J. Michael Downey, President

Serra Club of Des Moines, Iowa

J. Michael Downey is President of the US Council for Serra and chair of the Leadership Development Committee for the Council. Until recently, he was also Region Director for the Central Region of Serra—a role he served in for the past 4 years. Prior to that he was District Governor of District 9E (Iowa) covering six clubs and four dioceses representing about 320 Iowa Serrans. He served in this role from 2014 until 2018. Mike is a member of the St. Serra Club of Des Moines, IA and he has held the following offices in that club: President, V.P. Vocations, V.P. Communications and Trustee. He chaired two region conventions held in the Central Region that were hosted by the St. Serra Club of Des Moines.   Mike has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University (1974) and a law degree from the University of Iowa (1977). He served as Associate General Counsel and General Manager of the Des Moines Register and Tribune Co. and is a former–now retired–business owner and has served as president of three manufacturing companies.

Anne Roat, President-Elect

Serra Club of Lafayette, Indiana

Anne Roat first encountered Serra in 1992, when she was invited by the Chaplin of the Lafayette Serrans to speak about her ministry as a Director of Religious Education at her parish. The local club was composed mainly of men and later welcomed both single and married women. In 2004, Anne and her husband Bill joined the Lafayette Serra Club. Anne served as a member of the Membership Committee, Treasurer, Trustee, and member of the Bylaws Committee, while Bill served as President and Treasurer.

Anne currently ministers as a Spiritual Director and works as the Director of Evangelization, Family Life, and Pastoral Ministries at the St. Mary Cathedral and St. Ann Church Pastorate in Lafayette. She has also been the Director of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana Office of Catechesis, parish Director of Religious Education, and a Catholic School Vice Principal.

Anne holds a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation, and a theology certificate from the University of Notre Dame. Anne and her husband Bill have two adult children, five brilliant grandsons, and one beautiful granddaughter!

Richard Arians, Past President

Serra Club of Rochester, Minnesota

Richard Arians first joined the Serra Club of Mankato, MN, in 1995, and joined the Rochester, MN, club when he moved there in 2001. In Rochester he served two non-consecutive terms as president and a term as District 7-S governor. Upon relocating to the Mankato area, he re-joined his original club, serving a term as President while also serving as the Region 8 director. Richard has been a regular contributor USA Council Rally’s and leadership trainings. He has been the chairman of the Leadership Committee for the past two years.

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.

Moira Leite, Vice President Vocations

Serra Club of Arlington, Virginia

Moira Quinn Leite is the President and Design Principal of M. Quinn Designs, Incorporated, which she founded in 1984.  She is a leader in the design field and recipient of many interior and lighting design awards for innovative solutions to complex design problems.  As the developer of the Pack-N-Move™ system for Senior Transition, she brings over thirty years of experience to the planning and implementation of lifestyle transitions and relocation services including downsizing and moving to a new residence.

Mrs. Leite is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin—Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and the Art Institute of Design in Lucerne, Switzerland, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art with a major in interior Design.  She attended the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College where she completed the coursework for a Masters of Systematic Theology with an emphasis in Sacred Art.  She has been a Stephen Minister since 1985.

Since moving to Virginia in 1992 following her husband’s service in Desert Storm, she has been active in promoting vocations in her parish and in the Arlington, Virginia, Diocese.  With the vocation committee of St. Michael’s Parish, she organized a vocation day for the school that brought in six religious orders they presented their charisms to the upper and lower schools.  She began the distribution of Advent and Lenten devotions for vocations which have been made available to the Diocese for the past twenty years.  For the past five years she and her husband have prepared the Vocation General Intercessions and weekly Bulletin Blurbs for the Arlington Diocese.  These have been made available to the U.S. Council for the past two years.

Mrs. Leite is currently the Vice President for Vocations of the Arlington Virginia Serra Club.  In 2020, she coordinated a Serran Holy Hour for Vocations at Queen of Apostles Church in Alexandria, Virginia.  It was themed on the Eucharistic Miracles Program developed by Blessed Carlo Acutis; and, due to COVID, it was live-streamed on Facebook with over 1,000 viewers in addition to those in the church.  For Priesthood Sunday, she coordinated spiritual bouquets for the priests of her parish, put up banners celebrating the priests, and coordinated sending cards to all priests of the dioceses and chancery from the Serra Club.

She is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and a member of the International Furnishings and Design Association, the Illuminating Engineering Society and an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Morie Ratuiste, Vice President Programs

Serra Club of Tri-Cities Area, WA

He and Cocot joined Serra International in 2010 and are holding leadership roles with increasing responsibilities. Morie is currently the PNW Region Director and has served as Vice President for Programs. With the collaboration with Programs Committee, he put together the Serra Vocations Apostolate Daily Prayers. He is an active member of the Cultural Outreach Committee. He led the committee who updated our handbook – Serrans Called to Holiness.

