• FOR LIFE AND FAMILY

Our staff

ARLAND K. NICHOLS
President and Founder

Arland K. Nichols, PhD (cand.) is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. For nearly a decade Arland taught at a Catholic high school and worked at an international nonprofit. During those years he became a popular speaker, successful writer, and he established the groundwork for launching the St. John Paul II Foundation. Arland earned a BA in philosophy from Texas A&M, an MDiv in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a PhD in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their nine children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it becomes the foremost Catholic non-profit proclaiming the Good News of life and family.

CHRISTOPHER J. STRAVITSCH, DMin
Co-founder

Dr. Chris Stravitsch is Co-founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. He earned an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University, and a Doctor of Ministry from The Catholic University of America. He earned a BA in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Chris previously served as Director of College Formation at Assumption Seminary. He brings to the Foundation a wealth of experience in Church ministry and the unique ability to identify the most effective ways to evangelize spouses and families.

ROLAND MILLARE, STD
Vice President of Curriculum and Director of Clergy Initiatives

Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as Vice President of Curriculum and Director of Clergy Initiatives for the St. John Paul II Foundation. Dr. Millare served as a member of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory for over 15 years. He received a BA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has a MA in Theological Studies (with a concentration in Moral Theology) from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and a Licentiate (STL) and Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) in Dogmatic Theology (with a specialization in Sacramental Theology) at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Dr. Millare also serves as an adjunct professor of theology for permanent deacon candidates at St. Mary’s Seminary. He has published various book reviews and theological articles for Logos, Antiphon, New Blackfriars, Nova et Vetera, The Adoremus Bulletin, and the Heythrop Journal. His forthcoming book, A Living Sacrifice: Liturgy and Eschatology in Joseph Ratzinger, will be published by Emmaus Academic in the fall of 2021. Dr. Millare has also contributed an article to a dictionary on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, which will be published in Spanish, German, and English. Dr. Millare lives with his beautiful wife Veronica and two daughters, Gabriella and Karolina, in Sugar Land, TX.

SUSIE LOPEZ
Vice President of Operations

Susie Lopez is Vice President of Operations at the St. John Paul II Foundation where she oversees and supports the Conference team as they plan and execute Converging Roads and Together in Holiness conferences, along with the Together in Holiness Formation series Business Development team as they expand this initiative to parishes and schools across the country. Susie earned her BS in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University and, prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2017, worked at Baylor College of Medicine in the philanthropy and alumni relations office. Over the years, she has been involved with the Houston chapter of Young Catholic Professionals and is a parishioner at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston. She is grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to use her gifts and talents to enrich the lives touched by the St. John Paul II Foundation.

JOSHUA BITTING, PhD
Program Director

Dr. Joshua Bitting serves as Program Director for the Together in Holiness Formation series. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Joshua came into full communion with the Catholic Church on June 22nd, 2003, the Feast of Corpus Christi while completing his BA in philosophy at Southwestern College.  Joshua attended Franciscan University of Steubenville where he earned his MA in theology. Afterwards, he had the opportunity to study at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) in Rome, Italy. Since then, he has served the Church in various capacities at both the parish and diocesan levels. He earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia, writing his dissertation on the formation of spouses and families as domestic churches.  Joshua and his beautiful wife, Amanda, have six children and enjoy sharing the Gospel of life in their primary vocation as spouses and parents.

ELLEN CLEMENTS
Conference Coordinator

Ellen Clements is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. During her time at Louisiana Tech, she was involved in the Association of Catholic Tech Students. She is currently a parishioner of St. Theresa Catholic Church at Memorial Park where she volunteers with the confirmation and youth group programs. Ellen is excited to be working with a team that is committed to serving spouses and medical professionals within the Catholic Church.

ERIN ELLWANGER
Conference Outreach Coordinator

Erin Ellwanger is a Conference Outreach Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX with a BBA and MBA in marketing and a minor in theology. After planning Together in Holiness and Converging Roads conferences for several years, Erin now supports the conference team's outreach efforts to help impact more couples, families, and medical professionals. In 2016, she traveled to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day, where her life was profoundly impacted by the life and teaching of St. John Paul II. Erin and her husband Peter have a son and are parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

CAMERON KELLY
Conference Coordinator

Cameron Kelly is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries, and a Masters in Business. During her time in college, she was involved in music ministry and the youth retreat team at St. Mary’s Catholic Center, and worked in marketing and website management for the Texas Master Naturalist program. She is excited to join the Foundation and spread the love of Christ to families and medical professionals.

SYDNEY VACEK
Conference Coordinator

Sydney Dunavin is a Conference Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC, with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation, Sydney worked for several years within Catholic apostolates across the US and in Australia, and most recently, spent her time in Florida serving young adults with autism. Sydney regularly attends the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Peter and Paul in Frelsburg, TX. She is grateful and excited for the opportunity to share the Gospel of Life alongside such a faithful, dynamic, and joyfilled team at the St. John Paul II Foundation.

