• FOR LIFE AND FAMILY

ST. JOHN PAUL II
FOUNDATION TEAM

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 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
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 Shepherd’s Heart

Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as Vice President of Curriculum and Director of Shepherd’s Heart 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.

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.

SUSIE LOPEZ
Director of Conference Events

Susie Lopez is Director of Conference Events at the St. John Paul II Foundation where she oversees and supports the conference team as they plan and execute conferences across the country. Susie earned her BS in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2017, she 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 active in her home parish of St. Joseph Catholic Church 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.

AMELIA ARTH
Conference Coordinator

Amelia Arth is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelor of Arts in history and theology and a minor in communications. During her time at Franciscan, she worked with the Christian Outreach Office, where she coordinated registration for adult and youth conferences. She has been an active member of the Schoenstatt International Movement since her youth and has a deep passion for building up society through the teachings of the Church. Amelia is thankful and humbled to be an instrument for the continued proclamation of good news about life and family.

SARA DIETZ
Conference Coordinator

Sara Dietz is a Conference Coordinator with the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University, with a BA in history and minors in English and anthropology. During her time in college, she was involved with Aggie Awakening at St. Mary's Catholic Center and worked in the Youth Education Programs department of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Sara is an enthusiast of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and she and her husband, Trey, are parishioners at St. Theresa in Sugar Land. She is excited to be working with the incredible team at the Foundation to impact spouses, medical professionals, and clergy across the country.

ERIN ELLWANGER
Conference Coordinator

Erin Ellwanger is a Conference 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. During her time in college, she worked with the Office of Student Activities at UST, where she coordinated transfer and freshman orientation. Erin is a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist in Baytown, TX where she teaches CCE and regularly volunteers with the high school youth. After traveling to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016, Erin is excited and humbled by the opportunity to join the Foundation and share her gifts to further the mission of proclaiming the good news about life and family.

MICHELLE MCDONALD
Conference Coordinator

Michelle McDonald is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University. She is excited to find a home in Houston and grateful for the opportunity to join the foundation and share her gifts to perpetuate St. John Paul II’s passion for life and family.

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.

CHARLOTTE SACCO
Program Coordinator

Charlotte Sacco is a Program Coordinator-Business Development and Support for the Together in Holiness Formation series. She graduated from the University of Saint Thomas where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She is also a Spiritual Director at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church and supports many other parishes in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. Her strong background in business and sales, church ministry and forming relationships will be an asset to the St. John Paul II Foundation and the Together in Holiness team. Charlotte and her husband Jason have three daughters and four grandchildren and are parishioners at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Katy, Texas. She is very excited to help grow the Together in Holiness program and to bring marriage enrichment to spouses and families across the country.

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 the philanthropic and business development efforts of the Foundation. Hailing from Southern California, 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 as a young adult ministry coordinator at the parish and diocesan levels and worked for four years in marketing & communications at Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is excited and deeply humbled to be called to Houston to serve our Lord and His church through the apostolate 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.

LEONORA BUTAU, PhD
Associate Fellow

Dr. Leonora Butau moved to Houston from England, where she taught Christian Ethics and Christian Spirituality at St. Mary’s University, London, for eight years, and where she led efforts to empower Catholic couples, educators and young adults in St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. While in London, she also worked for Caritas Social Action Network, the charitable agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. She earned a BA in Theology and Religious Studies and an MA in Bioethics and Medical Law from St. Mary’s University, London, and has a PhD in Bioethics from the University of Surrey, (England). Leonora is blessed to be married to Rufaro and to enjoy the gift of their sons, Jesse and Louis. She feels honored to work with the Foundation, especially in its important apostolate to medical professionals and married couples.

MARY M. CAPRIO, CFCP, MAT, MTS
Associate Fellow

Mary Caprio currently serves the Foundation as an Associate Fellow. She is also the Director of Family Life for St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, as well as the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Mary is adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas in the theology department, and is a Certified Fertility Care Practitioner for the Creighton Model System. Mary attended University of Texas Health Science at Houston for her Bachelor’s in Nursing and Loyola University of Chicago for a Master’s in Nursing. Mary obtained a Masters of Arts in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Masters in Marriage and Family with a focus on Bioethics from the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II for Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America. Mary is a local and national speaker on theology of the body, marriage, and family, and she is certified in Bioethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

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.

  •   NANCY GOLD, Treasurer

    Nancy Gold is a Corporate Reserves Advisor at Murphy Oil. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, both from Texas A&M University. She coordinates the Women's Programs at Holy Cross Chapel, serves on the Board for Murray Hill Institute-Texas, facilitates ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) Catholic Women Studies, and works as a Commissioner for the Houston Women's Soccer Association. Nancy is a parishioner of All Saints Catholic Community in Houston, Texas.

  •   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.

  •   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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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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

  • Paul M. Cerone

    Chief Operating Officer at Bowen, Miclette & Britt Insurance Agency, LLC

  • Sean Dollahon

    Marine Manager at AIG

  • Adolfo Jimenez

    Vice President and Treasurer at Sysco

  • 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

  • Alicia Ross, PA

    Physician Assistant at MD Anderson

  • 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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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CONTACT US

  • PHONE

    832.779.1070

  • PHYSICAL ADDRESS

    7730 Westview
    Houston, TX 77055

  • MAILING ADDRESS

    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491

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