Interview with Pat Ormsby

Patrick Murphy: This Patrick Murphy. I am speaking with Pat Ormsby, who's one of the Vice-Chairs for the Continuing Our Journey of Faith campaign for the Augustinians. Pat is the president of Bimba Manufacturing, which has 4 plants and 600 employees. The company specializes in pneumatics and hydraulics for factory automation and manufacturing robotics.

Pat is also on the board of Illinois Manufacturers' Association and is a graduate, class of 1964, of Mendel Catholic High School, which was a Augustinian high school in the south side of Chicago. I want to thank you once again, Patrick, for taking the time to speak with us.

Pat Ormsby: It's my pleasure, Patrick.

Murphy: All right. Well, I have a few questions just about why is it that you are helping us with this campaign. You're very busy with family business, being the president of Bimba Manufacturing and with other major charitable commitments. Why are you helping this special Continuing Our Journey of Faith campaign for the Augustinians?

Ormsby: Well, besides Michael Gerrity who's the head of development for the Augustinian who put a lot of pressure on me, there really are some good reasons why I'm involved. The Augustinians were really... Really had a significant influence on me at Mendel Catholic High School, especially after my father died in my freshman year. They had an influence at my maturing into a young man.

In addition, they were instrumental in providing a scholarship for me to finish high school there, which I wouldn't have been able to do had they not, given our family financial circumstances. I feel like I owe the Augustinians a huge debt.

Murphy: Now just out of curiosity, because I think a lot of our listeners, they've come into contact with a lot of the Augustinians throughout the years, are there any particular Augustinians in mind that really helped form you along those years?

Ormsby: Well, actually, yes, Father Jack Gavin, who just recently passed away, was a big influence on me. Bishop McNabb, who was principal at Mendel when I was there, had a significant influence on me. One of my classmates at Mendel was Father Rich McGrath who's Headmaster [or President] at Providence High School. Those were the ones that really had the biggest influence on me.

Of course, many of the lay teachers and coaches at Mendel, I played a lot of sports. They, as a group, I guess I would say, helped raise me.

Murphy: Okay, yeah. I met quite a handful of those guys and they are really special people, and they travel the world and made a huge impact on a lot of people's lives.

Ormsby: Yes.

Murphy: I know that fund raising is no easy business. For you, what are the most challenging aspects of volunteering to help raise funds and what helps you to push through and ask people?

Ormsby: Well, yeah, I think just being able to set the time aside from your schedule. I'm involved in a lot of things in a number of non-profits. For me to take this challenge on really meant that I had to actually free up some time to make phone calls and get prepared for making those calls.

In terms of... It's really not my most favorite thing to call and ask people to contribute to a cause, but this is a cause I believe in. I feel like the Augustinians have done a lot for me and for a number of my classmates at Mendel, and I just keep that in mind when I'm making the calls and asking.

Murphy: That's great. I know it does take the time to set aside. I think the people that do take your calls, they're appreciative of it that you do take the time to reach them. It is challenging work. The Augustinians, I know, are very grateful for it.

Ormsby: Well, you made a good point. I have had a number of comments from people I've talked to who have thanked me for helping the Augustinians. I was surprised they would, but you're exactly right on that.

Murphy: Great. Well, if you could think of one or two reasons why others, whether if it's an alumni from Mendel or other schools or parishioners, why they should go the extra mile to make a special gift to this capital campaign. What would those reasons be?

Ormsby: Well, I think the capital campaign that we're in right now is really a... Has not been done very much. You'll see a lot of organizations, a lot of religious groups and regular fundraisers, but the Augustinians haven't done that. This is a rare campaign, and the need is there just as it is on a number of organizations.

The Augustinians worked tirelessly, I know, when I was in high school, educating a... We're apparently a large high school back in the '60s. I think there were 1,600 men or boys at Mendel. It was quite a chore trying to educate us. I've seen them doing that at other high schools at the Chicago area, at Villanova, giving their time to help in parishes in Chicago. They're in need of our help now, and I think that's a good reason for people to get behind this campaign.

Murphy: I think it's a great reason, too. That leads into my last question. When you're talking about the service that the Augustinians are currently doing, how do you think that the Augustinians are relevant to date? We live in a society that's very secular. There's a lot going on. I know this is generalization, but how do you think that the Augustinians are still relevant?

Ormsby: Well, you're right. Our society is becoming more and more secular, which just emphasizes the need for education and teaching with a moral overhang to it. The Augustinians continue to do that, and other religious groups do also. I feel they're all relevant, whether it be the Augustinians or the Jesuits or whatever. They're providing an alternative in terms of education and I think that clearly makes them relevant.

They're still following their mission of service and that also includes the parishes they serve in, the missions they have in Peru. That alone makes them very relevant in terms of what they're accomplishing in today's world.

Murphy: That's great. I think that there's many people that would agree with you. Thank you very much. Once again, thank you very much for your time and all you're doing for the campaign. I know it's no easy work but it's very important work. A lot of people are very grateful for it. Once again, thank you for taking up the time today and speak with us.

Ormsby: Well, I welcome the campaign as ... We're right in the middle of it. There's still a lot to do. Any one that hears this interview that hasn't participate, I urge you to participate and we'll meet the goal.

Murphy: Thank you very much, Pat. For more information, please visit There's more information about the campaign. You can learn more about some of the campaign volunteers and reach out to us to learn anything more. Once again, thank you very much and have a blessed day.

Ormsby: Thank you.



Posted on November 20, 2014 and filed under Pat Ormsby.