The Ascension Press Team
Matt is the founder and president of Ascension Press and the author or co-author of a variety of best-selling works, including the teen question-and-answer books Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons?, Did Jesus Have a Last Name?, and Do I Have to Go: 101 Questions about the Mass, the Eucharist, and Your Spiritual Life. He is also the co-creator of the Friendly Defenders Catholic Flash Cards and the Amazing Grace Series. Matt also co-authored A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About the Passion of the Christ, which went on to sell more than a million copies and hit #6 on the New York Times Best-Seller List. His most recent book is Freedom: 12 Lives Transformed by the Theology of the Body.
Matt has appeared on numerous television and radio programs explaining and defending the Catholic Faith, and he has conducted seminars on a variety of Catholic issues throughout the country. He was also a recipient of the Catholic Leadership Institute's 2004 Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership. Matt serves on advisory boards for a number of institutions and apostolates including Theology of the Body Institute and John Paul the Great University. Matt and his wife, Maryanne, live in Pennsylvania, and are the parents of six children.
Executive Management Team
Chief Operating Officer
Barry brings to Ascension 25 years of experience in various management and executive management positions with two Fortune 500 companies and one multimillion-dollar retailer. He is a CPA with his BSBA in accounting from Michigan Technological University and his MBA from Portland State University in Oregon. He and his wife, Regina, own Salve Regina Catholic Books and Gifts in suburban Philadelphia. He has a love for the Catholic faith and a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. Barry, Gina, and their four children live in the Philadelphia area.
Chris Cope joined Ascension Press in the spring of 2004, and served as the Director of Marketing in 2007 until 2013 when he moved into the role of Creative Director. Chris directs all of Ascension's video productions and manages the design of materials across all brands, including products and marketing collateral. He is also responsible for the front-end design of websites and other branding initiatives. Chris also handles rights management for foreign licensing contracts. He has a background in retail management and public relations, and is a 2002 graduate of James Madison University where he played Division I golf and graduated with degrees in communications and theology. Chris and his wife, Jennifer, live in suburban Philadelphia with their daughter, Susannah, and sons, Nicholas and Joshua.
Director of Sales
Lynn Klika is the founder and president of Catholic Word, Ascension's sales team. She has served as Ascension’s director of sales from the company's inception, heading a sales team that sold more than a million copies of A Guide to the Passion, along with the other successful Ascension books and programs. She has served in marketing, editorial, and other varied capacities and is a contributor to Amazing Grace for Mothers. Lynn has been featured on Catholic television and radio, including Sirius Satellite Radio. She has served as a speaker and retailer consultant for the Catholic Marketing Network. Lynn and her husband, Scott, have five children and live in Wisconsin.
Director, Theology of the Body Division
Steve joined Ascension in January 2007. He brings more than fifteen years experience producing, writing and engineering Catholic television and radio, eleven of them producing programs that aired on the EWTN television and radio networks. He also served for more than eighteen years as a high school and middle school parish youth minister. Steve is a graduate of the University of Florida (go Gators!), with a degree in journalism and communications and a minor in business. Steve was born in New Jersey but lived in Florida until receiving the call to spread John Paul II's Theology of the Body with Ascension. He then moved north to southeastern Pennsylvania with his wife and five daughters, where they are all loving life in the four seasons.
The Ascension Team
Pat works in Ascension's finance department as an accounting associate. She resides with her husband and two children in Thornton, PA. After graduating from college, Pat spent five years in the investment industry, then found a calling in the entertainment industry for ten years acting as the director of finance for six corporations.
Web Developer & Designer
Mike joined Ascension Press in 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Economics with a minor in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Mike has been designing, developing, and deploying websites and software applications for over nine years, and currently manages all website development & design along with other IT needs at Ascension. Mike enjoys remote backcountry hikes, playing guitar and drums, and (most importantly) eating Italian food with his family.
Lora joined Ascension Press in May 2012. She graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor of arts degree in communications and a minor in English. After graduating from college, she spent four years writing and editing for ADVANCE for Physical Therapists and then took time off to be at home when her children were born. She has written fundraising letters for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s yearly Great Strides Walk, a cause close to her heart. In her spare time, Lora enjoys reading and listening to music. She lives with her husband and three children in Havertown, PA.
Sales Representative/Training Coordinator
Tara joined Ascension in the fall of 2003. She is involved with the seminar, sales, and marketing departments. She travels year round, handling events, and providing assistance to event contacts and speakers. A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University where she played collegiate tennis, Tara earned her bachelor's degree in speech communication, a master’s degree in human services, and also studied theology at St. Meinrad Seminary. Tara lives in Indiana with her daughters Gianna and Gemma.