Morie has been married to Cocot for more than 35 years and is blessed with a daughter, Sarah, and two sons, Kevin, and Fr. (Kyle) Ratuiste. They have five grandchildren and hundreds of spiritual grandchildren. They have been active members of St. Patrick’s Church in Pasco, WA. Morie is a member of the Parish Council and sings in the choir. He is a mentor of their Parish Vocations Ministry and has implemented Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration every Thursday. They have been part of the Spokane Diocese Vocations Commission since its inception, delighted to make vocations promotion as family affair with their “Father Son.”

Don Simoneaux, Vice President Communications

Serra Club of North Central Dallas, Texas

Don Simoneaux is a native of New Orleans and grew up in a suburb on the Westbank across from the city. He received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University, where he also did graduate work, and was commissioned via the ROTC program as an officer in the U.S. Navy. His various sea duty and shore assignments involved operation, maintenance, development, and testing of Navy ships, equipment, and systems. Along the way, he earned a MS degree and a post-master’s degree in electrical engineering, with an emphasis on computer hardware and software, from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. After retiring from the Navy, he began a second career with a major aerospace company in the Dallas, Texas area. He is now retired from that career as well, having served as a systems engineer and program manager for development and testing of major software systems for U.S. government customers.

Don was invited to attend a meeting of the Serra Club of North Central Dallas in 1988 by three friends from his parish who were members. He had not been inclined previously to accept invitations to join other organizations, but he had read about a looming shortage of Catholic priests and other religious. After learning about the mission of Serra, he felt the Holy Spirit was calling him to get involved to help ensure the spiritual needs of following generations would be met, including those of his children and grandchildren. Upon retiring from the Navy and deciding to remain in the Dallas area, he joined the club in 1989. He has served in various club offices, including two non-consecutive terms as president. He has also served as district governor, two terms as regional director, two years on the Council’s Long Range Planning Committee, and four years as chair of the Council’s communications committee. Don and his wife Carolyn met in high school. They married when he graduated from Tulane and have lived in Plano, Texas since 1985. They are both active in their parish and diocese and enjoy spending time with friends and family, including three children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Jesse Gallegos, Vice President Cultural Outreach

Serra Club of Harlingen, Texas

After earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1980, Jesse was a public school teacher until 1995, when he earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Pan American University. From 1995 through 2014, he was a middle school and high school assistant principal and principal. Jesse retired from the public schools in 2014 and currently is a licensed Real Estate Agent with Ideal Realty. Jesse is married to Delma Solis Gallegos. They have two adult children, Stacey Marie and Ezekiel Jesus.

Jesse was the founding member of the Serra Club of Harlingen which was chartered on August 14, 2001 with the guidance and mentorship of his brother, Dr. Ruben Gallegos, former Serra International President. Jesse has been President, Treasurer, and Secretary of his club. He was District Governor for District 126 from 2017 through 2020. He has attended several Serra International Conventions and USA Council Rallies.

As Serrans, service is the priority for our Catholic Church, priests and religious. Jesse is honored to serve as VP Communications for the USA Serra Council. In this position, Jesse’s objective is to move Serra forward and make Serra a name that resonates among all Catholics.

Candice Tyrrell, Vice President Membership

Serra Club of North Houston, Texas

Candice Tyrrell received her bachelor’s degree from U. of Houston, then worked as a buyer and supervisor of Metallurgical Records for 34 years at Cameron Iron Works. She and her husband Ed married in 1989 and are very active in their church, Christ the Good Shepherd in Spring.

After Candice became president of the Serra Club of North Houston, she tripled the size of the club. She received an award from the Serra Governor for Outstanding Achievement in promoting Vocations in 2016. At the Serra Intl. Convention 2018 she was presented with an award for the largest Serra Club in the world and the same year was honored with the “Fishers of Men Award” at the Guadalupe Radio Network gala for promoting Vocations. Candice initiated a Serra pilgrimage to EWTN, where Serran Susan Stawaisz, three seminarians from St. Mary’s Houston and her were on the “At Home with Jim & Joy” TV show. In May 2019, Candice was installed as Serra Governor of the Archdiocese of Galveston Houston and Beaumont by Cardinal DiNardo. Her goal is to work tirelessly for more priests and sisters, promoting the Called by Name, Altar Server Recognition, and Travelling Crucifix programs and more Adoration at parishes. She was honored with The Face of Serra Award at the Serra Rally 2020. Candice serves on Cardinal DiNardo’s Advisory Board of St. Mary’s Seminary. She is also on the board of St. Thomas University in Houston. Candice and her husband, Ed, love to go on pilgrimages.

