Board of Directors

The Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership is blessed with a distinguished Board of Directors and Board of Episcopal Advisors to walk along side, and support, our leadership and greater team. These partnerships will become more important than ever in the years ahead, as we continue to fulfill our mission while keeping our vision keenly set on being able to help serve more Catholic dioceses and organizations.

Rebecca Cates, CPA

Rebecca Cates, CPA

Rebecca Cates retired as Vice President – Treasurer for Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. in May of 2012.  Her career has included positions in corporate finance, consulting and public accounting. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts, Honors degree in Economics/Accounting. Rebecca currently serves on the Gonzaga University Board of Trustees and previously served on the Gonzaga University Board of Regents from 2003 to 2013.

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Rebecca serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for L’Arche USA, part of the international federation of L’Arche communities in which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their assistants live and work together.  She has also held positions on parish pastoral and finance councils.
Melissa Soza Fees, PhD

Melissa Soza Fees, PhD

Melissa Soza Fees, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialties in child & adolescent psychology and school neuropsychology.  An Arizona native, Dr. Fees graduated from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University while attending on a Leadership Scholarship.  She completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Joint Doctoral Program UCSD/SDSU and her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School.

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Dr. Fees is a board member of Catholic Education Arizona and a founding member of the Catholic Leadership Initiative of the Diocese of Phoenix.  Melissa and her husband, John are members of the St. Thomas the Apostle Parish where they served as chairs of the Catholic Education Arizona tax credit campaign for three years.  They have 5 children; 4 attending St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School and their oldest son at Brophy College Preparatory.
Umberto P. Fedeli

Umberto P. Fedeli

President and CEO of The Fedeli Group

Since 1988, Umberto Fedeli has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Fedeli Group, one of the largest and fastest growing insurance brokerage firms in Ohio, specializing in employee benefits and workers’ compensation consulting, surety, environmental risk management and estate planning.

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A genuine commitment to his community has led Umberto to contribute much of his personal time and energy to a variety of civic and charitable causes.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a trustee on the Board of John Carroll University as well the Cleveland Catholic Diocese Foundation. He chairs the Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation, a charitable organization that he helped establish in 1995, and currently chairs the Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries Association.  He is also actively involved in Legatus, an international organization of Catholic CEOs, is Chairman of their Cleveland Chapter.

Umberto served as Chairman of the Ohio Turnpike Commission for six years and worked on the election campaigns of Senator Mike DeWine and Ohio Governor George Voinovich, as well as in other state and local campaigns.

Umberto has received many honors from business, educational and ethnic organizations, including being named “Man of the Year” by the Americans of Italian Heritage and the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame. He was recognized by John Carroll University’s Business School as one of Fifty of its Finest, and has been the recipient of both the Grand Illusion Award from the Ohio Cancer Research Associates and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Norman Cohn Hope Award for Outstanding Philanthropic and Community Service.  In 1998, he became a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, administered by the Holy See in Rome.

He is a proud alumnus of St. Joseph High School and John Carroll University. He resides in Gates Mills, Ohio with his wife and their five children. 

Donald B. Ferfolia

Donald B. Ferfolia

General Manager & Corporate Manager of Ferfolia Funeral Homes, Inc. Sagamore Hills, OH.

Donald holds a BA in Business Administration specializing in Management Concentration from Notre Dame. He has an exceptional record of service in his community, having served as an elected member and President of the Governing Board Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, an elected member and Vice-President of the School Board Cuyahoga Heights Local Schools, a member of Regional Service Delivery Advisory Council, and a board member of Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union.

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Donald is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association as well as the Ohio Funeral Directors Association. He holds the Insurance Committee Chair for the Foresight Group and is also a commercial pilot and flight instructor certified by the FAA.

He is an active member of St. Basil the Great Catholic parish where he serves a technical advisor as well as teaching marriage courses along with his wife of 40 years, Margaret. They are the parents of six grown children and the grandparents of three.

Paul R. Fransway

Paul R. Fransway

Dickinson Wright, PLLC

Paul Fransway is a shareholder in the law firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1972, his law degree from the University of Houston, magna cum laude in 1977, and a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from the University of Houston in 1987.

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Mr. Fransway specializes in the representation of nonprofit organizations such as colleges, universities, public interest law firms and primary and secondary schools, providing counsel with regard to their structure and operations.  His nonprofit clientele include the University of Michigan, Cleary University, the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, Legatus, the Thomas More Law Center, Ave Maria College, Ave Maria University and The Ave Maria Foundation.

Mr. Fransway also represents local and national franchise companies with regard to their franchise, general business and trademark issues, including Domino’s Pizza, Midas, HCX Salons, The Coffee Beanery, Ltd., and Pro Golf.

He has also been actively involved in local government and non-profit community activities. He has served as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals (1986-2000), the Planning Commission (1988-1998, Chairman in 1995-1996) and the Board of Trustees (1996-2002) for the Charter Township of Lyon (Oakland County, Michigan).

