Judy Cozzens, President
Serra Club of St. Paul, MN
She is also a frequent speaker at Serra regional conferences on the topics of “Starting Parish Vocation Activities” and “Passing on Our Beautiful Catholic Faith.” Judy was honored as the Outstanding Serran of the Year for District 6 in 2006 and 2010.
Judy has held the offices of Communications and Programs vice president for the Serra Club of Southwest Denver. She is currently a member of the Twin Cities, MN club. She is the a member of USAC’s national Vocations Committee, and was the Vice President for Vocations from 2015-2016.
Judy is a very active volunteer in pro-life ministries and volunteers as support staff for training missionaries at NET Ministries, an organization which evangelizes to young Catholics via retreats, Masses, and other activities targeted to youth.
“My husband and I believe that we have been blessed with good health and time and should use our retirement to give thanks to the Lord and promote His work in our family, our community and our nation,” says Judy.
Last but certainly not least, Judy’s son, Andrew Cozzens, was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Dec. 9, 2013. He succeeds Bishop Peter Christensen as Episcopal Adviser for the USA Council on April 5, 2014. She asks for prayers for him in his new journey.
Greg Schwietz, Past President
Serra Club of Omaha, NE
Greg joined Serra in 1983, in his longtime home Omaha, Nebraska. He served in numerous capacities at the club level for many years until 1999-2000 when he served as club president. His commitment to the Omaha club continued for six years at the board level until 2005.
Subsequent Serra Leadership positions included, District 9 W governor, 9 W, USA Council Region 9 Director, USA Council Board Member, Trustee Serra International Board, Vice President of Vocations Serra International board, USA Council Vice President of Communications,
Additional responsibilities: SI and USA Council Dialog committee representing Serra International; Current Member of Combined Administrative Office (CAO) Committee; SI Audit Committee for three years; USA Council Audit Committee, 2014; Chairman, Long Range Planning Committee – USA Council.
Greg and his wife, Mary Lynn, have been married for over 40 years and have three grown children. They have been long time members of St. Leo the Great Parish in Omaha. Greg and Mary Lynn were active for over 30 years in TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) retreats in Omaha, and served on the national leadership team for over 10 years. Greg recently retired as president of L&M Construction Chemicals, an international, family-owned company which manufactured and sold concrete treatments for new and existing concrete placements. Greg has worked in the concrete construction industry since graduating from Creighton University in 1974.
Richard Arians, President Elect
Serra Club of Mankato, MN
“As Programs Vice President, I work with the organization to reinforce the critical nature of its mission and re-engage all leaders in this mission,” he says. “Serrans need to maintain a focus on our critical need for vocations in our Church.”
Mr. Arians has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Wisconsin and earned an MBA from Augsburg College (MN) in 2012. His professional interests include serving as a business consultant for local companies, a USTA tennis umpire, and supplemental insurance agent. He regularly substitutes as a teacher at the Loyola Catholic High School in Mankato, Minnesota. He and his wife Ruth live in Madison Lake, MN, where they are active members of All Saints Catholic Church. They have two children.
Anne Shepherd-Knapp, Vice President Vocations
Serra Club of North Houston, TX
She served District 10, Region 10 as Deputy Governor and one year on the Houston Serra Rally Planning Committee. She more recently served the US Council as Chair of the US Vocation Committee and served two years on the Serra International Nominating Committee. Anne is currently VP of Vocations of the US Council of Serra International.
A Master of Science degree in Student Personnel Services and an Education Specialist Certificate prepared Anne for work in higher education in the university setting. She retired her professional position when she and her husband, Stephen, started their family and accepted two overseas assignments taking them first to live in the Middle East and later to Australia. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.
Anne and Stephen are members of Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Spring TX. She has been a Mass Sacristan, Sacristan for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and a leader of evening prayer for several years. She serves on the Parish Vocation Ministry, is a member of Catholic Daughters of America and a volunteer with the Knights of Columbus for the annual golf tournament benefitting the local seminary.
Anne strongly encourages and advocates that all Serra clubs reserve monthly worship time with the Blessed Sacrament.
Aileen G. Fields, Vice President Programs
Serra Club of Spokane, WA
Nancy Gibson, Vice President Communications
Serra Club of Johnson County, KS
Nancy has a bachelor of science degree in nursing and worked as a nurse manager and patient educator. She retired in 2011 after 47 years as a nurse to devote her time to Serra and various church ministries.
Nancy has been involved in her parish for many years. She has taught religious education to 1st and 2nd year confirmation students for the past 10 years. She also taught 2 kindergarten religious education classes. She is a Eucharist Minister, member of the Parish Vocation Ministry, member of Companions in Faith working with a Hispanic parish and school as an outreach from her parish, member of the Archdiocese Vocation Committee, member of the Blisters for Sisters planning committee for the annual walk to recognize and honor the sisters in the Kansas City area, member of the planning committee for the Priest/Seminarian Golf tournament and the planning committee for the Pitching for Priests softball game between the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph, Mo.
Nancy joined Serra at the urging of a couple of members of her parish. She really didn’t know much about Serra but after the first meeting she joined and decided to learn and become involved. She has served in her local club as the VP of Programs, VP of Membership twice, club President and is currently a club trustee. She is also District Governor for Region 9, District 12-2 Central.
Nancy is currently the Vice President of Membership for the USA Council of Serra International. She served as Chair of this committee for 2 years prior to accepting the VP position. Her committee has been meeting on conference calls for the past 3 years and have been able to accomplish much to build membership within Serra. She has a great love for the Lord, The Church, her family and Serra.
