Meet Our Board

2017-2018 Board of Trustees of Serra International

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones, President, djones@serrainternational.org, grew up on a dairy farm in Snohomish, Washington and graduated from Snohomish High School.  He graduated from Washington State University (after living in Phi Kappa Theta Catholic Fraternity) and then graduated from Stanford for Physical Therapy School. Dan practiced Physical Therapy for 38 years and was a founding partner of Therapeutic Associates; of which two of his sons are now partners.

 

He and his first wife raised four children (3 boys and a girl) and were active members of St. Pius X Parish and very involved in the kids Catholic High Schools (Jesuit and St Mary’s Academy).  He currently has 6 grandkids.

 

In 1980, when he was co-chair for the building a new church for St Pius he was invited to join Serra and has been a member ever since.  After his first wife’s death, he married Lynn, and she is an active partner with Dan in Serra.

 

Dan have served in numerous VP offices of the Portland Serra Club as well as two separate terms as President, District Governor and Regional Director.  On the United States Council of Serra International,  he has served as Chairman and VP of Vocations, member of the Executive Committee, and just completed his term as President of the Council of the United States of Serra International.

 


 

Mario Biscardi

Mario Biscardi, President-elect,  mbiscardi@serrainternational.org and Serran, Toronto Central Serra Club, District 26.  Mario has been a Serran since 1981, and during this time has been instrumental in the formation of 6 new Serra Clubs in the Archdiocese of Toronto plus 2 other dioceses in the surrounding area. Mario recently retired after a 40 year rewarding career with a major Canadian bank, having spent 18 years in lending to the real estate and construction industry as well as 14 years in the commercial and corporate banking area in Ontario. He is now very active as a consultant and also volunteers his time in various Church related charitable and non-profit organizations. Mario has been married to Luisa for 45 years, and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

 


 

Ruben Gallegos

Dr. Ruben Gallegos, VP for Membership, rgallegos@serrainternational.org:  At an early age Dr. Ruben Gallegos worked in the agricultural fields of Texas, California, and Colorado.   For many years he served as altar boy in the Catholic Church.  He joined Serra in 1993 and served as Club President, District Governor, Regional Director, Board Member of Serra's National Council for the United States andSerra International.  In 1970 he graduated with Ph.D. from East Texas State University. He worked as teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent in Brownsville. Also he worked as assistant superintendent in Dallas and Superintendent in Edinburg. He worked 33 years in the field of education with the last nine years as university professor. In 2001, Brownsville named a school the Dr. Ruben Gallegos Elementary School for his contributions in the field of education for children in migrant, bilingual, and multicultural educational programs. Since 1988 Dr. Gallegos has served as the CEO of an educational agency.

 


 

Bertha Acuna Hallatt

Bertha Rosa Acuña Hallatt, VP for Vocations, bacuna@serrainternational.org, for the Serra International Board from Mexico. Has a Bachelor's Degree in History and in Psychology at the Texas Southmost College. She was a grant holder of the National Council of Science and Technology for a research on the “Theology of Liberation and Charismatic movements in Cuernavaca”. Has been coordinator for the organization, classification and rescue of the colonial archives of the Cathedral and presently she is working in the project of rescue of the Historic Library of the Cathedral of Cuernavaca, frolm the XVII and XVIII century.

 

She has been an active member of her local club for 25 years as Secretary, Vice President of Communication and Club President, where she has been very successful in the relations of the club with the Bishop and the seminary. She has lived abroad in different countries of the world which has given her a wide appreciation and understanding of the diversity of our club members and the compromise we have with the Lord to set an example as members of the catholic church.

 


 

Roberto Sobral, VP for Programs, rsobral@serrainternational.org.  Roberto Sobral Pinto Ribeiro -  Graduated in Economics from Brasilia University (UnB) in 1976 and earned a MSc. in Economics from University of São Paulo (USP) in 1978.  He worked for Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission  from October 1978 to Ictober 2013 as Market Analyst, doing works of economic research, market surveillance and enforcement and is now retired.  He was an adjunct professor of Candido Mendes University (UCAM), Rio de Janeiro, teaching Financial Systems and Microeconomics from 1979 to 1983. Roberto joined Serra of Rio de Janeiro (first club in Brazil) in 1983.  He is a Past Club President, Past District Governor, and Brazilian Serra National Council member.  

