SSJ Mission & Ministries Staff





Almitra Clerkin
Executive Director

Almitra “Almi” Clerkin serves as executive director of the Sisters of St. Joseph Mission & Ministries Foundation. Almi joined the Foundation from Gannon University, where she has served as director of stewardship and planned giving, campaign director, mission advancement officer, and associate vice president. For many years, Almi’s name was synonymous with the Erie Playhouse, where she served from 1992 to 2017 – first as Youtheatre director, then development director , and ultimately as executive director. Almi also has a long history with the Sisters of St. Joseph. She is a 1981 graduate of Villa Maria Academy, and a former VMA faculty member, director of development, and musical director.

Almi Clerkin






Cathy Fresch
Campaign Manager

Cathy Fresch joined the SSJ Mission & Ministries Foundation as its Campaign Manager/Major Gift Officer. Cathy comes to the Foundation with 26 years of experience in advancement/fundraising –three years as Development Coordinator at Erie Day School and 23 years as Director of Alumni Services and Director of Development at Gannon University. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in general sciences from Hiram College and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University. After an 18-year career in healthcare, she found her second calling helping organizations advance their missions through development and fundraising. Cathy has volunteered for countless organizations throughout the area, including serving on the boards of Erie Homes for Children and Adults, the Junior League of Erie, and the Erie Area Fund for the Arts. 

Cathy Fresch

Carol Herrmann
Development Associate

Carleen Onuschak