Board of Directors
The Spitzer Center Directors are prominent Catholic leaders who oversee and support the work of the Center with their faith, talents, and resources.
Ms. Rebecca Cates, CPA
Rebecca Cates graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts, Honors degree in Economics/Accounting.
Rebecca began her career as a financial professional in public accounting with KPMG LLP, working on and managing audits for clients in the healthcare industry, non-profit organizations and financial institutions. After progressing to the level of Senior Manager – Audit, she transitioned into corporate accounting with a client in the long term care industry – focusing on real estate, debt and lease accounting, financial reporting processes and accounting system conversions.
Rebecca worked 15 years for Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. an international freight forwarder headquartered in Seattle, Washington. She retired as Vice President – Treasurer for Expeditors in May of 2012, a position she held for seven years. Her responsibilities included global treasury/cash management, SEC reporting and Sarbanes Oxley compliance monitoring, and coordination of external audits and quarterly financial reviews.
Rebecca was appointed to the Gonzaga University Board of Regents in 2003 and serves on the Student Life Committee. She has
served on the Gonzaga Business Forum Board and along with several other board members worked on the creation of the Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program (GAMP) and continues to participate as a mentor to students and recent graduates.
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.
A member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society (the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education), Rebecca served on the National Board from 2006 to 2012 and as Board President from 2009 to 2012.
Her professional affiliations include membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Financial Professionals.
Mr. Umberto P. Fedeli
President and CEO of The Fedeli Group
Since 1988, Umberto P. 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.
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 campaings 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.
Umberto 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.
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.
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.
Donald B. Ferfolia
General Manager and Corporate Manager of Ferfolia Funeral Homes, Inc.
Sagamore Hills, OH.
Donald holds a BA 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.
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.
Mr. Paul R. Fransway
Dickinson Wright, PLLC
Paul R. 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.
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.
Mr. 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
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.
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 Literature.
Mr. Paul M. 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.
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.
Mr. George Patrick Murphy
Mr. George Patrick Murphy
Principal, Board Member, Strategic Advisor, Advanced Modern Technologies Corp.
Senior Operating Partner, Hudson Ferry Capital LLC.
Former President and CEO, Technical Concepts LLC, and Chairman, Atlas Paper Mills LLC
George graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, earning a BS and an MPA. He has also attended several Executive Development courses at the University of Virginia, Darden Graduate School of Business and has been a Guest Lecturer at the University of Hawaii School of Law.
George has held prominent positions many prestigious companies in his long career; he was President/CEO of GPM Enterprises LLC. He also served as Senior Operating Partner for Hudson Ferry Capital and Executive Advisor to Mason Wells Capital. He is the retired President /CEO Technical Concepts, LLC, retired Chairman of the Board Atlas Paper Mills LLC, retired Vice President of the Asia Pacific region for Scott Paper Co. and Kimberly-Clark Corp and retired North America Vice President of Sales and Channel Development for Scott Paper Co. and Kimberly-Clark Corp.
George has sat, or sits, on the Boards of several Private Equity Portfolio Companies in which he has invested. He also currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Spitzer Center.
George and his wife Bonnie have been married for 36 years and have three daughters and six wonderful grandchildren. The Murphy’s currently reside in both Park City, Utah (attending St. Mary’s Parish) and Honolulu, Hawaii (St. Augustine by the Sea Parish).
Chairman of Hercules Industries, Inc.
Bill Newland is one of four family members that own and manage Hercules Industries, a family business started in 1961. Hercules Industries is a manufacturing and wholesale distribution company serving the construction industry in five western states. It employs approximately 300 people in 13 locations.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver and a MBA from Regis University. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Regis University in Denver, CO.
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. Bill and his wife Annette reside in Lakewood, Colorado. They find good company with their 5 children and 7 grandchildren all living in the area.
Mr. 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.
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.
Mr. 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.
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.
Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, Ph.D., S.J.
President, Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership; former President of Gonzaga University
Robert Spitzer, Ph.D, S.J. is the founder and president of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership. A scholar, author, and seasoned leader who retired in 2009 as president of Gonzaga University, Fr. Spitzer’s expertise spans such fields as management science, finance, ethics, physics, philosophy, and theology. His work on the principles of successful leadership, derived from extensive research on four continents, forms the basis of his book The Spirit of Leadership: Optimizing Creativity and Change in Organizations (New York: Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2003).
A much sought-after speaker, Fr. Spitzer averages more than 100 presentations per year to corporate, academic, scientific, religious, and governmental audiences. He has addressed senior leaders at the Pentagon, Tony Blair’s Cabinet in London, and leaders of both sides of the Northern Ireland conflict.
Fr. Spitzer is also the founder and chairman of the Magis institute and was formerly affliated with the University of Seattle, where he was a trustee and the founder of both the Institute of Professional Ethics and the Institute on Character Development.
Vice President – Client Service Director 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.
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.