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Xavier Magazine | August 20, 2017

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Profile: Thomas Dierker

Profile: Thomas Dierker
By Skip Tate

Bachelor of Science in Business, 1990 | Executive director, Matthew Kelly Foundation in Cincinnati; Wife, Ann Marie, is a 1999 M.Ed. graduate

Road Untaken | He took a pre-law concentration but never pursued law school. Instead, he worked for seven years as a fund-raiser for St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati and two years selling investments.

Last Supper | “My wife and I used to take some of the Jesuit priests out to dinner, because we thought they would appreciate having someone treat them as regular people. We were having dinner with a former Xavier professor, Matt Gamber, and he said, ‘I have this guy, Matthew Kelly, coming to speak at Bellarmine Chapel. You should come see him.’ ”

Instant Connection | The energetic, Australian-born Kelly uses the problems of the modern world as the backdrop for his distinctly Christian, Catholic message. “I never heard anything like it in church. I introduced myself to Matthew and gave him my card. I told him if I could help him in any way to give me a call. He did.”

Lightbulb Moment | “I started helping him, and I found myself wanting to spend all my time on his work. After a year, I realized it was time to go.”

Down to Business | “Once I heard him, I knew there would be an incredible demand for him. But he was only doing 30 events a year because he didn’t have any staff and was trying to do everything himself. So I started handling the business details and some fund raising.”

Daily Grind | Dierker begins his work days at 6:45 a.m. He used to travel a lot with Kelly—who spends four months a year in Europe and Australia—but cut back after his son, Jude, was born last year.

On the Job | “People here call me the ‘Chief of Stuff.’ I spend 20 percent of my days meeting with the staff, 40 percent fund raising and 40 percent on publishing.”

Book Marks | Kelly has his own publishing company, Beacon Publishing, which Dierker runs. Kelly’s seven books are available in seven languages. “Every time we go to a high school, we give everyone a free copy,” says Dierker. “That’s also why we do fund raising. Many Catholic organizations survive on the benevolence of others, but 100 percent of our fund raising goes toward reducing the costs of the books so we can afford to get them to young people.”

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