Mar Muñoz-Visoso is executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, where she previously served as assistant director of Media Relations.
Before joining the Bishops’ Conference, Mar worked for the Archdiocese of Denver, where she served in various capacities, including being co-founder and first executive director of Centro San Juan Diego, a pastoral institute and adult education center for Latinos, director of Hispanic Ministry, and editor of El Pueblo Católico, the Spanish-language archdiocesan newspaper.
Mar has a B.A. in Communications from CEU San Pablo University in Valencia, Spain, and a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from the Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. She currently serves on various boards, including the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Access Foundation and the Advisory Board for the Latino Pastoral Leaders Initiative of Leadership Roundtable. In 2010 Mar received the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Benedict XVI for exemplary and sustained service to the Catholic faith.
Akiko Maeker, Ph.D. is an executive coach, trainer, and DEI advisor, who has a gift in bringing out the best in her clients and translating it into their leadership and management performance. One of her major areas of expertise is the tactful and effective application of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) in leadership development of individuals and teams, as well as in enhancing organizations’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies. She is valued by her clients for taking an asset-based approach (rather than a deficit-based approach) in facilitating engaging learning processes that aim to maximize human potential and create positive change in workplace climate and operation.
Akiko works with a wide range of individuals and organizations in corporate, educational, governmental, and non-profit sectors. Clients benefit from Akiko’s rare mix of high emotional intelligence, interpersonal empathy, communication skills, intellectual and science-based knowledge, and wealth of lived experience working with variety of clients.
Akiko is a Managing Partner and Co-Owner at Interculturalist, LLC, whose mission is to help organizations create Workplace Efficacy®. She is also an Instructor of the IDI Qualifying Seminar that certifies IDI administrators. In addition, Akiko is an International Coaching Federation trained coach and an Emotional Intelligence and Diversity Institute certified trainer.
Akiko holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership Policy and Development from the University of Minnesota with her doctoral research investigating the intersection of intercultural competence and professional coaching. Born and raised in Japan, she now lives in Minnesota, USA.
Bishop Joseph A. Williams was ordained a bishop and installed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on January 25, 2022, having served as a priest of the archdiocese for 20 years. Most recently, he was the pastor of Saint Stephen in Minneapolis (since 2008) and parochial administrator of Holy Rosary in Minneapolis (since 2020); prior to that, he ministered as a parochial vicar of the Cathedral of Saint Paul in St. Paul (2002-2004) and Divine Mercy in Faribault (2004-2005), and as pastor of Saint Mathias in Hampton and Saint Mary in New Trier (2005-2008). He served as coordinator of the Archdiocesan Outreach to Persons with Disabilities from 2003–2005.
Bishop Williams was appointed the Archdiocese’s Vicar for Latino Ministry in 2018. He is a member of the board of trustees for The St. Paul Seminary and St. John Vianney College Seminary. He has served as chaplain of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Born May 2, 1974, to Dr. Gary and Mary Williams, Bishop Williams is the third of nine children. He grew up in Stillwater, where he attended Saint Croix Catholic School and Stillwater High School. His brother, Father Peter Williams, ordained in 2004, is a priest of the Archdiocese, and is Pastor of Saint Ambrose in Woodbury.
Bishop Williams holds a B.A. in biology from the University of Minnesota Morris, graduating summa cum laude in 1996. He studied philosophy and pre-theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, from 1996–1998 and attended The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul from 1998–2002, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a priest at age 28.
Bishop Williams is known for his longtime ministry to Latino and Spanish-speaking Catholics in the Archdiocese, beginning in Faribault, where he and other parish leaders worked to bring healing to a Latino community that had been affected by drug raids. Members of both of his most recent parishes are predominantly Latino, and he has worked to change negative cultural perceptions of undocumented immigrants and he has led neighborhood-based evangelization efforts, which include knocking on doors and inviting people to Mass and faith formation.
Anne (Anita) Attea has served for the past 14 years as a Pastoral Associate at Church of the Ascension, a culturally diverse community on the north side of Minneapolis. She embraces the term “gente-puente,” one who seeks to build bridges across cultures, language, and generations both in and outside of the Church. Prior to her employment at Ascension, Anne served for 10 years as the Director for Hispanic/Latino Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis and is a missioner at heart, having lived and worked with the people of Chile, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Director of Justice and Peace Ministries, Office of Life, Dignity and Justice, Archdiocese of Atlanta
Kat Doyle has been with the Archdiocese of Atlanta since 2003 and has served as the Director of Justice and Peace Ministries for past 11 years. She staffs the Bishops in matters of social concern and Catholic social teaching. She educates on, raises awareness of, and advocates for social justice issues, including Care for Creation.