 


 

Kurt Metyko VP for Communications, kmetyko@serrainternational.org, After St. Anne's Grade School and St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas, Kurt obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Notre Dame University, Class of 1964.  Following graduation, he served on active duty in the Army for two years, including one year in Viet Nam, retiring as a Captain.  After his service, Kurt joined his father's civil engineering firm and is still practicing today.   Kurt became a member of the Houston Serra Club in 1968, joining his father Frank (1977 Serra International President).  Kurt held all the Club, District and U.S. Council positions culminating with the 2011 Presidency of Serra's National Council for the United States.  He has been a member and past Chairman of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston's St. Mary's Seminary Advisory Board, serving from 1978 until March, 2014.  Kurt also serves, since 1997, on the Board of the Shalom Center in Splendora, Texas, a counseling center for Catholic priests and religious.

 


 

Thomas Castellanos, CPA, Treasurer, tcastellanos@serrainternational.org. Thomas has been a member of the East Valley Phoenix, Arizona club since 2002, and during this time has been instrumental in the formation of two new Serra clubs in the Diocese of Phoenix. Thomas has worked as a top financial officer for over 30 years, and currently serves as  CFO of a Healthcare not-for-profit organization with services across the USA. Thomas has been active in real estate transactions for nonprofit organizations for over 20 years, which included board of director training and strategic planning.  He emphasized bringing capital to nonprofit service programs requires compliance with 990 and fiscal audits for organizations across the USA. He volunteers his time in various Phoenix Diocese roles, lay associations, and related charitable and non-profit organizations. Thomas has been married to Rosemary for 40 years, and has 5 children and 12 grandchildren.

 


 

Michael Bragg

Michael Bragg, Secretary, mbragg@serrainternational.org. Michael graduated from the College of Wooster , with honors and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, cum laude.  Michael is a partner in the law firm Spengler Nathanson PLL in Toledo OH.  Michael is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, current Grand Knight of St. Joan of Arc Council 15905, the current Serra International District Governor for the Diocese of Toledo, President of the St. Joan of Arc Athletic Board, sits on the Executive Committee of the Maumee Valley Historical Society and sits on the board of Friends of Russian Orphans. Michael has volunteered as a coach and scout leader and sung in the Parish Choir. Michael is a past President of the Toledo Bar Association Real Estate Committee and currently sits on the Bar Admissions Committee. He is active at St. Joan of Arc Parish, has been married for 30 years and has four children. 

 


 

Dante Vannini

Dante Vannini, Past President, dvannini@serrainternational.org,  Dante Vannini was born in Siena, Italy.  He and his wife, Niccoletta, have two daughters and three grandchildren.  He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Techical Institute of Siena and a Masters in Logistics from Eindhoven University, the Netherlands,  He has worked as factory manager for Philips in New Delhi, India, a factory manager for Whirlpool in Alexandria, Egypt, Director of Logistics for Whirlpool Europe, and President of Electichal Company.  He joined Serra in 1994.  During his 20 years in Serra, he has been President of the Serra Club of Siena, Trustee of the Serra Council for Italy, and Trustee of the Junipero Serra Italy Foundation.

 


 

Julio Cesar Cámara López, Trustee, is a Mexican civil engineer and businessman. He is the founder and currently operates as CEO of “La Pirámide Group”. Born and raised in Mérida, Yucatán, he married María Concepción (Nov 17, 1984) and has 3 children and 1 granddaughter. Julio joined Serra in the year 2002 where Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong served as chaplain for 10 years. Following are offices he has held in Serra:

 

2006-2008 VP of Vocations, Apostolado Serra de Mérida.

2008-2010 Treasurer, Apostolado Serra de Mérida.

2008-2012 Secretary of the National Council Serra México Centroamérica AC.

2010-2012 President, Apostolado Serra de Mérida.

2012-2014 President of the National Council Serra México Centroamérica AC.

2015 Member Nominating committee in Sacramento California.

2016-2018 VP of Programming, Apostolado Serra de Mérida.

 

He has supported the local and national communications VP assisting them in web design and social media. His hobbies are playing tennis, fishing, bike riding, cooking and hoping that one day he will live at the beach.

