Nicole Lecheler, Diocese of San Jose
Tell us about your personal background. Where you grew up, born and raised, family etc.
I was born in Fort Collins, CO, in the same hospital as my mother. I moved to the Bay Area when I was a year old. I grew up primarily in San Jose, attending Catholic School from kindergarten through high school. After high school I attended Colorado State University and earned my BA in Liberal Arts with a minor in Media Studies. After college in search of a better job market, I moved back to San Jose. I have a younger brother and sister-in-law and am the proud aunt to an adorable little girl named Aubrey. She is the love of my life. I also have a fur baby named Calvin. He is a 10 year old schnaupin (mini schnauzer/mini pinscher mix). I adopted him and we have been inseparable ever since. Calvin comes into the office with me almost daily, and is one spoiled little guy.
What about your professional background. Work experience, etc.
After moving back to the Bay Area, I worked for the Diocese of San Jose in the Department of Education for 2 years. I then worked for a library automation company for 2 years as a regional account manager. I have also worked in the development office of my HS alma mater, Notre Dame High School, and was a marketing and admissions coordinator for another local Catholic grade school. I have worked for Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose for 5 years, starting as a marketing assistant and now lead the Outreach department as Supervisor. In addition I have had a few fun part-time jobs here and there, including with the San Jose Giants, the A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, and the Santa Cruz Warriors, the D-league affiliate of the Golden State Warriors.
How did you get into the Cemetery business?
I think it was fate. When I was in college I lived with my elderly grandparents. My grandfather died suddenly my sophomore year, just before fall finals. We were extremely close and it was very hard. In the process of working with the Funeral Home on his arrangements, I was impressed with their service and their compassion. I looked into going to Funeral Director school in Littleton, CO, but decided it would be best to continue my education at Colorado State. After the being laid off during the great recession, I conducted a job search on the Diocesan website and saw the position for marketing assistant at Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose. I knew it was a calling, and I got the job. I have never looked back.
Tell us your thoughts about CCW.
I am relatively new to the CCW family. I have only been a member for 2 years, and have only attended 2 conventions. From what I have experienced so far, CCW is a great group of people, from cemeterians to vendors. It has a grassroots feel, and is a great place to learn, gain new insight, and share ideas. Everyone is very supportive of one another. I do see great potential by revitalizing the organization with new, younger faces and am excited to serve on the board to hopefully bring new, fresh ideas.
What do you do for fun when not at work?
Hobbies, travel etc.Fun, outside of work? Hmmm…I don’t have a lot of time outside of work to enjoy much. I am currently working on getting my Masters in Nonprofit Management at Regis University in Denver (online program). In the little spare time I have, I love to travel and cook. I enjoy sporting events (go Giants and 49ers), live music, wine tasting, and the theater. I also participate in local 10k races, and actually enjoy working out. I love hanging out with my year and a half old niece, friends and family, and relaxing in the mountains.