Kat has been instrumental in developing and leading the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s long-term Laudato Si’ Creation Care Initiative, which embraces integral ecology and “hears the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” She oversees the work of two sustainability coordinators, as well as various volunteers and experts, who focus on parish and school engagement and strategic funding for the initiative. Kat believes that building sustainable relationships and action-based goals with the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s 100+ parishes and more than 1.2 million Catholic faithful in North Georgia is the key to bringing about sustainable change.
In 2021 Kat was appointed as the U.S. representative for the Vatican’s Dicastery of Integral Human Development Laudato Si’ Parish and Dioceses Working Group where she interacts with a group of global representatives tasked with creating and maintaining a Vatican Laudato Si’ Action Platform for the global Catholic Church.
Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Des Moines
Bishop Pates was born of Donald and Lenora Pates, February 12, 1943, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
After studying at the St. Paul Seminary and the Gregorian University in Rome while residing at the North American College, he was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1968, at St. Peter’s Basilica.
In the course of his ministry, Bishop Pates served for six years as Priest Secretary of the Apostolic Delegation (now Nunciature) in Washington, D.C. He then was Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. During his time at the seminary, he served as Executive Secretary of the Papal Study of U.S. Seminaries mandated by Pope John Paul II. His term as Rector was followed by two pastorates at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Minneapolis and St. Ambrose of Woodbury in Woodbury, Minnesota.
On December 22, 2000, Bishop Pates was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis by Pope John Paul II. Subsequently he was appointed Bishop of Des Moines, Iowa, by Pope Benedict XVI on April 10, 2008. During his tenure with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Pates served as Chairman of the International Justice and Peace Committee from 2011-2014.
Following his retirement in July 2019, Bishop Pates was appointed Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Joliet, January 2020 to October 2020 and Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Crookston, April 13 to December 6, 2021.
Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant
Jose is the Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, which animates the Church’s call for us to love and care for God’s creation and our vulnerable neighbors as integral dimensions of the Catholic faith. Before joining the Covenant, Jose worked for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the National Congress of American Indians, and EPA’s American Indian Environmental Office. He graduated from Brown University and Villanova Law School and served with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division.
Asset Management, Catholic Energies
Jeff has over a decade of experience building companies, teams, and products that reduce the environmental footprint while improving the reliability of clients’ facilities. His mission-first focus helps him develop creative solutions that work for clients. Jeff has a Master of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley as well as a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He lives in the mountains of Nevada with his wife, Gia, and their two kids, Sophia and Nate.
Anne Cullen Miller joined the Catholic Community Foundation in 2008, first serving as investment officer and vice president of finance and investments before becoming president in 2013. Under her visionary leadership, the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF) has grown to become the largest of its kind in the nation, managing $510 million in charitable assets and granting at $17+ million annually. Since its beginning, CCF has granted $207 million to our community.
Anne’s career includes more than 20 years of experience in the investment and insurance industries. She earned her B.A. in economics and MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Anne is an active community volunteer, currently serving on the boards for Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA), and Saint Paul Urban Tennis. She sits on the President Advisory Committees for the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and MINNDEPENDENT. And, she offers volunteer leadership to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’s Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education and the Capital Campaign Advisory Committee for Our Lady of Peace Home.
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Dr. Katy Lichon serves as the Director for the English as a New Language (ENL) Program, the Director of the Catholic School Advantage (CSA), and is an Associate Teaching Professor with ACE Teaching Fellows. In addition, she serves as faculty fellow for five Notre Dame institutions: Institute for Latino Studies, Institute for Educational Initiatives, Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, Center for Literacy Education, and Center for the Study of Languages and Culture.
Lichon is an educational linguist who focuses on the education of K-12 multilingual learners in Catholic schools and teacher education. This work has led to the publication of four books: English Oral Language Assessment (ACE Press, 2013), Our Legacy and Our Future: A Framework for Serving English Learners in Catholic Schools (NCEA Press, 2017), Supporting English Learners: A Diocesan Handbook for K-12 (NCEA Press, 2018), and Ten Days to Becoming a Better Educator of English Learners (NCEA Press, 2018), as well as numerous articles in diverse publications. She was honored with the Christ the Teacher award in 2020 by the University. She is passionate about linguistics, language acquisition, the role of maternal speech, Latino enrollment, and ensuring that culturally and linguistically diverse students thrive in our Catholic schools. Lichon has also helped to begin the two-way immersion program at Holy Cross School in South Bend, IN, which is now in its fifth year. At Holy Cross School, enrollment has grown from 190 students to 350 in 5 years! She resides in South Bend, Indiana with her husband and three children.
