Board of Trustees

Members of the FAA Board of Trustees are elected by the alumni at the annual Chapter Meeting.  The Board is limited to seventeen members: fourteen are elected by the alumni, two are appointed by the President, and a Provincial Liaison is appointed by the Province.  Board members serve a two-year term which commences and ends on October 1. The Officers of the Board include the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.  The terms of the officers are 1 year, with the President and Vice-President being limited to two consecutive terms.

There are also several non-elected positions that are filled by Board appointment.  They include: Database Manager, Awards Committee Chair, and the Webmaster.

If you are interested in serving the Franciscan Alumni Association on the Board or in another capacity, please let us know. Click here to view the FAA Code of Regulations.

Current Board Members Click their name to see their bio. Mouse-over their photo to swap between “Now” and “Then.”

Rick Gardner ’75 – President
Mark Kling ’75 – Vice President
Butch Feldhaus ’75 – Secretary, Webmaster
Paul Landers ’74 – Treasurer
Rick Kasper ’70 – Awards
Henry Beck, OFM ’70 Provincial Liaison

Gary Bales

Class:1972
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2022
Email:gary_bales@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

After finishing high school in New Mexico, I attended New Mexico State University, finally graduating in 1998 with a BA in Engineering Tech. I worked in CA, WA and TX then moved back to Las Cruces, NM where I retired from the NASA facility. I married Sally in 2005 and when she retired, we moved to the Four Corners area in the little town of Blanco, pretty close to Deacon Pat Valdez. He and I try to meet with Ted Gomez a couple times a month for dinner. We try to visit our many relatives scattered all over, Ted mentioned one time, “Why did you move here? You’re never home!” It’s true.

Henry Beck, OFM

Class:1970
Position:Provincial Liaison
Term Ends:NA
Email:henry_beck@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Presently I am on the retreat staff at St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, PA. This is a ministry of St. John the Baptist Province, and I serve and live here with Bro. Scott Obrecht, Bro. Mark Ligett, Bro. Ed Skutka, and Fr. Loren Connell. I have been here for four years now. 

I came to SFRH from formation work with our friar-students preparing for ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL, and before that with our novices at the Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, WI.

I enjoyed ministering on the Mexico-US border for nine years (2003-2012), most of the time as the Director of Campus Ministry at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Before working on the border, I worked for six years in our provincial Justice, Peace and Creation Office; and I spent one of those years helping our province establish new missions in Jamaica.  Earlier in my life as a friar, I worked at the University of Houston as a campus minister; and I also served in two parishes (one in Kansas and one in Ohio) as an associate pastor. 

I have been serving on the Franciscan Alumni Association Board for several years now.  I am very grateful for my connections with men from my own time period in formation and the new friendships I have made with other alums.  I encourage other alums to consider joining the association and coming to our annual FAA Reunions. 

Blessings to all of our alums and their family members!

Dave Burkitt

Class:1977
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:dave_burkitt@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

David Burkitt, PhD attended St. Francis Seminary as part of the class of 1977. He is currently the Dean of the College of Business and Leadership at Lourdes University and is Associate Professor of Accounting. Additionally he serves on the Budget Committee and Extended Cabinet at Lourdes University. He is the former Director of Business Administration at Mount Saint Mary’s University. David Burkitt served as the Chief Financial Officer for Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Los Angeles and as the National Controller for American youth Soccer, Los Angeles. He is a graduate from Regent University (PhD), Regis University (MBA), Mount Saint Mary’s University (BSBA), and Illinois Central College (AA).

Butch Feldhaus

Class:1975
Position:Secretary, Webmaster
Term Ends:2022
Email:butch_feldhaus@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Since leaving the seminary at the end of his Junior year, Butch has pursued a career in Electrical Engineering. He has also been very active in the church, serving as a Music Minister, Youth Minister, and in the Cursillo, Search and Kairos retreat programs. In his spare time he enjoys cave exploring, hiking and serving as a volunteer EMT on the local cave and cliff rescue team. Butch retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2014 and on June 11, 2016, became a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Knoxville in Tennessee. He has been married to his wife Mary Beth since 1987 and resides in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Rick Gardner

Class:1975
Position:President
Term Ends:2023
Email:rick_gardner@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

After 3 years at the seminary, Rick returned to his hometown of Bloomington, Illinois. Rick went to work for the administrative IT department of Illinois State University in December, 1976. It was there that Rick met his wife, Kathryn. Rick and Kathryn have one son, 23 year old Anthony. Rick and Kathryn both retired from ISU in November, 2006. Rick was at ISU for 30 years, Kathryn for 33 years. Rick spends his time working around the house, bowling, hiking and camping and playing soccer and basketball. Besides being an avid reader, poor Kathryn spends a lot of her time doing Rick’s dirty laundry and keeping track of Rick’s schedule.

