Meet the Irish Fest General Chairs
Catholic Charities is honored to have The Janie and Harry Hoch, Jr. Family serve as our 2022 Irish Fest Chairs:
Laura and Tyler Williams
Maureen and Harry Hoch III
Melissa and Tyler Laflin
Megan and Michael Hoch
In the Parable of the Talents, we learned that it is our responsibility as Christians to use what God has given us to bring Him glory and honor. That is exactly what Janie and Harry Hoch, Jr. and their family are known for doing. And the communities within which they have lived and served are very much the better for their selfless leadership and tireless devotion to giving back – whenever and wherever there is a need.
Their community service work in Grand Island, where they spent 35+ years running a successful business (H & H Distributing) and raising their four children – is legendary. From serving on the PTA at their children’s school to serving on numerous local, state and national boards – including the Stuhr Museum Foundation, the Grand Island Community Foundation, Hope Harbor and Central Catholic Foundation – they have invested their “talents” wisely and without seeking recognition or acclaim.
Over the years, three of Janie and Harry’s four children moved to Omaha. So, it was no surprise when they too moved back to Omaha in 2015 to be closer to family and to return to their roots. Today, they enjoy spending time with their ten grandchildren and have continued their dedicated community service here in Omaha.
Those who know the Hochs know that family comes first with them. In keeping with the theme for this year’s Irish Fest – Generations: honoring the past, serving the present, building the future – the Hochs have instilled this gift for service in their entire family. All of their children and their spouses are active in their churches, children’s schools, and in a variety of nonprofits.
The Hochs also continue to pass their Catholic beliefs onto their grandchildren. A belief that is grounded in their own upbringings – Janie’s brother, Father Mel Merwald, was a priest in the Omaha Archdiocese for nearly 40 years. He also served as the executive director of United Catholic Social Services, known today as Catholic Charities of Omaha, from 1982 to 1990. Catholic Charities is honored to be presenting the Third Annual Fr. Mel Merwald Spirit of Courage Award to a deserving program client at this year’s Irish Fest.
Many thanks to the Hoch Family for serving as our General Chairs for this year's Irish Fest!