vision at St. John’s Ministries,” said Grusnick. “He demonstrates care and compassion for those we serve and has a deep understanding of our mission. Jesse will create lasting change in moving the organization forward. His experience serving in non-partisan civic government for 12 years and currently as City Council President equips him with the knowledge and understanding of the ever-changing needs in the Green Bay community, as well as the resources available to support individuals in need.”
The Gateway Collective, a new non-profit formed out of St. John’s Ministries in March, will focus on homelessness prevention with Socially Inclusive Housing. While both organizations differ, they will work in tandem to tackle homelessness and housing instability from different perspectives.
Brunette, a native of Green Bay, earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Services Administration from Silver Lake College in Manitowoc. After beginning his career in banking and then manufacturing sales, he transitioned to the non-profit world in 2013 and served nine years with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay.
When Brunette is not serving in his role at St. John’s Ministries, you can find him enjoying life with his wife and children while they laugh, learn, raise pets, explore nature, and attend various sporting events. He also keeps busy as a representative in local, nonpartisan government.