Executives and Board

CAC Executives

Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director

Before joining CAC in 2014, Michael served as founding Executive Director of The Resolve, a non-profit working to end violence perpetrated by armed groups in Africa. Michael serves on the Advisory Board of Invisible Children and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He guides CAC’s work of teaching contemplative spirituality and is passionate about helping people connect with their sacred vocation in service to the needs of the world.

Corinne Carmony, Director of Finance and Operations

Corinne is a native New Mexican with over 25 years of experience as a CPA. She is a long-time volunteer for United Way and several other non-profit agencies, and she serves as an advocate for New Mexico’s children in foster care. Corinne and her husband, Larry, have three grown children. Corinne leads CAC’s internal operations, including finance, accounting, systems, technology, and facilities.

Ron Hofius, Managing Director of Digital Products

Ron joined the CAC full time in January of 2017 to oversee the development our digital web platforms, including our constituent relations tools and our online learning platforms. He has held technology deployment positions over the past thirty years with The Walt Disney Company, Presbyterian Healthcare, and the State of New Mexico. Ron was a member of the first cohort of Living School students. He has lived in New Mexico since 1994 with his wife Theresa. They have two grown children.

Ben Keesey, Managing Director of Production and Outreach

Upon earning a degree in Applied Mathematics from UCLA, Ben worked with JP Morgan and Deloitte. After a life-changing experience took him out of the world of finance, Ben served for ten years as the CEO of Invisible Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa. In 2015, Ben joined the Board of CAC on the strategic planning committee and joined CAC’s leadership team as a staff member in 2016.

Kirsten Oates, Managing Director of Planning and Programs

Kirsten has experience in strategic consulting with Bain & Company and the Bridgespan Group as well as a number of non-profit and faith-based organizations. She spent seven years as Director of Strategy for City Church San Francisco. Kirsten grew up in Australia and graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor in Economics and a Bachelor of Laws with Honors. Kirsten is also a graduate of the Living School. She is responsible for ensuring CAC’s program design is aligned to the Christian contemplative lineage.

Patricia Salwei, Managing Director of Organization and People Development

Patricia is an Organization Development Practitioner with over fifteen years’ experience. She has a Master’s Degree in Transformative Leadership and Social Change, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics. Patricia leads CAC’s Human Resources functions, and facilitates our internal organizational development. She is passionate about helping employees realize their highest aspirations in service to a mission they love.

CAC Board of Directors

LaVera Crawley, Chair

LaVera Crawley has followed the path of “radical servanthood” as a physician on the Navajo Indian Reservation; an at-home mom; an empirical bioethicist at Stanford University focusing on health inequities at the end of life; and now as a hospital chaplain practicing the art of spiritual companionship. LaVera is an alumna of the Living School, a graduate of the first cohort. She is happily married and is the proud mother of an artist. LaVera also serves on CAC’s Human Resources committee.

John (Jack) Willome, Vice Chair

Jack graduated from the University of Kansas with a business degree and held a CPA certificate for several years. For over two decades he worked with a major homebuilding and real estate development company in San Antonio, TX, ultimately becoming CEO. Jack has served on the boards and committees of numerous business and faith-based organizations. He is a practitioner and retreat leader of “values based leadership.” Jack and his wife, Dee, reside in Boerne, TX. They have three adult children and five grandchildren. Jack serves on the Executive and Finance committees.

Richard Rohr, Founder

Fr. Richard is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexican Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. He is a globally recognized author and teacher and academic dean of CAC’s Living School. Learn more about Fr. Richard here. Richard serves on the following CAC committees: Executive, Human Resources, Finance, Strategic Planning, and Nominations.

Heidi Franklin, Treasurer

Heidi has an MBA from Portland State University. Over the course of her 26-year career as a CPA, Heidi worked for KPMG and various firms in financial services, real estate, and law in Oregon. She retired as the CFO of Portland Public Schools. A teacher at heart, Heidi excels at explaining complex financial information. Heidi is a spiritual director with the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) Portland, where she served as Board Chair for 10 years, and is currently a Living School student. She has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Heidi serves on the Executive and Finance committees.

Alexie Torres-Fleming, Secretary

Alexie founded Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ) in 1994 with the mission to rebuild the Bronx River neighborhoods where she grew up. She is the co-founder of the Bronx River Alliance and the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance and serves as Executive Director of Access Strategies Fund. In 2015, she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Council for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Alexie is a New Voices Fellow for Sojourners in Washington, DC and a 2014 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Damien Faughnan

Damien is an executive coach who works with senior executives seeking to become more effective leaders. He is an initiated man and serves as Chair of the Board for Illuman, a non-profit that supports men who desire to deepen their spiritual lives. Damien is happily married and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Damien serves on the Executive and Nominations committees.

Christopher Ferebee

Christopher is a nonprofit and intellectual property attorney and a literary agent in both the secular and Christian markets. He intentionally cultivates a small number of gifted storytellers, working with them to develop their career and navigate the publishing landscape effectively. In addition to this work, Chris serves on a number of non-profit boards. He earned his law degree from Loyola Law School and resides with his wife, Christy, in Southern California.

Phileena Heuertz

Phileena, with her husband, Chris, is founder of Gravity: A Center for Contemplative Activism. She is an author, speaker, spiritual director, retreat guide, and yoga instructor. Prior to launching Gravity, Phileena and Chris served with Word Made Flesh in more than 70 countries. They live in Omaha, Nebraska. Phileena serves on the Executive and Nominations committees.

Christian Peele

Christian is Director of Stewardship and Development at Riverside Church in New York City. Before Riverside, Christian served on the staff of the Obama White House in various capacities, most recently as Deputy Director for White House Operations. She has also worked for the Harlem Children’s Zone and in the Church of the Saviour community in Washington, DC supporting those returning from incarceration. She received an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and a B.A. from Mary Baldwin University’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted.

Phil Robers

After receiving his PhD in Management Science, Phil spent virtually his entire career as a management consulting partner with Ernst & Young. In addition to directing client assignments, he also focused on practice management. His final position prior to retirement was to direct the Global Supply Chain consulting practice for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. Phil recently graduated from the CAC Living School. He is an avid fisherman. Phil and his wife, Sandi, live in Pennsylvania; they spend their winters in Marco Island, Florida. Phil is the former Chair of the Board and currently chairs the Mission and Strategy Committee.

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