 


 

Jeannette D'Souza, Trustee, jdsouza@serrainternational.org, grew up in Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal in India.  She graduated in Commerce with St. John’s College in Agra, and worked with the Airlines until she got married in 1966 and went to live in Kuwait in the Middle East.  After settling down with her two daughters, she began work with a local bank that was run by Chase Manhattan Bank.  When Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1990, she returned to India. Rather than retire so early in life she preferred to do her bit for the Church, now that she had the time. She began with teaching spoken English to candidates to the Jesuit seminary and has continued doing so for over 17 years.   But that was not enough.   She felt she had a calling to be a Counsellor and took several courses in this area.   She now runs two parish-based Pastoral Counselling centres with around 20 Counsellors in the city of Bangalore.   She herself specializes in Marriage counselling and has taken class, in this area, for the Redemptorist Seminarians in Bangalore.

 

Jeanette and her husband Carlos were introduced to Serra in 2002 and ever since she has been working passionately towards fulfilling the Serra goals in India.  She has been instrumental in introducing several innovative ideas to foster and promote vocations, in compliance with the local customs, with the help of a hard working and dedicated team.   She is currently President of the Serra Club of Bangalore.  She came on the Board of Serra International in 2016.

 

Jeanette has two daughters and three grandchildren.  They all live in Canada.  Her husband passed away in 2011 and since then she makes two trips a year to Canada to be with her family. 

 


 

Blessida Diwa, Trustee, bdiwa@serrainternational.org

 


 

Charles Furr

Charles (Chuck) Furr, Trustee, cfurr@serrainternational.org, is the 8th of 11 children and grew up as an active farm boy near Waseca, Minnesota, USA. After 12 years of Catholic education at Sacred Heart Grade and High School, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS Degree in Agricultural Education, intending to teach Vocational Agriculture  However, he spent 33 years with the Agricultural Department of Dow Chemical Company in sales and marketing.

 

Joining the Serra Club of Honolulu in 1993, he has been a President and District Governor within Serra before joining the SI Board. He is active in his parish, the Knights of Columbus, the Vocations Committee of LARC (Leadership Association of Religious Communities) and more, he stays busy, respecting the memory of his deceased wife, Marilyn, who too, made great contribution to Serra, especially in helping to make the Regional Convention of California, Nevada and Hawaii such a success in October, 2004.

 

Chuck has two adult children and five grandchildren.

 


 

Jesse Gallegos, Trustee,  has been a Serra Club of Harlingen Member since 1999. Jesse has held the position of President many years and continues to lead and support the efforts of Serra International, the Serra Council of the United States (USAC) and District 126. Jesse has also held the office of District Governor, VP for Vocations and VP for Membership. Jesse is a retired public school teacher, assistant principal and principal after serving 32 years in public education.

 


 

Margo Geddie, Trustee, received her B.A. in Economics from Skidmore College.  She attended the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University with a double major in Accounting and Finance.  She received her Certified Investment Management Analysit (CIMA@)) designation from the Wharton School of Business, her Certified Financial Planner  (CFP@) designation and her Family Wealth Director designation.  She started her career in wealth management with Morgan Stanley over 25 years ago where today she is a Senior Vice President-Wealth Management.

 

Away from the office, Margo serves on the Advisory Board of St. Mary’s Catholic  Seminary and is a member of the Board of Directors of Serra International and the Catholic Endowment Foundation of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  She also is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston.  She has been a Serran for over 15 years and currently is President of The Serra Club of Houston.

 

She is married to Bill LaFuze and enjoys spending time with her extended family including seven grandchildren.

 


 

Affonso Iannone

Affonso Iannone, Trustee, aiannone@serrainternational.org. Affonso J Iannone was born in São Paulo, SP, Brazil, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in electrical and mechanical engineering form the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo , and a master's degree in business administration for the FGV University of São Paulo, associated with Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

He worked for Ansaldo Energia Co., his entire life.  He was responsible for the erection of electrical power plants in Brazil and South America , and in 1980 he became managing director of this Italian Group in Brazil.

 

He joined the Serra Club of São Paulo in June of 1964.

 

In these 50 years of Serra life he was president of his club, governor of the Serra district 112, and Coordinator of the Brazilian Region South I. He became President of Serra International in 1998 and later became the President of the Brazilian Serra Council.

 


 

Anne Larkins, Trustee, alarkins@serrainternational.org

 


 

Giuseppe Miccoli, Trustee, gmiccoli@serrainternational.org, has been a member of the Serra Club of Ferrara, District 76 Emilia Romagna, Italy, since 2004. He served two terms as club presidentand two terms as District 76 governor. Giussepe was a member of the Serra International Nominating Committee for three years. From 2011-2013, he served as president of Forum San Maurelio, a Catholic sodality of six groups including the Serra clubs of Ferrara and Pomposa. 

