Jason Simon – President
Jason Simon is the President of The Evangelical Catholic (EC). After working briefly in engineering, he began working in the Church as a parish Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry. Through this work, he saw the power of evangelization in the Church and his passion to see more lives impacted by the Holy Spirit. In 2007, he graduated from the M.Div. Theology Program at the University of Notre Dame and then began leading the EC. Under his leadership, the Evangelical Catholic has experienced consistent expansion by equipping local Catholic leaders to not only be disciples, but disciple-makers. Jason and the EC's staff built REACH MORE™ and Nextstep to equip Catholic lay leaders to fulfill the Great Commission. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Grace, and their six children.
Andrew Ochalek – Vice President of Operations
Andrew Ochalek first encountered the Evangelical Catholic in 2014 as a parishioner at a REACH MORE™ On-Site 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. Andrew lives in Madison, WI with his wife, Maria, and daughter, Veronica.
Robert Koonce – Senior Director of Philanthropy
As the Senior Director of Philanthropy, Robert has the privilege of working with donors committed to spreading the Gospel by generously supporting the work of evangelization. A lifelong Catholic, Robert has volunteered or worked in youth ministry, catechesis, and marriage preparation in his over 20+ years of being involved in the life of our Church. Professionally, he comes to the Evangelical Catholic with nearly 15 years working and volunteering in the non-profit sector supporting organizations tackling diverse issues from faith, environmental conservation, historic preservation, education, community development, and violence reduction. Robert’s formal education includes a Bachelor’s in Classics and two master’s degrees, one in Instructional System Design and the other in Pastoral Theology. Currently, he lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio with his wife Divina and their four children.
Saul Keeton – Director of Mission Expansion
Saul Keeton is the Director of Mission Expansion for The Evangelical Catholic. He is a sales & marketing executive with 25 years of broad experience in professional & amateur sports, consulting, commercial real estate, and most recently banking. Saul obtained an MBA from Rice University (2002) and completed his undergraduate work at Trinity University (1995). In the past, Saul has played in a rock band and an orchestra, lost a no-hitter with 1 out left in the game, piloted an aircraft that caught on fire, refereed an NCAA basketball game, planned security with the US Secret Service, wrote a regular column for BusinessWeek magazine, finished a marathon, sung the national anthem before a professional baseball game, emceed an annual Catholic men's conference for three years, and recently graduated from the FBI's Citizens Academy. He became Catholic in 2001 and has been a certified catechist in three dioceses, teaching Confirmation prep nearly 10 times. He lives in Jackson, Mississippi with his wife, Jan, and their six kids
James Carrano – Senior Mission Advancement Officer
As a Senior Mission Advancement Officer, James is a key driver of fund development and new ministry expansion. He also works with the campus team leaders as they continue strengthening campuses to raise up disciples. 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 seven children.
Peter Andrastek – Senior Ministry Consultant
Peter has worked in adult formation in the Church since 2003. He holds a Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology from Ave Maria University. His experience includes preaching retreats, teaching theology and adult catechesis courses, being a guest lecturer at seminaries, and giving presentations and trainings for numerous parishes, dioceses, movements, and institutions in the Church. He also has articles published in Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal. Peter currently advises a team that serves over 110 ministries around the world, including dioceses, parishes, and military bases. He lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin with his wife and seven children.
Andre Lesperance – Senior Content Creator
As a Senior Ministry Consultant and Content Writer, Andre advises parishes in implementing the REACH MORE™ mission process, delivers parish missions and training events, and continually works to expand the EC’s formation and training materials. He has worked in Catholic ministry and education since 2003 and holds a master’s degree in theology from Marquette University. Andre lives near Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife Jackie and their four children.
Mark Rose – Lead Ministry Consultant
Mark was introduced to the Evangelical Catholic in 2004 during his undergraduate studies at UW-Madison, where he became involved in campus ministry efforts using EC methods extensively. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2006, Mark worked in sales and management but ultimately felt the call back to ministry through an evangelization team called Spiritus. In June 2013, he began working for the EC equipping campus ministry staff and student leaders to build vibrant and sustainable communities focused on discipleship development and reaching the lost. He received his Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2017, and now lives in Madison with his wife, Julie, and their two children.
Kendra McClelland – Regional Mission Advancement Officer
Kendra is a Southern California native. She received her Master of Divinity from the Franciscan School of Theology, and brings a professional background in corporate leadership consulting from her role as a Marketing and Project Manager for Blueprint Leadership. Her ministerial experience includes working with parishes and campus ministries from coast to coast, 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 – Lead Ministry 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. This bore great fruit both in the campus ministry and his personal life. As an EC Ministry Consultant, Josh trains campus ministries to be the best at reaching the lost with the love of Jesus. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and their children.
Andrea Jackson – Ministry Consultant and Content Creator
Andrea first experienced The Evangelical Catholic as a member of an evangelization small group at Harvard University where she studied English Language and Literature. She trained as a missionary through the EC's Campus Ministry Training Program after college. After two years of equipping student leaders for evangelization on campus, she pursued her Master of Divinity from Boston College. Andrea worked in the parish context in the Archdiocese of Boston where she was a pastoral associate and EC REACH MORE™ point person for four years. In 2018 Andrea and her husband moved from Massachusetts to Wisconsin to allow her to work more fully with the EC as a Ministry Consultant.
Julie Rose – Mission Consultant Team Leader
Julie earned a B.A. in Humanities and Spanish from Florida State University and an M.A. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. During her time as a campus minister in the Diocese of Richmond, Julie worked closely with the EC as a REACH MORE™ ministry Point Person. Her time as a Point Person inspired her to join the Evangelical Catholic in the summer of 2015. Julie and her husband Mark live in Madison, WI, and have 2 children.