Ted Gomez

Class:1972
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:ted_gomez@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Since leaving the seminary in the middle of his sophomore year, Ted graduated from Farmington High School. He worked for Pepsi for the next seventeen years and then worked as a convenient store supervisor, worked with Swagelok and several other local pipe and fitting outfits in outside sales. He retired in 2019. He has also been very active in the church serving as a CCD Teacher, Music Minister, and in the Cursillo, Search and ACTS retreat programs. In his spare time, he enjoys ranching and spending time with his seven grandchildren. He has been married to his wife Pearl since 1976 and resides in Farmington, New Mexico.

Rick Kasper

Class:1970
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:rick_kasper@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Rick Kasper graduated in the Class of 1970 from St. Francis Seminary.  He studied at Duns Scotus College and junior year abroad at Oxford University, England, receiving a BA in Philosophy.  He did his theology and ministry studies at St. Leonard College and University of Dayton earning MDiv and MA degrees.   Rick was ordained in 1980 and taught for four years at Roger Bacon High School.  He did higher studies in Moral Theology in 1985-86 at Catholic University of America.  Rick got laicized and married in 1990 to Mary Wilz.  They had two children, Ben and Sarah, and adopted a child, Michael Manuel, from Guatemala.  Rick began doing chemical dependency counseling, went on to get his MSW degree with clinical and supervisory licensure, and had an effective career in individual, couples, and family counseling.  Rick has also enjoyed doing volunteer ministry in two parishes facilitating small faith-sharing groups, Fathers Team; and sharing his Franciscan values also with a parish social action committee and anti-racism task force.

Mark Kling

Class:1975
Position:Vice President
Presidential Appointment
Term Ends:NA
Email:mark_kling@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

I graduated from St. Francis Seminary in 1975 and from Thomas More College in 1980, majoring in Business Administration.  My wife Sandy and I have been married for 42 years and have 5 children: Chris, Greg, Regina, Matthew, and Melissa.   Sandy and I have been blessed with 13 grandkids, which includes a set of triplets and twin boys. In July of 2021 I retired from US Bank after holding the position of Vice President of Technology Services.  In addition to my full-time job, I was also a High School Basketball coach for 37 years, starting at St. Francis Seminary, Moeller, Roger Bacon, McAuley and Mother of Mercy.   One highlight was serving as an assistant varsity coach on Roger Bacon’s women’s state championship team of 1995.   Besides coaching, I have also enjoyed officiating football for the past 42 years as well as handling “play clock” duties for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Paul Landers

Class:1974
Position:Treasurer
Member at Large
Term Ends:2022
Email:paul_landers@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

After being ejected from the farm in the Spring of my Junior year, I finished up at North College Hill High School, and went on to study Math and Computer Science at Thomas More College where I met my wife Carolyn. Since then I have found continuous employment in the computer software industry as IT Manager, developer, integrator and entrepreneur.
I have a son, two daughters and four grand kids. I keep busy with the Knights of Columbus, cooking, gardening, brewing beer and Parish activities.

Frank Lopez

Class:1977
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:frank_lopez@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

I was born and grew up in Johnstown, PA. I attended St. Francis High School Seminary in Mt. Healthy, OH from 1973 to 1977 (graduated). I attended Duns Scotus College Seminary in Southfield, MI from 1977 to 1980. While in the seminaries, I was in the Guitar Group for 5 years volunteered at the Franciscan soup kitchen and a boys’ home in Detroit and taught confirmation at a suburban parish. After the Seminary, I received a BA in Philosophy and BS Forest Science from Penn State University and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. I worked with the Maryland Forest Service as a Forester and a Forestry Manager for 33 1/2 years with private and public landowners to manage their woodlots, plant trees in urban and rural areas, fight fires and served as the Forest Resource Person for the Maryland (County and State) Envirothon, an international high school natural resources competition, for 29 years. I coached baseball and lacrosse for my sons’ teams for years and assisted my younger sons’, who are now Eagle Scouts, cub scout pack and boy scout troop. At my last parish, I volunteered as an usher and a lector. My wonderful wife of 24 years, Kathie, and I retired this year and recently moved to Falmouth, Maine, where we are enjoying life very much. We have 4 boys, who are all adults, Bob (Rebecca), John (Audrey), Frankie and Sam. We are helping out Bob and Rebecca with their 3 children, Jack, Willa and Winter.