Mr. Fransway is a member of the Washtenaw County and American Bar Associations, and the State Bar of Texas and State Bar of Michigan.  In addition to other activities, he belongs to the Taxation and Intellectual Property sections of the Michigan, Texas and American Bar Associations. 

George Patrick Murphy

George Patrick Murphy

Principal, Board Member, Strategic Advisor of Advanced Modern Technologies Corp.

George Patrick Murphy began his business career working for the Commercial Division of Scott Paper Company (acquired by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 1995), and eventually assumed the roles of Vice President of Sales and Business Integration at Sani-Fresh International, (a Scott Paper Worldwide Subsidiary), North America Vice President of Sales and Channel Development, Away From Home Division, Vice President –Business Leader Asia Pacific Region (Headquartered in Hong Kong), and later as Kimberly-Clark North America Vice President, Away From Home Division, and Corporate Officer.

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After George retired from Kimberly-Clark he served as President and CEO of Technical Concepts Worldwide for nine years prior to the Company’s acquisition by Newell-Rubbermaid Corp. George next became an Limited Partner, Operating Partner, Executive Advisor, and portfolio company Board Member for several Private Equity Enterprises. Until recently, he served on the Board of Directors of Wausau Paper Corporation, a Public Company. Murphy currently serves as the Founder and Chairman of Blue Venture Advocates, LL(c, (BVA), Chairman of the Board of Altitude Medical Inc. (BVA Consortium Member Company), and as a Strategic Advisor and/or Board Member at several of BVA’s Consortium Members’ Innovative Independent Enterprises including CRAiLAR FTI Inc.

Active in nonprofits, Murphy serves as Vice Chairman of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership, as a Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Compensation Committee at the Catholic Leadership Institute, (CLI), and is a Founding Member of the Executive Advisory Boards at the USC Marshall School of Business -Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making, and at the Gonzaga University School of Leadership Studies. Murphy received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Southern California, where he graduated with Honors. He and his wife of 43 years, Bonnie, have three daughters and six wonderful grandchildren.

Joseph J. Janiczek

Joseph J. Janiczek

Janiczek® Wealth Management

Joseph J. Janiczek is Founder and CEO of Janiczek® Wealth Management, which exclusively serves high net worth investors (individuals with $2 to $20 million portfolios) and ultra-high net worth investors (individuals with $20 million+ portfolios) across the country. After founding and serving as the president of an oil company, Mr. Janiczek recognized that financially successful individuals were greatly underserved by the investment and wealth management industries.

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Mr. Janiczek spent decades in the trenches with those experiencing life-changing liquidity events and ultimately developed and patented Systems and Methods of Optimizing Wealth. He is a pioneer in the disciplines of Evidence Based Investing (EBI) and Strength Based Wealth Management® (SBWM), award-winning author of Absolute Financial Freedom (Prosperity Press) and Investing from a Position of Strength. Mr. Janiczek’s education includes Master of Science Degree in Financial Services (MSFS) and Graduate Certificates of Specialty in Asset Management and Income and Estate Taxation from the American College.

He also has his Chartered Financial Consultant designation. Mr. Janiczek has served as a Board of Governor of Legatus International, President of Rotary International Club and Foundation and Board of Director of Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership. Mr. Janiczek is the majority shareholder of Janiczek® and leads its executive Leadership Team.

 Fr. Joseph W. Koterski, S.J.

Fr. Joseph W. Koterski, S.J.

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University

Father Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. is a Jesuit Priest of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. He has been a member of the Philosophy Department of Fordham University since 1992 and is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Philosophical Quarterly. He served two terms as President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. Among his recent publications is An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Some Basic Concepts (2009). On the Fordham campus he serves as Master of Queens Court Residential College for Freshmen. For The Teaching Company he has produced lecture courses on Aristotle’s Ethics, on Natural Law and Human Nature, and most recently on Biblical Wisdom.

Paul Lawless

Paul Lawless

Partner of Lawless, Edwards & Warren

Paul Lawless is one of the county’s leading financial advisors for public executives and owners of large, closely held family businesses. Paul has his Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Business from Florida Atlantic University and has continued professional studies earning the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from the American College, Bryn Mawr, PA.

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He is an active South Florida community member and has served on various boards. At the moment he serves on the boards of the 100 Club of South Palm Beach County, Royal Palm Improvement Association, O’Meara Ferguson, Whelan & Conway, Ave Maria University, The Boca Raton Police & Firefighters Pension Board, Legatus, and is a Knight of Magistral Grace in The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. Paul serves as a Steward of St. Peter and Member of The Papal Foundation.

He makes his home in Boca Raton with his wife, Lynn, and four children.