 

Giuseppe is an Opus Dei co-operator, a Catholic Alliance Association member, a member of Serra Pomposa-Speyer Friends Association, church pastoral staff member and pastoral co-operator of St. Benedict Salesian parish, and a member of Ferrara-Comacchio Diocese, Pastoral Office for Laity.

 


 

John Osterhart, Trustee, josterhart@serrainternational.org. John is a Muskegon, MI, native who was born in nearby Holland, John Osterhart was the USA Council’s president for 2015-2016.  He has been a member of the Serra Club of Grand Rapids, MI, since 1974 and has served in numerous positions in his club and at the district, regional and national levels, including national Programs vice-president and as a club trustee.  As previous club newsletter editor,  John netted Serra regional and national Serra recognition awards for his club’s newsletter.

 

John is retired after a long career in accounting and in the computer industry as a system integrator. He lives in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife of 43 years, Ellen. The Osterharts belong to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Grand Rapids, and are active as volunteers in their parish and local community. They feel blessed to have their two sons, daughters-in-law, and three granddaughters nearby enough to readily attend and participate in their family activities and celebrations.

 


 

Richard (Dick) Petersen, Trustee, and his wife are 17-year charter members of the Serra Club of Tri-Cities, Washington (Washington State, USA).  They have been married 51 years, have 4 married sons and 10 grandchildren.  Dick graduated from the University of Washington and moved to Kennewick, Washington where he has lived ever since.  He is a convert, having gone thorough RCIA in 1982.  He has been District Governor and Regional Director for the US Council, and has served 2 years on the USA Council Nominating Committee, 2 years on the US Long Range Planning Committee, and chair of USA Membership Committee for 2 years.

 

In addition to Serra, Dick is a 40-year member of Kiwanis International, where several years ago he and another Kiwanian started a Foundation that is still going strong, which grants scholarships to high school seniors.  He has been on the board of the Benton Franklin Humane Society for 27 years, is a 35-year member of the Knights of Columbus.  He is an avid gardener and fisherman.

 


 

Maria Gemma Sarteschi, Trustee, msarteschi@serrainternational.org, is a member of the Serra Club of Pisa, for whom she has served as president twice. In addition, she has been District 71 governor, VP of Programs for the Italian national council of Serra, President of Serra's Italian national council, and she has served twice as president for the Italian National Congress. She has also served on the Serra International Nomination Committee.

 

Gemma is a widow with one daughter. Two years ago, she retired from a bank management position and now runs a restaurant, travel agency and B & B.

 


 

Robert Rudman

 Robert ("Bob") Rudman, Trustee, rrudman@serrainternational.org, Married 53 years to Missy, 4 married children, 6 grandchildren; resides in Franklin, TN. Both an Economics major & hockey player graduating from Boston College. Marketing Management responsibilities with National Broadcasting Co. (Huntley-Brinkley, Jeopardy & Leahr McNeil shows), American Brands & Johnson & Johnson before starting a manufacturers's representative company which developed for 20 years new markets of distribution & products for many blue chip companies. Currently serving on the Boards of: Grace Works Ministries (70 churches which help disadvantaged families exit poverty as well as provide for their immediate needs for food, clothing, shelter & medical), & the Children's Kindness Network (teaching children to stop bullying before it starts). The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County (1,000 members with preservation as their goal) has honored him for volunteering.  Received the Exemplary Community Volunteer Award for 2014 and 2015. Volunteer with the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia's at Aquinas College having served on their Board as well as the School Board of St. Matthews Church. Although retired involved in marketing- consulting for many non-profit organizations. 

 


 

Patrick Ugbana

Patrick Ugbana, VP for Programs, pugbana@serrainternational.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

John Liston

John Liston, Executive Director,  jliston@serrainternational.org - After graduating from Archbishop Quigley High School Seminary, John earned a Bachelor of Science from the Darla Moore School of Businessmen at the University of South Carolina, receiving degrees in international business, human resources management, and entrepreneurship.  He obtained a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law with a certificate in advocacy. 

 

Before becoming Executive Director of Serra, John worked for the law firm of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman, LLP, as a civil defense attorney.  In addition to his work for Serra, John is an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he teaches courses in negotiation, mediation, and client counseling.  John also serves as the treasurer for Innovation Experts, a non-profit that provides support services for public libraries.