JD Moya

Class:1970
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:jd_moya@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

After graduating from Duns Scotus in ’74 and going back to Oldenburg for my 2nd year of novitiate, the time had come for a definite decision on “Do I stay or do I go?” I’ll add that I loved my Franciscan life, my teachers, my classmates, my experiences so I did what I knew had to be done…I prayed. And the answer came…it’s time to go. I went back home to Grants NM and started looking for a job, any job. Yeah, I was broke. Grants was a big uranium mining town then and I started applying at the mines and was assured that I could be an underground miner. Fortunately I was visited by Friar Dennis Fountain who was still in formation and who came to visit me from Detroit. Upon learning that I was going to work underground at $6 an hour (big $ then); he screamed “you’re going to work in a hole!?” “That is a definite NO!” he continued. I informed him that this insurance guy who was picking up a premium from my mother had offered me an interview to start w life insurance selling. “That’s better”, he said, “Robert Young was an insurance guy in Father Knows Best and he always wore suits. You look better in suits than you will in miner’s gear.” Dennis actually drove me to the interview, 60 miles away, and waited outside. I was offered $100 a week before taxes for the first 3 months and then straight commission. Super deal, huh? I took it knowing that this job would only last a month and then I could find REAL work. 47 years and 4 months later I’m still in insurance, still writing, still selling. My firm, Pegasus Insurance, has over 2500 contracted agents and we focus on the Hispanic market throughout the country. I’ve been active in all my parishes as Lector, leader, Cursillo, Marriage Enrichment, TMIY (That Man Is You) and other things.

My biggest sale was convincing a young woman, Gale Lopez, to marry me. We celebrate 45 years this august and I’m still madly in love. She’s a star. I have 3 children and 6 grandchildren and they all in some fashion work with us. LIFE IS SWEET!

I reflect on my years at St. Francis, Duns Scotus, Oldenburg, Dayton, Cincinnati, Detroit with joy and calmness and happiness. This upbringing is an extension of my mother and father’s foundation of God, family and love. I went from a young boy’s sweet family life to a teenager’s Franciscan family life to my own family life. GOD IS GOOD.

Mike Niklas

Class:1975
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:mike_niklas@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

I thoroughly enjoyed my 4 years at St. Francis Seminary. It was an amazing growth experience: daily Mass and morning/evening prayers; challenging courses like Latin, Spanish, and calculus; Fr. Murray’s creative writing and video courses; Fr. Aubert’s Glee Club; many new (lifelong) friends; the wonderful/peaceful campus; and Franciscan brotherhood with classmates and faculty.

After SFS, I attended Thomas More College, which was very similar to SFS, except that there were girls. I met my future wife there. We have 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. I completed a master’s degree in Operations Research at the University of Dayton and worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for 34 years. Since then I’ve worked part-time as a contractor there. I direct a contemporary choir, compose liturgical music, and play guitar & piano at St. Patrick Church in Troy, Ohio. The Franciscan formation program has made a huge, positive impact on me and on those with whom I interact. I am very grateful.

Mike Niehaus

Class:1981
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2023
Email:mike_niehaus@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Coming soon.

Joseph Samora

Class:1973
Position:Presidential Appointment
Term Ends:NA
Email:joseph_samora@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Coming soon.

Joe Sears

Class:1975
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2022
Email:joe_sears@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

After graduating from St. Francis Seminary, I attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated with a degree in Engineering. I landed a job with General Motors/Allison Transmission and moved to Indianapolis. After a one-year courtship and one-year engagement, I married Mary (Segrist) in Cincinnati. We raised three children in Indianapolis. We celebrated our 40th anniversary in October 2021. In the middle of raising three kids, I went back to school on a GM Fellowship and got my Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.

After leaving Allison Transmission, we traveled around the Midwest for 11 years as I took new engineering positions of interest (Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota), and have now resettled in the Indianapolis area, where we have reconnected with our network of friends and our son and his wife and our two grandchildren.

I have spent a lot of time and effort in Catholic education. I was on the Board of Education for our parish, was a member and President of the Indianapolis Archdiocese Board of Education, and a member and President of the Cardinal Ritter High School Board of Directors. We have both been extremely involved in our kids schools, academic and athletic and fundraising. We have also been active in music ministry.

Michael Thomas

Class:1974
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2022
Email:mike_thomas@franciscan-alumni.org
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

After graduating from SFS in 1974, I attended Duns Scotus for three semesters leaving in December 1975. I returned to New Castle, IN and began working in the building products business. After seven years in the factory and being a catechist and high school retreat worker in my parish the Lord led me to become a full time Youth Minister at a parish in Northeast Indiana for two years.
Once again I found myself in the building products business and remained for the next twenty years both in Northeast Indiana and St. Louis where I now live. Currently I am a Building Inspector for the City of St. Louis.
My son Daniel and his lovely wife Janna are expecting their first child in April.

Vacant

Class:
Position:Member at Large
Term Ends:2022
Email:
What has he been up to since his seminary days?

Later