Nancy has three adult married children, five grandsons and one very spoiled granddaughter
John Halloran, Vice President Membership
Serra Club of Lake Charles, LA
Mark Bonkiewicz, Secretary and Northeast Regional Director
Serra Club of Omaha, NE
Mark may have been a Serran for only 12 years, but in those 12 years he has recruited 10 new members for his own club and led three different teams to charter three new clubs with a total of 94 members. “Two of the clubs are located in the Grand Island, NE Diocese, where there are more cows than Catholics!” Mark says.
Mark’s business career of over 40 years has focused on outside sales, marketing, and sales management. He owned and operated his own consulting business for 11 years. Currently he is Senior Sales Associate at Orent Graphics of Omaha Nebraska. He is a member of the National Speakers Association.
Ramon Vales, Treasurer
Serra Club of South Bend, IN
His goal is to “communicate the urgent need of the Church for priests and religious, and to stress the importance of being a Serran and our relevant work to meet that need.”
Ray is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and Columbia University with a master’s in business administration. His business career was in accounting and his last position was vice president of finance for Harcourt College Publishers. He has lived all over the country, but now lives in Granger, IN, with his wife of 43 years, Susan (who is now president of the South Bend club). Susan and Ray have six children.
Gino Dimattia, Great Lakes Regional Director
Serra Club of Lima, OH
Gino went on to serve as chairman of the Parish Contact Team, club chairman of Vocations Committee, club president, District 51 governor in 2009, chairman of USA Council Vocations Committee in 2010, and USA Council Vice President of Vocations.
In his role as national Vocations vice president, Gino was able to bring Serra’s message to the wider vocations community. “With the assistance of members of the Vocations Committee and the feedback of Serra clubs, I was able to write an article on how parish vocation committees can influence a culture of vocations that was published in the Summer 2013 issue of Horizon Magazine,” he says. “This (magazine) is published quarterly by NRVC, an organization with which Serra has a working relationship in the area of vocation ministry.”
Gino is unmarried and works at St. Rita’s Medical Center as an occupational therapist.
Sally Nance, Southeast Regional Director
Serra Club of Williamson County, TN
Sally has been a member of St. Philip’s Catholic Church for over 30 years. She owned a travel agency, but is retired now. She lived in Asia for 14 years with her late husband who worked with the U.S. State Department. She has two grown children and three grandsons.
John McQuillen, South Central Regional Director
Serra Club of Victoria, TX
William M. Ohnsted, North Central Regional Director
Serra Club of Duluth, MN
In 1975, I was asked by a good friend if I would be interested in joining Serra. I was not aware if what it was all about but was curious to know more about it. In those days you would have to go through an interview prior to joining. There they told me all about Serra and I was accepted as a member. Since then, I have held most of the VP positions, the president position twice and am currently the VP of Membership.
I was the District 7 Governor from 2010 to 2012 and enjoyed the position very much. I traveled to the National Convention in Alaska and met a lot of wonderful people. The District Governor position is very rewarding, not only in the people you meet but the Bishops, priests and religious you work with. You come away from the job, hoping you’ve done a little bit of good for Serra.
I am currently working with the National Membership Committee on the retention part of membership. There is so much we have to do to get our younger generation interested in Serra and the work of Serra. We have a great need for more Priests and religious in our Catholic Faith.
I am looking forward to the position of Regional Director to which I’ve just been elected. I feel the communication between the Serra Clubs throughout Region 8 is going to be the biggest challenge– to get them all to work together and use their best ideas to accomplish the work of Serra. We have 4 Districts within the region which are District 7, the Twin City area, St. Cloud, Buffalo, Duluth. District 7S, MN Winona, Rochester, Wabasha County, Mankato, Owatonna, Sleepy Eye. District 7W, SD. Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Watertown SD and District 137, ND Bismarck North Central. I look forward to the challenge and hope I will have the support of all the Serra Clubs in the Region.
On a personal note: My wife, Mary, has always been an avid supporter of my involvement in Serra. She and I were married Sept. 4th 1959 in St John’s Catholic Church Hugo Minnesota. We have 3 children: David, Mark and Amy, and have been blessed with Seven grandchildren: John, Mack, Melanie, Charley, Cory, Jack and Ryder.
I have been in the Heating Ventilating and Air conditioning business all of my life. We moved to Duluth Minnesota in 1967 and I started my own business in 1972 selling and servicing HVAC equipment and Building Automation until the winter of 2010 when I sold it. I have been retired since 2013 and enjoy retirement very much. It is a blessing that allows me to participate more in the work of Serra, the organization St. John Paul II called: “The Vocation Arm of the Church.”
J. Michael Downey, Central Regional Director
Serra Club of Des Moines, IA
Lay Advisory Committee to Des Moines Vocations Director 1999-2003. Joined Serra 2003. Offices held in Des Moines Serra Club: VP Vocations, President, VP Communications. Chaired two Region 9 Conventions in Des Moines IA: 2005 and 2015. District Governor for Iowa 2013-2018. Currently Chair, US Serra Leadership Committee.
Morie Ratuiste, Pacific Northwest Regional Director
Serra Club of Tri-Cities Area, WA
Diana Seixas, Pacific Region Co-Director
Serra Club of City of Fresno, CA
A former member of the Santa Clara, CA, Serra Club, Diana Seixas is now a Fresno club member and has served Serra in many positions over the past 15 years, including as club Membership and Vocations VP, and as club President. She has been a District Governor, Regional Director, and Vice President for the USA Council Communications Committee. She and her husband, Michael, are very active in Serra.