SHELBY DELEON
Program Coordinator

Shelby DeLeon is a Program Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation. She is a graduate from Texas A&M University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation, she was an elementary school teacher in Houston ISD. Shelby and her husband, Allan, are parishioners of St. John the Evangelist in Baytown where they teach CCE and serve the Youth and Young Adult Ministries. After encountering the life and teachings of St. John Paul II on a pilgrimage to Poland for World Youth Day, Shelby is grateful to join the Foundation and their mission to proclaim the good news of life and family.

ASHLEY SORIANO
Program Coordinator

Ashley Soriano is a Program Coordinator-Business Development and Support for the Together in Holiness Formation series. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University. During her time in college, she served as a leader in the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation, she served as a Lead Missionary for Adore Ministries in Houston, TX, providing youth discipleship in under-resourced parishes. Ashley and her husband, Jonathan, are parishioners of St. Theresa in Sugar Land. She is excited to bring the witness of St. John Paul II into our present culture and the lives of married couples through formation and accompaniment.

RACHEL TOWNSEND
Program Coordinator

Rachel Townsend is a Program Coordinator-Business Development and Support for the Together in Holiness Formation series. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Honors in Psychology distinction. During her time in college, she was an active member of the sorority at St. Mary’s Catholic Center. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation, she worked as a Career Counselor at a real estate school helping students to achieve their career and licensing goals. Rachel is currently a parishioner of Presentation of the Lord Catholic Church and volunteers at her parish as a member of the altar guild. She is honored to use her gifts to grow the Together in Holiness initiative and to help strengthen married couples and families.

THOMAS WHEELER
Program Coordinator

Thomas Wheeler is a Program Coordinator-Business Development and Support for the Together in Holiness Formation series. Thomas holds a degree in Environmental Earth Sciences and Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation, Thomas served as the Missions Coordinator at Life Teen Camp Covecrest in Tiger, GA. Thomas and his wife, Mikaela, live in The Woodlands, TX with their daughter. He is blessed to join the St. John Paul II Foundation and is excited to spread the Good News about life and family through the Together in Holiness initiative.

MARY ELISE KELLER
Asst. Director of Philanthropy

Mary Elise Keller is Assistant Director of Philanthropy at the St. John Paul II Foundation.  She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management.  While there, she was an active member in her sorority, and spent two years playing on the club soccer team.  She spent three years working as an administrative assistant to the Texas A&M football coaches, assisting in various operations and recruiting logistics for the football staff.  Mary Elise and her husband, Kolby, married in September of 2020, and are new residents to Houston.  They plan to be active parishioners at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Memorial.  Mary Elise is grateful to work with vibrant staff who share the common mission to perpetuate St. John Paul II’s passion for life and family.

AMY NORRIS
Administrative Coordinator

Amy Norris is the Administrative Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation where she assists the President and team in support of the overall mission and work of the Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and minor in History. She brings experience from various roles in marketing and events, most recently from Houston Country Club. After a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day, she is grateful for the opportunity to join the Foundation and its mission of promoting the sanctity of life and family, characterized by the life and teachings of St. John Paul II.

CHRISTIE BOOTH
Accountant

Christie Booth is the Accountant at the St. John Paul II Foundation.  She grew up at St. Francis de Sales and graduated from St. Agnes Academy.  Christie went on to attend Texas A&M University where she received a bachelors in business administration and a master’s of science in accounting.  Her previous accounting experience includes both time in public accounting and also commercial real estate.  After eight years at home with her children, she is excited to now be part of the team at the St. John Paul II Foundation.  She and her husband Ryan have three daughters and are parishioners at St. Thomas More.

CHRISTINE HAMLIN
Project Coordinator

Christine Hamlin is Project Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation where she works on a variety of projects to support its philanthropic and business development efforts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Literature with a minor in Theatrical Stage Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her hometown of San Diego, she served within the diocese as a young adult ministry coordinator while working in marketing & communications at Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. Making a new home in Houston, Christine is a parishioner at Our Lady of Walsingham and is grateful to be serving the Church through the vibrant mission of the St. John Paul II Foundation.

TARYN LOCKWOOD
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Taryn Lockwood is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. A native Houstonian, Taryn graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She and her husband, Ryan, have three young daughters and recently moved to The Woodlands where they attend Sts. Simon and Jude. In 2017, through a Cana Family Institute Group at Christ the Redeemer, Taryn began studying the teachings of St. John Paul II about God's design for women in their vocation as wives and mothers in their domestic church. She is humbled and excited to answer the call to share her talents to magnify the Good News of life and family, and share the endless beauty and joy in the Catholic Church under the intercession of St. John Paul II.

Board of directors

The governing board is primarily responsible for governance of the foundation as well as giving financial support. Composed of highly successful men and women in their respective industries, the board ensures that the Foundation has the resources to accomplish our mission.
  •   ARLAND K. NICHOLS, PRESIDENT and FOUNDER

    Arland Nichols is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. For nearly a decade Arland taught at a Catholic high school and worked at an international nonprofit. During those years he became a popular speaker, successful writer, and he established the groundwork for launching the St. John Paul II Foundation. Arland earned a BA in philosophy from Texas A&M, an MDiv in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a PhD in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their eight children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it becomes the foremost Catholic non-profit proclaiming the Good News of life and family.