Gino DiMattia, Secretary

Serra Club of Lima, Ohio

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Gino became a member of the Serra Club of Lima, OH, in 1997. “I joined Serra to help connect with fellow Catholics in what was a new community for me,” he recalls.

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 2013. Gino also served as Regional Director of the USA Council’s Great Lakes Region. Since 2022, Gino has served as secretary on the USA Council Board. Gino continues to serve on the USA Council Vocations committee.

Gino is unmarried and works at Bon Secours Mercy Health St. Rita’s as an occupational therapist.

Ed Tyrrell, Treasurer
Serra Club of North Houston, Texas

Edward L. Tyrrell has been with Houston Methodist (HM) since 1988. Prior to joining HM Ed was a Manager with Ernst & Young. He first became associated with HM in February 1988 as the Director of Corporate Accounting. He became Assistant Vice President of Corporate Financial Services in 1993, Vice President of Corporate Financial Services in 1996 and has been in his present position (Senior Vice President of Corporate Financial Services and Revenue Cycle) since October 2011. Mr. Tyrrell received his Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). Ed’s UB wrestling team, which won the Division 3 National Championship in his Junior year, was inducted into the UB Sports Hall of Fame in October 1994. In his senior year Ed earned All American honors by placing second in his weight class in the Division 3 National Wrestling Championships. Ed is a certified public accountant and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Ed is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM); past President of the Executive Board of NAM; past Treasurer of NAM; past Member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of Vecino’s Denver Harbor Clinic; past treasurer of the Houston Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and has held Board positions with the Houston Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and Urban Affairs Corporation.  Mr. Tyrrell is currently a University of St. Thomas Board member; a Sir Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher; Immediate Past President of the St. Serra Apostolate for Vocations of North Houston; a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus George Wilhelm Assembly and a third degree member of Knight of Columbus Council No. 10872 in Spring, Texas.

Jim Burns, Central Regional Director

Serra Club of Kansas City

Jim Burns is a member of Serra Club of Kansas City in Kansas where he has served as Trustee, VP Membership and President. He was District Governor of District 12-2C. He was also Trustee, VP Membership and President of the Serra Club of Albuquerque. He is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus and member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. His is retired with 42 years in the Health Insurance and Managed Care industry. Jim and Joanne, his wife of 48 years, live in Overland Park, Kansas. They have three grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Ken Peet, Great Lakes Regional Director

Serra Club of Louisville, Kentucky

Ken is a true son of the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. He was born in Louisville but raised in the bluegrass of central Kentucky. He became a member of the Serra Club of Louisville in 2013. He has served as a board member and secretary of the club as well as District Governor for the four clubs in the State of Kentucky.

As a member of St. Gabriel Parish, he is a Sacristan, a Eucharistic Minister and takes communion to a large assisted living facility. He is a member of St. Gabriel’s Men’s Bible Study Group. He is a Mentor in the ACE Mentor Program for High School Students and serves on the Facilities Board for Presentation High School in Louisville.

Ken has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a Professional Engineer with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Ken spent his career as a Consulting Engineer and owned LSE Engineering, Inc. for 25 years.

Ken and Pat have been married for 53 years and have three daughters and seven grandchildren.

Joe Dicharry, Southeastern Regional Director

Serra Club of East Jefferson, LA

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1946 and moved to Louisiana in 1958. I graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in Civil Engineering in 1970 and received a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1975. I worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Civil Engineer/Project Manager for thirty-three years, retiring in 2003. I have been married to my wife Nancy for fifty-three years and have three children and eight grandchildren.

I have been in Serra since 2005 and have served as President, Treasurer, Vocations VP, and now as Membership VP for the East Jefferson Club in Metairie, Louisiana. I have served as the District Governor for District 11, which encompasses the state of Louisiana, for about twelve years. Since being DG, I was able to form two new clubs in the New Orleans area. I have been Regional Director for the Southeast Region since 2023

We are parishioners of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Metairie and I have been a lector for that parish for over forty years. I am the leader for the Vocations Ministry for the parish and an active member of the Men’s Club, for which I was president four times over the years.

Cathy Ahern, North Central Regional Director

Serra Club of Mankato, MN

Cathy Ahern is a member of the Serra Club of Mankato in Minnesota and the present District Governor of 7S.  She became a member of the Mankato Club in 2004 and has served as President, Secretary and VP of Communications. Cathy was a Registered Nurse and worked in Cardiology before retiring.  She and her husband Dick have two children and 4 grandchildren.  Dick has been a member of Serra since 1995 and served as President and Treasurer several times.  They love to travel and one of the highlights was the Serra Rally in 2020 in Ventura, California.  The theme that year was “Creating a Culture of Vocations” which has been inspirational for both of them as they continue their commitment to the Serra mission of Vocations.

