Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Michael McLaughlin, November 19, 1990

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:05 - Childhood and family

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Partial Transcript: This is an oral history interview with Mike McLaughlin, president of the Christian Appalachian Project.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about growing up in Ohio. He talks about his siblings, and his father who worked as a teacher and then as a scrap iron dealer.

Keywords: Brothers; Businesses; Colleges; Family; Farmers; Fathers; Germantown (Ohio); Grandparents; Harvard College; Heart attacks; Jobs; Knoxville (Tenn.); Middletown (Ohio); Mothers; Psychology; Schools; Scrap iron; Selling; Siblings; Sisters; Summer jobs; Teachers; University of Dayton

Subjects: Careers.; Childhood; Education, Higher; Families.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:05:22 - Career and decision to work at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Uh, so after Tennessee, uh, where'd you go from there?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about his career as a personnel director and how he came to work for Christian Appalachian Project.

Keywords: Business; Children; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Daughters; Development districts; Employment; Family; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Garrard County (Ky.); Industrial relations; Jobs; Nicholasville (Ky.); Nurses; Personnel directors; Quitting; Tennessee; Unemployed; Wife; Wives

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Families.; Kentucky.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:08:35 - First meeting Father Beiting

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Partial Transcript: What'd she tell you about Father Beiting?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about his job interview with Father Beiting and his impressions of the founder of Christian Appalachian Project.

Keywords: Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Darkness; Delays; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Guarded responses; Job interviews; Management; Offices; Personality; Questions; Salary; Secretive

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:12:59 - Being hired at Christian Appalachian Project, salary, and job description

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Partial Transcript: Well, how did it compare to other like employment situations you'd been into?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about decision-making at Christian Appalachian Project when he was hired in 1974. He talks about negotiating his salary. He talks about his lack of official job description and talks about some of his early duties.

Keywords: 1974; Authority; Base pay; Berea (Ky.); Bonuses; Camp Nelson; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Comparisons; Decision-making; Decisions; Employment; Functions; General managers; Hired; Income; Industrial development; Jackson County (Ky.); Job descriptions; Negotiations; Pay cuts; Personnel managers; Personnel office; Profits; Responsibilities; Salary; Small businesses; Training; Travis Patterson

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:18:08 - Guidance and networks at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: What about supervision on, on those jobs?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about who he could turn to for guidance when he first arrived at Christian Appalachian Project.

Keywords: Alton Bradley; Bob Higgins; Bookkeepers; Camp Nelson; Certified public accountants; Checking accounts; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Consultants; Doris Anglin; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; Guidance; Losses; Networks; Profits; Store managers; Supervision; Tom Christopher; Travis Patterson

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:21:20 - Christian Appalachian Project personnel

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Partial Transcript: You were personnel manager. At, at that time what was the, the personnel numbers?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about the number of full-time employees and volunteers at Christian Appalachian Project when he first arrived. He talks about Father Beiting's attitude regarding the separation of CAP work and his church work. He talks about the high employee turnover rate at CAP when he first arrived and how they worked to improve it.

Keywords: 1975; Attitudes; Careful; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Churches; Credentials; Employee turnover rates; Employees; Employment; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Hiring; Individuals; Intertwined; Jobs; Payroll; Pension plans; Personnel; Planning; Programs; Projects; Qualifications; Roles; Separation; Uncertainty; Volunteers; Work

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:27:09 - Organizational and personnel shifts at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: During this period, what was, uh, you say the, the next major organizational or personnel shifts that you saw that went on?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about the resignation of the executive director, Travis Patterson, which led to McLaughlin applying for the position. He talks about who made the decision regarding hiring for that position. He talks about various CAP employees and their responsibilities.

