The Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Indianapolis Archdiocesan Council, Inc. (SVdP) is pleased to announce the appointment of its next president, Paul Ainslie. A long-time SVdP volunteer, Ainslie will begin his three-year term in October 2020. “It’s always meant a lot to me to be a part of this dedicated army of volunteers,” says Ainslie. “Every time I am at the pantry or at another SVdP event, I’m inspired by the number of people who put their heart and soul into helping others in our community.”
Ainslie begin volunteering with SVdP in 2009 at the Boulevard Place Food Pantry (in its former home at St. Thomas Aquinas). He joined the Immaculate Heart Conference of SVdP in 2017 as Treasurer, a position he still holds. Additionally, he helps bag and deliver groceries to shut-ins through the Pratt-Quigley Pantry.
“All of these volunteer roles have heightened my awareness of the needs in the Indianapolis community,” he shares.
As Ainslie comes into the role, he intends to build on the work of current president, John Ryan. “Over the past six years, John has worked to address the quality and quantity of food we’re able to provide. Additionally, the organization has opened two retail stores and put more of an organizational structure in place under his tenure,” says Ainslie. “He has created a legacy that has made a tremendous impact, and I’m grateful to have such a strong foundation upon which to build.”
Ainslie’s Focus: Wrap-around Services and Statewide Connections
Ainslie says SVdP is a great fit for him because he’s long been an advocate of social justice—a believer in living out Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, so you do unto me.”
He wants to bring greater coordination and organization to the programs SVdP offers, so when someone comes to SVdP for assistance, there is a set of wrap-around services that addresses the multiple needs an individual may be facing. “We’re able to meet many of our neighbors’ needs for food and clothing, and we have elements of other services that help develop life skills,” he explains. “I want to bring all that together in a more coordinated way, creating a suite of services that empowers our clients and enables them to leverage available resources to make lasting changes in their lives.”
Additionally, Ainslie wants to reach out to counties outside of Indianapolis. He said the Council includes 35 counties across the state and he believes there are opportunities to share best practices as well as support one another.
“There are strong leaders in all these other areas. I want to connect us better and look for synergies and ways to support one another,” he says.
A Heart for Impacting the Community
In addition to SVdP, Ainslie volunteers as the Outreach Commission Chairperson at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and serves on the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. He also spent five years as the managing director of the Indiana STEM Resource Network, hosted by Purdue University.
Ainslie is a retired executive who spent much of his career in the automotive sector. He and his wife, Karen, have been married 45 years. They have two children and three grandchildren.