Meet the Team

Main Staff

  • Jason Simon – Executive Director

    Jason Simon is the Executive Director of the Evangelical Catholic. He holds a Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame and has over fifteen years of experience working in parish and campus ministry. Since joining the Evangelical Catholic he has worked closely with staff and student leaders from over 100 Catholic ministries, helping them to become dynamic centers of evangelization in their communities. Jason has also served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and six children.

  • James Carrano – Associate Director

    James Carrano directs the mission advancement of the Evangelical Catholic. He served as a campus minister at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a decade before joining the Evangelical Catholic. As a campus minister James led various successful outreach initiatives. With expertise in small group outreach and discipleship development, he has assisted parishes and campus ministries nationwide to launch vibrant, fruitful and self-sustaining evangelistic ministries. He holds a Master in Music and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, and lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Jessica, and their six children.

  • Andrew Ochalek – Director of Operations

    Andrew Ochalek first encountered the Evangelical Catholic in 2014 as a parishioner at an Alliance parish, participating in and leading various Small Groups. He gained ministry experience as a volunteer Catholic Youth Minister from 2011 to 2014, serving the military community in Pensacola, FL and Okinawa, Japan. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 2010, with a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, Andrew commissioned into the United States Marine Corps where he served as an Officer for six years. Before joining the EC in the Summer of 2016, Andrew worked in Leadership Consulting, developing leadership solutions for global Fortune 500 companies across various industries. He currently manages internal teams and external Alliance contracts to successfully deliver Alliances on time and within budget. Andrew lives in Madison, WI.

  • Peter Andrastek – Senior Parish Consultant

    Peter leads the parish mission of the Evangelical Catholic. He holds a Master of Theological Studies in Pastoral Theology from Ave Maria University. He has worked in adult formation in the Church since 2003. His experience includes preaching retreats, teaching theology and adult catechesis courses, and giving presentations and trainings for numerous parishes, dioceses, movements, and institutions in the Church. He currently advises over 30 EC Parish and Diocesan Alliances and Associates nationwide. He lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin with his wife and seven children.

  • Andre Lesperance – Senior Parish Consultant

    Andre Lesperance has been involved in EC formation and leadership since 1999. He led the EC ministries at the University of Wisconsin Catholic Student Center for four years before obtaining his Master of Arts in Theology from Marquette University. Since then, Andre has worked in both parish ministry and in Catholic secondary education (Marquette University High School), in addition to serving on the adjunct faculty at the Saint Clare Center for Catholic Life at Cardinal Stritch University. His EC work includes parish alliances, training events for affiliate parishes and dioceses, and assisting in writing new materials. Andre lives in Greendale, Wisconsin with his wife Jackie and their four children.

  • Mark Rose – Campus Consultant

    Mark was introduced to the Evangelical Catholic back in 2004 during his undergraduate studies, and he became involved in campus ministry efforts at UW-Madison using EC methods extensively. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2006, he worked in sales and management but felt the call back to ministry through an evangelization team called Spiritus. In June 2013, he moved back to Madison to work for the EC. He equips campus ministry staff and student leaders to build vibrant and sustainable communities focused on discipleship development and reaching the lost. He is currently working toward his Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Notre Dame.

  • Kendra McClelland – Consultant

    Kendra is a Southern California native. She received her Master of Divinity from the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, CA, and brings a professional background in corporate leadership consulting from her role as a Marketing and Project Manager for Blueprint Leadership. She also served as Director for Wonderfully Made, a women’s college ministry at Santa Clara University, for six years. Her ministerial experience includes working with parishes and campus ministries, coordinating training workshops and conferences, speaking at major events and retreats, and forming lay leaders through intentional discipleship.She initially connected with the EC through a small group at St. Brigid’s Parish in San Diego, CA.

  • Joshua Dart – Campus Consultant

    Josh Dart holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Arts in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver. After working simultaneously for several years as both a Project Manager and Youth Minister, he resigned from engineering to be fully devoted to the Church’s evangelization efforts. Josh served as the Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and has co-led and participated in over a dozen international missions in Central America, Australia, and Africa. He was introduced to the Evangelical Catholic through Evangelization Training Camps, fully implementing the EC vision when VCU became one of the university ministries in the Diocese of Richmond EC Alliance. That bore great fruit both in the campus ministry and his personal life. Joshua is now an EC Ministry Associate training campus ministries to become the best at reaching the lost with the love of Jesus. He lives in Madison, WI with his wife and two daughters.

  • Julie Rose – Campus Associate

    Julie earned B.A. in Humanities and Spanish from Florida State University and an M.A. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. Through the Catholic Extension Society's Young Adult Leadership Initiative, Julie interned full time in campus ministry serving Old Dominion University in Norfollk, Virginia while studying. Later when she became Director of Campus Ministry at ODU, Julie worked closely with the EC as one of the campus ministries in the EC Alliance with the Diocese of Richmond Alliance. The fruits of that work at ODU inspired her to join the Evangelical Catholic in the summer of 2015.

  • Delaney Dodson – Campus Associate

    Delaney Dodson, campus associate, graduated from Southern Illinois University. Her experience there of ETC’s and relational ministries convinced her that the EC is the place where she could best respond to a long-felt call from the Lord to serve the Church. While in undergrad she ministered through Totus Tuus: having worked as a campus ministry intern leading small groups and mentoring other students in discipleship one-on-one. Delaney also served as a youth minister in her parish. When not bringing the good news of Jesus and the Church to campus, Delaney loves to run and teach yoga.