  •   CHRISTOPHER J. STRAVITSCH, DMin
    Chairman of the Board

    Chris Stravitsch is Co-founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. He earned an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University, and a Doctor of Ministry from The Catholic University of America. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Chris previously served as Director of College Formation at Assumption Seminary. He brings to the Foundation a wealth of experience in Church ministry and the unique ability to identify the most effective ways to evangelize spouses and families.

  •   TODD DITTMANN, Director

    Todd Dittmann joined Angelo Gordon in 2013 to lead the firm’s energy strategy. He is a Managing Director and a member of the firm’s executive committee. Todd is a seasoned and experienced investment professional who has spent more than 25 years in energy finance with investing and board experience in both public and private companies. His experience includes the closing of approximately 150 debt, equity, M&A, derivative-linked and other energy related transactions, most of which he completed as a principal investor or lead lender. Todd has previously held roles with D.B. Zwirn & Co., Jefferies & Co. and the Chase Manhattan Bank. Todd holds a B.B.A. degree with a concentration in finance and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Texas, Austin and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

  •   SANDI LEMMING, MD, Secretary

    Sandi Lemming has been a family practice medical doctor in Houston since 1999. She retired in 2020 after 18 years as a partner in Village Family Practice.  Sandi holds Bachelor of Science degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Health Science Center, an MBA - finance from University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the University of St. Thomas and various committees for both Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Memorial Park Conservancy. It is her hope to help steer and spread the good works of the JP II Foundation, most especially with the Foundation’s Converging Roads initiative. She has been married to Jim Lemming since 1981 and has 3 sons with growing families of their own. Leisure time is spent enjoying family, golfing, reading, and trying new recipes.

  •   VICTOR QUINONES, Director

    Victor J. Quiñones, Jr., Technology Entrepreneur, has over 32 years of experience in executive leadership. He is a pioneer in The Cloud. He is the creator of The Q Fabric, a technology that allows workloads to scale accross many physical hosts. Mr. Quiñones co-founded Virtual-Q and has been its leader since 2009. He leads a network of highly skilled professionals and has the technical expertise to accomplish the goals set forth by the company. In addition, Mr. Quiñones has helped start, fund, and manage several other companies. Mr. Quiñones has a passion for helping clients achieve their goals utilizing the latest innovations in technology. Mr. Quiñones can help lead any company to success.

  •   LISA STEWART, Director

    Lisa Stewart holds a BA in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University. She and her husband, Mark, have raised seven children and welcome two grandchildren, thus far. Lisa and Mark are one of the principle owners of Stewart Builders, Inc., a family business consisting of several construction related entities, Keystone Concrete Placement being the most notable. Parishioners at Prince of Peace, Lisa and Mark are proud supporters of Catholic education, St. Mary’s seminary, and St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station.  Additionally, they are active citizens and patriots, supporting numerous conservative causes and wounded military organizations. Lisa’s greatest joy is her faith and her family.

ADVISORY BOARD

Advisory Board members assist and support the mission of the St. John Paul II Foundation,
offer strategic advice, and serve as ambassadors of the Foundation
to the broader Catholic community.
  • William R. “Trey” Cashion III, MTS

    Senior Vice President, Professional & Executive Private Banking at Commerce National Bank

  • Sean Dollahon

    Marine Manager at AIG

  • Larry Freeney, Jr.

    Parish Counselor at Rejoice Counseling

  • Adolfo Jimenez

    Vice President and Treasurer at Ingram Micro

  • Paul Laudadio, Jr.

    President at Laudadio Polymers, Inc.

  • Bob Nimon

    Principal and Managing Director at Genesis Planning, LLC

  • Matthew Pesek, MD

    Medical Director at Texas Children’s Hospital

  • Cody Schluens

    Chief Executive Officer at Ace Energy Solutions

ADVISORY COUNCIL

The Advisory Council is composed of friends, collaborators, and strategic partners
who support and advise Foundation leadership.
  • Most Reverend José H. Gomez, STD

    Archbishop of Los Angeles

  • Most Reverend Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS

    Archbishop of San Antonio

  • Reverend Anthony E. Giampietro, CSB, PhD

    Director of Development for the School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America

  • John Brehany, PhD, STL

    Director of Institutional Relations and Ethicist, The National Catholic Bioethics Center

  • John Haas, PhD, STL

    President Emeritus, The National Catholic Bioethics Center

  • William P. Mueller, MD, CFCMC, FCP, FCE

    United States Air Force

  • Deacon James Keating, PhD

    Director of Theological Formation, The Institute for Priestly Formation

  • Deacon Harold
    Burke-Sivers, MTS

    President and CEO, Servant Enterprises

  • Reverend Clark Sample

    Spiritual Advisor, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Houston, TX

  • Reverend Nicolas Ramirez

    Spiritual Advisor, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Houston, TX

  • Reverend Charles Hough IV

    Rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham

CONTACT US

  • PHONE

    832.779.1070

  • PHYSICAL ADDRESS

    1177 W Loop South, Ste. 940
    Houston, TX 77027

  • MAILING ADDRESS

    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491

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