Retired Principal, Archdiocese of Denver
Jeannie Courchene has worked in education for over 40 years. She has a BA in Mathematics and an MA in Curriculum & Administration. She taught high school mathematics for 25 years in Missouri, followed by 5 years in curriculum development.
After retiring to Colorado, Jeannie spent 10 years as principal of St. Rose of Lima School (1999-2009). Under her leadership, she and her Development Board turned a failing inner-city Denver Catholic school with declining enrollment into a success story. St. Rose built a gymnasium, library, and preschool under her leadership and now boasts a waiting list and four major scholarship donors. St. Rose has been an ACE school since the program expanded to Colorado. One of St. Rose of Lima’s proudest moments was being chosen as the lead story in the Notre Dame Task Force Report, To Nurture the Soul of a Nation.
Jeannie continues to serve on the Advancement Board of St. Rose of Lima Academy. Jeannie has served as an LEI mentor and presenter since the inception of the LEI.
Director of Marketing and Enrollment, Archdiocese of Seattle
Kristin Moore is a Catholic school marketing expert whose creative and daring approach challenges audiences to think WAY out of the box. Her dynamic strategy and practical resources have been shared with schools across the country and inspire a more contemporary approach to expanding the mission of our schools.
After her graduate work at the University of San Francisco, Kristin launched her career as a classroom teacher in the Bay Area. Witnessing first hand the transformational effect of Catholic education on the entire family, she couldn’t help but wonder who was not in her classroom and why. Her passion for educational access deepened and her trajectory shifted. Kristin stepped away from her first love, teaching, to pursue leadership roles in admissions, marketing, and advancement in order to provide access to a larger number of students…and she did.
Now, as Director of Marketing & Enrollment for the 72 schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle, it is not business as usual. Kristin continues to develop innovative support initiatives to enrich, challenge, and expand the schools in Western Washington. She has become a true leader and advocate for Latino outreach and is relentless in her efforts to grow schools into the future.
Kristin is a national speaker on marketing and enrollment topics in addition to being a member of two national marketing groups where there is a generous exchange of ideas and a desire to develop compelling, effective, and unified messaging for Catholic schools.
Program Director, Latino Enrollment Institute, University of Notre Dame
Manny Fernandez is the Program Director of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI). Following a long career as an elementary and middle school teacher in Los Angeles, CA, and Goshen, IN, Fernandez joined the ACE team to help facilitate the improvement and expansion of Catholic education within the Latino population. Each year that Fernandez taught in Indiana, he was recognized by the state department of education for facilitating the highest growth in test scores among his students. Fernandez graduated from California State University at Los Angeles with a degree in Urban Learning, a teaching program designed specifically for working with at-risk children from poverty-stricken neighborhoods. He resides in South Bend with his wife and three children ages 10, 7, and 2.
Vice President of Finance and Administration
Casey Scott is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at the Catholic Community Foundation, overseeing finance, human resources, information technology, and donor-directed grants.
Casey brings more than 35 years of experience in accounting, finance, and administration to his CCF role. Most recently, he headed the finance and administration department at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
Casey serves on the board of directors for Chesterton Academy and is a member of the finance committee at the Pinky Swear Foundation. He is a parishioner at St. Charles Borromeo in Saint Anthony, where he also serves on the finance committee.
Vice President of Impact
Meg Payne Nelson oversees CCF’s grantmaking team, facilitating grant program strategy and design, impact goal setting, and nonprofit screening. Prior to joining our team, Meg spent 22 years in leadership at Bromelkamp Company, a firm that provides software and services to foundations. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a major in studio art and a double minor in theology and business, and is partway through the master’s in theology program at St. John’s University. Meg has an extensive background in parish volunteer leadership.
Vice President of Development and Donor Engagement
Christopher D. Nelson is the Vice President of Development and Donor Engagement at the Catholic Community Foundation, where he serves individuals, parishes, and Catholic nonprofits in meeting their philanthropic and stewardship goals.
Prior to his work with CCF, Chris was a partner at a law firm in Southern Minnesota where he represented a wide variety of nonprofits, including Catholic dioceses and parishes. He also provided legal counsel to individuals and financial institutions regarding asset protection, corporate governance, charitable giving, and tax and general business planning. Chris earned his doctor of jurisprudence from the University of St. Thomas where he served as Editor in Chief of the UST Law Journal.
Chris serves on the board of directors for a community bank and on the Minnesota Council on Foundation’s tax committee. He previously served as chair of the United Way of Olmsted County’s board of directors and sat on the boards of the Rochester Community and Technical College Foundation and First Alliance Credit Union.