Keywords: Bill Begley; Board of advisors; Board of directors; Bob Harrigan; Changes; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Duties; Executive directors; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Fundraising; Harrison Peet; Job candidates; Job descriptions; Job interviews; Personnel; Pete Cassidy; Professionalization; Resignations; Responsibilities; Roles; Selection; Steve Podisnak; Travis Patterson

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:33:49 - Christian Appalachian Project's Camp Nelson

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Partial Transcript: Uh, talking about going in many directions, uh, what was your involvement with Camp Nelson and can you give me a little history on that, uh, experience there?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about the origins of Christian Appalachian Project's Camp Nelson, which Father Beiting began in an effort to provide employment to the Jessamine County community after the closing of a large distillery. He talks about CAP buying the land and the various amenities they built for the camp. He talks about CAP's decision to close Camp Nelson because it was not profitable. He talks about which people at CAP made that decision.

Keywords: 1972; Amenities; Attractions; Bill Begley; Board of directors; Business development; Businesses; Businesses closing; Camp Nelson; Canada Dry; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Decisions; Distilleries; Employment; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; John Mason; Kentucky River; Land; Leadership; Losses; Lou Phillips; Management; Out of business; Plans; Profits; Projects; Recreational areas; Roles; Seagrams; Selling; Towns; Unemployment

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Camps.; Careers.; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Recreation.; Vocation.; Work.

00:39:36 - Becoming Executive Director of Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Uh, so they made you executive director.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about becoming the Executive Director of Christian Appalachian Project and his first assignment in that role that set the tone for his employment. He talks about working to fix CAP's finances. He talks about continuing his responsibilities as personnel manager along with his executive director duties.

Keywords: Administrative offices; Alcoa Aluminum Company; Bills; Board of directors; Budgets; Business development; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Decisions; Duties; Executive directors; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; John Mason; Loans; Organized; Payments; Personnel managers; Responsibilities; Yellow House

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:43:42 - Relationship with Father Beiting and his family

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Partial Transcript: Now, uh, in this new role, did your relationship with Father Beiting change much right away with this new position, or?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about whether his relationship with Father Beiting changed upon becoming Executive Director of Christian Appalachian Project. He talks about meeting Father Beiting's family and Father Beiting's relationships with his family members. He talks about Father Beiting's family's work for CAP.

Keywords: 1980; Brothers; Building; Celebrations; Changes; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Churches; Cold Springs (Ky.); Construction; Disagreements; Executive directors; Family; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Fathers; Fights; Houseboats; Meetings; Mothers; New beginnings; Outlooks; Parishes; Personality; Philosophy; Principles; Relationships; Roles; Strength; The Attic; Volunteers

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Families.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Parents.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:51:38 - Christian Appalachian Project's shift toward human development projects

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned after Camp Nelson that was a decision to shift towards human development.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about Christian Appalachian Project's shift toward human development projects in the period between 1975-1980. He talks about their expansion into Stanford, Lincoln County; Somerset, Pulaski County; and Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County. He talks about the types of projects they started in each of these locations and why these locations were chosen. He talks about which people at CAP made these decisions.

Keywords: 1975-1980; Approval; Board of directors; Building; Camp Nelson; Changes; Children with disabilities; Choices; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Construction; Day care centers; Decisions; Expansion; Family Life Center; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Fundraising; Human development; Lincoln County (Ky.); Locations; Marriage retreats; Motels; Mount Vernon (Ky.); Mt. Vernon (Ky.); Needs; Planning; Poverty; Programs; Pulaski County (Ky.); Rockcastle County (Ky.); Somerset (Ky.); Stanford (Ky.); The Attic

Subjects: Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

00:58:29 - Christian Appalachian Project fundraising--Direct mail campaigns

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned these expansions possible because of fundraising.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about Christian Appalachian Project's fundraising through direct mail campaigns. He talks about working with outside consultants to improve their direct mail campaigns and to decide how many times per year to send mail to their donors. He talks about the cost of direct mail campaigns and how much profit CAP generally sees from this type of fundraising. He talks about the differences between fundraisers for various religious groups. He discusses how the rising cost of postage has affected fundraising for many non-profit organizations.

