TEC Encounter 2016



WHEN: July 29-31, 2016

WHERE: Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois

WHAT: A 3-day gathering of the international TEC family so that the TEC Movement can advance and our call to encounter Christ may deepen.

2016 Award Winners

2016 Heritage Award

Caroline "Gerri" Merkel

Caroline “Gerri” Merkel made her first TEC weekend at a hotel in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1991, while she was working with and ministering to the U.S. military as a Director of Religious Education. Since then, Gerri has been a true ambassador for TEC during the 20 ½ years she spent in Germany, where she worked 27 TECs, 7 Military TECs, and 5 Quest retreats. Gerri says that TEC was a vital part of sustaining her spirituality while in Germany, making her a living example of the strength of the TEC Movement. Outside of Germany, Gerri was instrumental in starting Lithuania TEC with Dennis Kurtz and Sharrie Cinnamond, and she also assisted in the startup of Northeast Military TEC when she moved back to the USA in 2005.


Gerri has been a great supporter of TEC’s annual auction. Her zeal and love for youth and for TEC are visible in her face when speaking of TEC. Gerri has shared lots of history with so many other TEC leaders, and her experiences around the world have fostered the international TEC presence. We are proud to present Gerri with the 2016 Heritage Award!


Dale Kreher

Dale Kreher, of Omaha TEC, has played an active role in both the regional and national TEC Movement for a number of years. He made his first TEC weekend in Belleville, IL with Sparta TEC #5, and has since worked weekends in St. Louis, MO (Gateway TEC), International Falls, MN (Rainy River TEC), and Des Moines, IA. On the local level, Dale was a strong advocate for the implementation of the renewed TEC Manual in his TEC community and was committed to training people in its use. On the national level, Dale served the Conference as a Nebraska State Representative and a Region 9 Coordinator on the Leadership Council. He also served as the Conference bookkeeper for many years, coordinating the annual financial review, and was instrumental in helping the Conference become more financially stable. 

Dale also helped to start the Austin, Texas TEC center. He and his wife, Melinda, received the Spirit of TEC Award in 2004 for Omaha TEC. It is our honor to present Dale with the 2016 Heritage Award.


Gary Przygoda

Gary Przygoda has been involved with TEC in the Archdiocese of St. Louis since 1997, after his sons were invited to TEC, and Gary was curious about what it was. He has since served on about 20 weekends within the Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO, and the Diocese of Belleville, IL. Gary has also served as a Missouri State Representative and Region 9 Coordinator, as well as on the Development Ministry Team and Finance Ministry Team.

Gary is known for his willingness to volunteer and travel for TEC. He believes that the impact TEC has on youth and young adults can change people’s lives. Gary received the Spirit of TEC Award for Spirit of St. Louis TEC in 2010. He, his wife, Denise, and their three children are all part of that TEC community. We are happy to present Gary with the 2016 Heritage Award.



2016 Friend of TEC Award

Paul & Pat Phillips

Paul & Pat Phillips were longtime friends of our founder, Dorothy Gereke, in Boca Raton, FL. Although not personally involved in TEC, Paul & Pat were an important part of Dorothy’s circle of friends and came forward to care for Dorothy in her declining years. They faithfully oversaw her estate after her passing and lovingly transported her remains to Chicago for a memorial service organized by the TEC Conference. We are truly grateful for their friendship and care and are happy to present them with the 2016 Friend of TEC award.


Lydia & Martha Burgos

Lydia Burgos, a professional translator, was assisted by her sister, Martha, for the lengthy process of translating the TEC Manual into Spanish. They collaborated closely with Fr. James Brown and produced a full translation, which will serve Spanish-speaking TEC communities for decades to come. We express our gratitude for their undertaking of this important task by proudly presenting them with the 2016 Friend of TEC award.



Memorare Circle

Fr. Linus DeSantis

Fr. Linus DeSantis unexpectedly went home to the Lord on December 1, 2015. He was integral in starting both Atlanta TEC and Syracuse TEC and collaborated closely with the TEC Conference in providing formation for TEC leaders in both communities. His deep understanding of the TEC process and his God-given abilities to inspire lay leadership will be celebrated and missed for years to come. It is our honor to induct him into the Memorare Circle.