Bill Newland

Bill Newland

Owner, Director of Hercules Industries, Inc. Denver, CO

Bill Newland is one of four family members that own and actively manage a family business started in 1961. Hercules Industries is a manufacturing and wholesale distribution company serving the construction industry in five western states. The company employs approximately 450 people in 18 locations.

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Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver and a Master of Business Administration from Regis University. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and the Board of Directors of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership.

Other organizations in which Bill is affiliated and active include Legatus, an international group of Catholic business leaders. Bill also serves as the Director of the Metal of Honor Fund, a metal fabrication industry charitable fund raising group, and a member of the Finance Council at the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.

Bill and his wife Annette reside in Littleton, Colorado. They find good company with their 5 children and 13 grandchildren all living in the area.

Michael A. Patterson

Michael A. Patterson

Partner of Patterson Buchanan Fobes Leitch & Kalzer, Inc. P.S.

Mike Patterson is the Senior Principal and President at Buchanan Fobes Leitch & Kalzer. He has significant civil trial and appellate experience, having tried more than 100 cases to verdict in both federal and state courts and having argued over two dozen cases in federal and state appellate courts.

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Mr. Patterson concentrates his practice on high-stakes, high-profile litigation and has represented various Catholic Dioceses, charitable or social services, religious societies, and schools and institutions of higher education across the country, as well as a variety of other communities of faith and religious organizations. He also has represented numerous local government entities and many well known private clients. He successfully defended the Highline School District in the notorious Mary Kay Letourneau case and has exceptional experience defending high-profile sexual misconduct litigation and catastrophic personal injury cases.  With his experience trying big cases, he is frequently called upon to serve as the media spokesperson for clients involved in difficult situations. He has been interviewed by ABC, CBS, and NBC. Mr. Patterson is also a nationally recognized speaker on a wide variety of litigation and best practices issues.

In addition to defending clients, Mr. Patterson has served as consultative counsel and panel counsel throughout the country. He also has served as an expert witness in numerous matters involving fiduciary duty and insurance issues.

Stephen F. Stumpf

Stephen F. Stumpf

CEO of Durr Heavy Construction

Stephen Stumpf is CEO of Durr Heavy Construction, a New Orleans-based construction firm specializing in demolition, site preparation and utilities. Stumpf and his wife, Donna, purchased the company from his father-in-law in 1976. Initially serving as president of the company, Stumpf became CEO in 1988, a position he retains today. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a “mom n’ pop” business into one of the top general  contracting firms in the region.

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Stephen Stumpf attended De La Salle High School in New Orleans (where he currently co-chairs the school’s capital campaign and has recently received the Signum Fidei award); after high school, he went on to earn a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. Stumpf has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and leadership experience in operating a variety of companies in the New Orleans region. He has served as president of Airline Landfill in St. Charles Parish. Stumpf is also managing member of Fort Knox Climate Control Storage, Country Cottage Estates, St. Tammany Mitigation Services, Marshland Holdings, Stumpf Stables and a variety of real estate investment companies.

He presently serves on the New Orleans board for Iberia Bank and the statewide boards for Blueprint Louisiana and the Louisiana Trooper Foundation. He is a former chairman of the board for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, as well as a past president of Associated Builders and Contractors Bayou Chapter and of the Legatus Northshore Chapter. His other professional involvements include the Jefferson Business Council, the Jefferson Chamber, JEDCO, Committee of 100, Tulane’s Family Business Forum and the World Presidents’ Organization.   Stumpf takes great pride in giving back to the community.

His companies actively work with a variety of charities across the state, including the Good Shepherd School, Tiger Athletic Foundation, Young Leadership Council, Archbishop’s Community Appeal, The Catholic Foundation, Jesuit High School, Mount Carmel Academy, Bridge House, and multiple churches of various denominations. An especially dear charity is the Louisiana Special Olympics.   Stephen Stumpf considers his greatest achievement to be his marriage to Donna, which is 35 years strong this year. Steven and Donna have three children: Dana, Stephen and Shana.  His hobbies include traveling, going fishing, being a Tiger fan and watching his race horses win at the track.

Blake Wells

Blake Wells

Vice President – Client Service Director of IMA Financial Group, Inc

Blake Wells is Vice President – Client Service Director of IMA Financial Group, Inc in Kansas. He is coordinates Strategic Planning and Implementation of insurance, risk management and employee benefits strategies for larger employers. He holds an M.B.A. from The University of Texas, a B.S.degree from the University of Kansas as well as being a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter and an Associate in Risk Management.

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Mr. Wells is an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and has served in a number of capacities including on the Parish Pastoral Council, a Confirmation Leader and a Basketball Coach. He is Founding Member of the Catholic Assembly for Business, Founding Chair of Champions for the Children Board with the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation and Board Member for Kansas Chapter Education Foundation – Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Blake is also a current Board Member of the YMCA of Greater Wichita just completing a 2 year term as Strong Community Campaign Chair.

He and his wife, Christine have been married since 1994 and have 3 children.

© 2017 Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership

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