Pacific Northwest Regional Director

Anne Champagne, Pacific Region Director

Serra Club of City of Orange, CA

Anne Champagne, long-time resident of Tustin, California was born in Scotland and emigrated to the United States as an infant. She has been married to Mark Champagne for 50 years, mother of one son, Timothy, and grandmother of four. Anne has served as secretary, president, and district governor with Serra Club, since joining Serra in 2012. Anne worked in the retail grocery industry for over 45 years and retired in 2012. She and Mark are parishioners at St. Cecilia Church in Tustin since 1972, where she volunteers as a Eucharistic Minister to the sick, and as lector. Anne also volunteers with Loyola Institute of Spirituality and Ignatians West. In retirement, she has worked part-time as a caregiver with seniors.

Anne enjoys travel, entertaining friends and family, and cake decorating in her spare time.

Eleanor Gentilini, Rocky Mountain Region Director

Serra Club of Colorado Springs

Eleanor Gentilini was born in New York City and raised in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.  She graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany with a degree in Mathematics, minor in Physics, and immediately thereafter began church ministry as a Lay Volunteer for Catholic Extension.  She later became an Army wife, which led to her involvement with the Military Council of Catholic Women, an association of women’s ministry groups in military chapels around the world.  During her 45 years in this ministry, she has served on all levels of the organization and is currently Historian.

Now settled in Colorado Springs, she and her husband Ray have been married for 54 years and have two grown children.  They have been Serrans since 2011.  Eleanor has served as President, Membership VP and is currently a Trustee of the Colorado Springs Serra, while Ray has been Programs VP and Treasurer.  She served as District Governor for the State of Colorado from 2017-18 and co-chair of the district convention in 2023.  Since traveling is their passion, they have attended most of the Serra International Conventions of the last decade.

Ronald Allen, South Central Region Director

Serra Club of North Houston, Texas

Career started at Armco Steel Corporation in 1960 working way through A&M College of Texas during summers and started full time in January 1964 and left in 1982 after plant announced closing. In 1982 went to Texamation, an automation controls company. Texamation was bought by EMC controls who had sold DCS systems for the Prudhoe Bay oil field. EMC needed a Project Manager in Anchorage Alaska to manage the “clean up issues” on the new DCS. While in Alaska EMC sold a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to Texas Eastern Products Pipeline and requested a Project Manager be located in Houston to work the project. In 1989 I joined the Litwin Engineering Company as served as Project Manager for DCS modernization projects for several oil refineries in Kentucky, Ohio and St. Croix, USSVI. Litwin was bought by Raytheon Engineers and became Manager of the Control Systems Department. After a few years Raytheon sold the business to Washington Engineers and I left to work at Enron for one and a half years when Enron went bankrupt. In 2000 I then went to work for The Automation Group as Manager of the Engineers and Designers and retired in April 2004 after helping grow the company from 30 plus employees to 130.

I was invited to join the East Harris County Club in 1982 and joined the Club and held several positions until I was elected President. I moved from Baytown to the Northwest part of Houston and the Serra Governor of District 10 Walter Naughton asked me and several Serrans to start a Serra Club. After several meetings the Spring 1960 Serra Club was started in 1997. I was the first President of the club and passed the “baton” to other members. In 2005 I was named the Governor Elect and took over early in 2006 when Ed Guillard passed. I was Governor for District 10 until 2008. In 2009 I was named the Outstanding Serran of District 10 and presented the Frank J Metyko Award. I have continued being involved in the North Houston Serra Club and 2022 I was named a Trustee of the Club.

Jane Errera, Northeast Region Director

Serra Club of Lehigh Valley

Jane Errera is a charter member of the Bethlehem (PA) Serra Club. An active Serran since the
Club’s founding in 1990, she has served as Club President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Jane was
awarded degrees from Muhlenberg College (AB) and Lehigh University (MA) and a Certificate in
Gregorian Chant from the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. Her professional life includes 32
years as an elementary education teacher and over 60 years as a church musician, all in
Bethlehem. Since her retirement from teaching, Jane has worked at St. Anne Church as
principal organist and director of the 36-voice semi-professional choir. Mrs. Errera has held
membership on the Boards of the Latin Liturgy Association, the Society for Catholic Liturgy, and
the American Guild of Organists, for which she was Regional Councillor responsible for six Mid-
Atlantic states and Washington, DC. For these organizations as well as for Serra, Jane has been
a speaker, workshop presenter, and convention planner.