Keywords: Bill Begley; Catholic charities; Changes; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Consultants; Costs; Creative Mailing Consultants of America (CMCA); Direct mail campaigns; Donors; Ecumenical charities; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; Fundraising; Growth; Harvard College; Increased mailings; Lobbying; Mailings; Meetings; Planning; Postage; Profits; Protestant charities; Recruiting; Recruitment; Speaking engagements; Teams

Subjects: Careers.; Communication.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Financials; Fund raising.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

01:11:58 - Christian Appalachian Project fundraising--Planned giving and other methods

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Partial Transcript: What about other types of fundraising efforts or other campaigns besides the direct mail?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about other types of fundraising at Christian Appalachian Project. He talks about how their initial attempt at having a planned giving director was unsuccessful and why he is optimistic that their current plan for a planned giving director will be better. He talks about their two attempts at fundraising through television and says they have not yet been able to figure out how to make it successful. He talks about CAP generating profit through its various businesses. He talks about how they have adapted some of their strategies for fundraising, including their success in mailing books written by Father Beiting to people who had made donations in the past.

Keywords: Address labels; Appalachian crafts; Books; Businesses; Changes; Charities; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Christian Children's Fund; Christmas wreaths; Consultants; Corporate grants; Correspondence; Direct manufacturing; Donors; Ed Wardell; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Foundation grants; Funding sources; Fundraising; Growth; Interest; New donors; Personality; Planned giving; Plans; Premiums; Profit generation; Profits; Prospect mail; Relationships; Responsibilities; Roles; Spokesperson; Stock trailers; Successful; Television; Unsuccessful; Visiting; Wills

Subjects: Careers.; Communication.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Financials; Fund raising.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

01:23:46 - Christian Appalachian Project business ventures

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Partial Transcript: Uh, onto more of the, the don'ts, you mentioned the craft industry is something, uh, you're phasing out of because it doesn't really hit the scale.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks more about some of Christian Appalachian Project business ventures. He talks about why they decided to get out of the craft industry and focus more on other manufacturing businesses. He talks about how the job market has changed in Appalachia, becoming more focused on part-time jobs with no benefits that do not help the employees or the community.

Keywords: Appalachian crafts; Business bailouts; Business ventures; Businesses; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Craft industry; Employment; Factories; Full-time jobs; Jobs; Lessons; Part-time jobs; Stock trailers; Supplemental income; Workers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Careers.; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Financials; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

01:27:27 - Christian Appalachian Project's involvement with outside agencies and communities

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Partial Transcript: Well, talking about business development, I'm sure you're networking with outside groups.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about Christian Appalachian Project's involvement with outside agencies and communities and how it has changed since he first arrived in 1975. He talks about how they have begun doing more planning before beginning a project, including listening to the community about what their actual needs are and working with pre-existing agencies in the area to achieve those goals.

Keywords: 1975; 1978; Buildings; Changes; Charities; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Cooperation; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Growth; Informal; Joint ventures; Listening; Management; Martin (Ky.); Meetings; Needs; Outside agencies; Outside involvement; Partnerships; Relationships; Roles; Somerset (Ky.)

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Careers.; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Professions.; Vocation.; Work.

01:32:00 - Christian Appalachian Project's reputation

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned the rap of non-community involvements.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about Christian Appalachian Project's reputation in the local communities. He says Father Beiting's leadership leads people to believe they are a Catholic organization and talks about the prejudice against Catholics in Eastern Kentucky, which he says has improved over the years. He talks about the reputation of the volunteers. The interview concludes abruptly.

Keywords: "Do-gooders"; Catholicism; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Eastern Kentucky; Ecumenical; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Misconceptions; Non-denominational; Prejudice; Reputations; Visibility; Volunteerism; Volunteers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Religion.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Careers.; Catholics; Christianity.; Clergy--Kentucky; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.; Occupations.; Priests.; Professions.; Religion.; Religious communities; Vocation.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers; Work.