  • Austin Franke – Creative Director of Media and Campus Associate

    Austin graduated in 2012 from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in Digital Filmmaking. Soon after graduation, Austin joined the Evangelical Catholic as a Missionary in the Campus Ministry Training Program. He completed the program and began working full-time spreading awareness of the EC through media, as well as traveling to campuses in order to equip them for growth in outreach and evangelization.

  • Faye Darnall – Director of Publications

    Faye Darnall earned B.A.s in English and History from the University of Oregon. After a trade book publishing career in New York City (Henry Holt and Viking Penguin), she earned a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Faye helped bring the Evangelical Catholic to the University of Wisconsin Catholic Student Center when she was Woman Chaplain from 1995 to 2005. Because of the tremendous fruits she saw, Faye took EC methods with her when she became the lay Undergraduate Chaplain at the Harvard Catholic Student Center. She started working for the EC in 2008 after seeing that ministry transformed.

  • Katelin Cummins – Writer / Editor

    Katelin Cummins earned a B.A. from Beloit College in 2007. As a recent graduate, she used EC training and materials to lead Catholic small groups in Beloit and Madison. In 2008 she joined the EC staff as Office Manager and has enjoyed serving the EC’s administrative needs and mission of evangelization ever since. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband.

  • Cathy Rakers – Coordinator of Parish Operations

    Cathy Rakers joined the Evangelical Catholic in the summer of 2015. She brought with her over 30 years of business experience focused in operations and client relations. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Business from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, she landed an opportunity at the IBM Corporation where she earned multiple promotions within account administration and operations management. She left her position as Customer Operations Manager to start her family and pursue her new career as an at-home mom. As her life allowed, Cathy has worked part-time for the past 21 years in the areas of professional and leadership development, process improvement, client satisfaction, and serving her children’s Catholic school and her parish. She is thankful for the opportunity to combine her passion for Jesus Christ and His Church, with her professional experience. Cathy and her husband have two grown children.

  • Cody LeClaire – Coordinator of Campus Operations

    Cody was trained as a student by the EC, beginning in 2008, and helped start evangelization small groups on campus at Iowa State University. After graduation he spent two years learning the ins and outs of EC ministry and methodology as a missionary and three further years serving as a Ministry Associate. He lives in Madison, WI with his wife Nicole and two sons.

  • Rebekah Scaperlanda – Mission Advancement Coordinator

    Rebekah Scaperlanda came to the Evangelical Catholic after serving as the Development Director for the Catholic Student Center at the University of Oklahoma, her home state. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Bachelor of General Studies in Film and Theater from the University of Kansas. At KU she received faith formation from the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center and became a student ministry leader. Rebekah aligned her passions for evangelization and Journalism during college as a national writer and public speaker. After graduation, Rebekah wrote articles and blogs for various publications including Sooner Catholic, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City newspaper; Catholic Parent; and Goodness Reigns. The Lord drew her to Madison in late 2015, and joined the EC.

  • Tom Wierschem – Finance Manager

    After a 35 year career in banking in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including 16 years as CEO/President of multiple community banks, Tom had the calling to contribute to an organization that spreads the Good News. A lifelong Catholic, he has served on multiple Parish and Finance Councils for his local parishes, as well as Long Range Planning, Stewardship, and RCIA Committees. Tom earned his M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his B.S. in Social Studies from the University of Minnesota. He currently resides in the Madison area with his wife. His three children and four grandchildren also reside in the area.

  • Jamie Kolasinski – Accountant/Office Manager

    Jamie is the Accountant/Office Manager for the Evangelical Catholic bringing 30 years of financial and administrative experience to the EC. Jamie is a lifelong Catholic having experienced the beginning of her personal conversion while living in Chicago in 2001 and has been a work in progress ever since. Her passion for learning about the Catholic faith coupled with her business background makes her a perfect fit for the EC. Jamie and her husband John moved to Madison so they could both work to serve the local Church in Madison and continue growing together in the Lord. Jamie has served the Church in various capacities in parishes having been part of a stewardship council, tithe committee, wedding ministry, Adorer of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and RCIA sponsor while serving in various parishes throughout Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina and now Wisconsin. In October 2015, she and her husband made permanent professions as Lay Dominicans in the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapter in Greenville, South Carolina choosing to live the four pillars of Dominican life: prayer, evangelization, study, and community.

Additional Staff

Board of Directors

  • Lisa Zasada, President
    Engineering Manager, General Mills
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Geoff Gasperini, Vice-President
    Attorney
    Richmond, VA
  • Lyle Landowski, Treasurer
    Commercial Real Estate - COO, Colliers International
    Lisbon, WI
  • Fr. Randy Timmerman, Member
    Pastor of St. Dennis
    Madison, WI
  • Terri Arcidiacono, Member
    Mother of five
    Raleigh, NC
  • Ben Buss, Member
    Digital Experience Delivery Manager, American Family Insurance
    Waunakee, WI
  • Paul Miller, Member
    Partner at Entrision, LLC
    Green Bay, WI
  • Paul Hager, Member
    President and CEO, Information Technology Professionals
    Stoughton, WI
  • Elizabeth Ann Johnson MD, Member
    Mother of five
    St. Paul, MN
  • Carrie Miller, Member
    Head Women's Tennis Coach, St. Norbert
    Green Bay, WI

Ecclesial Supporters

  • The Most Reverend Robert Morlino
    Bishop
    Diocese of Madison
  • The Most Reverend David Ricken
    Bishop
    Diocese of Green Bay
  • The Most Reverend Donald Hying
    Bishop
    Diocese of Gary
  • The Most Reverend Robert Barron
    Auxiliary Bishop
    Archdiocese of Los Angeles
  • The Reverend Monsignor Steve Callahan
    Diocesan Administrator
    Diocese of San Diego

Collaborators in Ministry