Cody LeClaire – Mission Expansion Officer
After helping to launch evangelizing small groups and one-on-one mentoring at his alma mater, Iowa State University, Cody joined EC’s team full-time as a ministry associate, consultant, coach, and operations specialist. His current role is in visioning with new ministries and helping them navigate common obstacles in the way of mission. Cody lives in Madison, WI with Nicole, his wife, their two sons, and daughter.
Emily Mansfield – Reach More™ Consultant
Emily joined the Evangelical Catholic as a Coach and Ministry Associate in June 2018. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance. While at IU, she encountered the EC through involvement in the Catholic campus ministry. She served as a full-time missionary on campus after graduation, supporting the culture of evangelization small groups and discipleship mentoring. She still enjoys opportunities to play violin with friends, at Mass, or in praise and worship.
Katelin Cummins – Mission Content Team Leader
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. From 2008 to 2016 she served the EC’s administrative needs as Office Manager. Since 2016, she has enjoyed contributing to and coordinating the development of evangelization training and discipleship materials to support the EC’s mission. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband.
Tom Wierschem – Business Specialist
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 five grandchildren also reside in the area.
Luke Gondeck – Accountant
Luke earned a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2005 and Master’s degree in 2006. Luke has 10 plus years of accounting experience and is a licensed CPA. He previously worked for Gorman & Company, a developer and property management company. Luke brings to the EC his love of analyzing data and accounting skills. He joined the EC in 2018 and he continues his journey to strengthen his faith. He lives with his wife and 3 children in Black Earth, WI.
Sarah Pandl – Ministry Advancement Coordinator
Sarah Pandl graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics. She taught in a parish grade school for five years in Illinois and served is a parish Director of Religious Education for six years in Kansas. Currently, she is working towards a Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization from Franciscan University. Sarah recently moved to Madison to join the EC team.
Angela Dart – Coordinator of Quality Assurance
Angela comes to the Evangelical Catholic after serving for 12 years in the field of International Aid. Angela has a Masters degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and worked for a humanitarian organization specializing in designing holistic solutions to complex humanitarian issues in over 40 countries around the globe. She has joyfully joined the team at the Evangelical Catholic as their Coordinator of Quality Assurance bringing with her experience in database design, data management and analytics. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, Josh, and their gaggle of children.
Krista Ewing – Operations Administrator
Krista Ewing graduated from UW-Madison with a Bachelors of Science in Education. She worked for 10 years as a teacher in public schools, including 4 years as a certified Spanish-English bilingual teacher. She has also been a ministry leader with Intervarsity on campus, International Teams in Mexico, and a Stephen Minister in her local church community. Today, she lives in Madison with her two daughters. She is passionate about using her skills as an organized teacher, administrator, Spanish-speaker, and disciple of Jesus to help the operations of the Evangelical Catholic run efficiently and effectively so that more people in the world can come to know Jesus and live in a way that witnesses to Him.
Tyler Wheeler – Coach
In his 12th year of church ministry, Tyler is in his first year as a coach for the Evangelical Catholic. He completed a Masters in Ministry from Loras College in 2011 and has spent the last 6 years immersing himself in the Evangelical Catholic process of forming disciples. Tyler lives outside of Fort Atkinson, IA with his wife Lynette and their 5 children.
Michael Dill – Coach
Since high school, Mike has been evangelizing and leading ministries in academic, parish, and professional environments. His 19 years of ministry experience include team building, small group leadership, retreat & event organization, discipleship training, music and catechesis. He was forged as a leader in seven years of active service in the U.S. Army, including two overseas combat tours, and currently serves as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He loves serving one soul at a time and enjoys watching the lights turn on in someone's eyes as they discover the goodness of the Lord for themselves. He resides in Colorado with his wife and three children.
Colleen Vermeulen – Coach
Colleen is in her second year as a Coach for the Evangelical Catholic and has worked in evangelization, youth and adult catechesis, and ministry formation for the past six years. Colleen has a Masters of Divinity and an Executive Masters of Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame. Colleen lives in Ypsilanti, MI with her husband, Luke, and 3 young boys.
Doug Ulaszek – Coach
Doug has been an EC coach for two years, and comes with ten years of ministry experience. Three of those years were spent as a Point Person, implementing the EC's vision and methods in his parish with great fruit. Doug owns a Masters Degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Beth, and their five children.
Faye Darnall – Coach
Faye earned B.A.s in English and History from the University of Oregon and 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.
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Board of Directors
- Lisa Zasada, President
Engineering Business Manager, General Mills
- Geoff Gasperini, Vice-President
Senior Counsel, Dominion Energy
- Lyle Landowski, Member
Partner, Colliers International
- Ben Buss, Member
Digital Experience Delivery Director, American Family Insurance
- Paul Hager, Member
President and CEO, Information Technology Professionals
- Elizabeth Ann Johnson MD, Member
Mother of eight
St. Paul, MN
- Dan Zellner, Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer, LZ Management Company, LLC
- Scott Hackl
Vice President of Philanthropy, FOCUS
Sun Prairie, WI
- Rob Marsland
President, Intraband LLC
- Msgr. Steve Callahan
Pastor, St. Brigid Parish & Judicial Vicar, Tribunal Catholic Diocese of San Diego
San Diego, CA
- The Most Reverend David Ricken
Diocese of Green Bay
- The Most Reverend Donald Hying
Diocese of Madison
- The Most Reverend Robert Barron
Archdiocese of Los Angeles