Kate joined Ascension Press in February 2011. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH in December 2007. In her spare time, Kate enjoys travel, music, writing, and stories in all forms. She has also performed mission work in Haiti since the Summer 2009. Kate lives in the Philadelphia area and is looking forward to her newest endeavor as a Marketing Assistant for Ascension Press.
Executive Editor, The Great Adventure
Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She serves as Executive Editor of The Great Adventure and is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of "Genesis Part I: God and His Creation" and "Genesis Part II: God and His Family," published by Emmaus Road. Sarah has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is working toward a Masters of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992.
Joseph began working for Ascension Press in May 2013. He graduated with his BA in English/Writing and German from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2011, and worked as a copy writer before joining the team at Ascension Press. While at university, Joseph served as a Resident Assistant for two and a half years, and also volunteered with the chastity outreach ministry on campus. When he's not marketing the finest Catholic Bible study programs in the world, Joseph reads and writes music, short stories and poetry, and enjoys soccer in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Audio and Video Design Specialist
Nick joined Ascension in the Summer of 2009. Before coming to Ascension, Nick graduated in 2008 from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where he received his B.F.A in Graphic Design. He enjoys designing videos, playing sports, learning and spending time his wife, Alexandria, and their newly-born son, Nicholas.
Janet joined Ascension Press in July 2011. She attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Janet enjoys reading, music, and playing with technology. Janet has lived in the West Chester area her whole life and is excited about being a part of Ascension Press as an Assistant to Matthew Pinto.
Ben joined the team in January 2012 to head up technical development of Ascension Press' database systems. Ben is a graduate of Georgia Tech where he earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Before coming to Ascension, Ben worked as a software developer in the Philadelphia offices of a multi-national aerospace company. Ben and his wife Melissa live in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia and are active parishioners at St. Francis Xavier - The Oratory. Together, they enjoy supporting Philly sports teams and traveling, and have participated in several international trips with Habitat for Humanity.
Editorial Supervisor / Senior Editor
Prior to joining Ascension in 2002, Mike taught English as a second language at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. For more than a decade, he has felt privileged to be a part of Ascension's growth and the development of its line of popular Catholic faith formation products. Mike holds master’s degrees in theology (M.Div.) and clinical mental health counseling (M.S.) from St. Charles Seminary and Villanova University, respectively, and he also works as a Catholic therapist in private practice. A former keyboard major at Berklee College of Music, Mike enjoys playing jazz piano in his free time. He and his wife, Eileen, live in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with their two children.
Director of Production
Mike Fontecchio (Font) joined the Ascension Press team in 2003 as a graphic designer. In 2011, Mike began serving as Director or Production, overseeing Ascension’s scheduling, print production, and design department. A graduate of the University of Steubenville and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Mike has over fifteen years experience in Catholic publishing. Originally from Wisconsin, Mike enjoys sports and the outdoors, and has completed three marathons. Mike and his wife, Amy (Ascension's Marriage Prep Coordinator), live in Chester County with their five children.
Amy is the wife of Mike Fontecchio, Ascension’s Director of Graphic Design/Print Production, and a stay-at-home mother to their five children. She also serves Ascension as the local program director for God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage. A graduate of Franciscan University, Amy brings with her many years of conference planning experience. She also teaches The Great Adventure Bible Timeline and Theology of the Body for Teens to local youth.
Brand Manager, The Great Adventure
Before joining Ascension Press, John served as the marketing assistant for Current USA, in Colorado Springs. John received his bachelors in theology from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansis, and his masters in theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He regularly volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, and serves as an adjunct professor of Theology at Neumann University, in Aston, Pennsylvania. John is an active member of St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church in Phoenixville, PA as well as a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. John, his wife, and their four children live in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Manager, Emerging Brands
Patrick worked for six years in Catholic Radio as both a General Manager and on-air host. In addition to having interviewed hundreds of Catholic authors and speakers, he developed and produced a number of successful radio programs and podcasts. Prior to his work in Catholic Radio, he worked as a musician for over ten years and has toured and recorded internationally. He has a degree in Business Communications from Chestnut Hill College and has studied Project Management at Temple University. He joined Ascension Press in 2011 and manages the Epic brand and new product development. He resides in the suburban Philadelphia area with his wife Karen and their two sons.
Director of Marketing
Chris Michalski has over twenty years of managerial, marketing, consulting, and entrepreneurial experience in both the non-profit and private sector. Before joining Ascension Press in 2013, he worked for a large academic publisher and was also the editor of a prominent Catholic magazine.
Chris received his MBA from DeSales University and his BA in English from George Mason University. He enjoys writing music, cooking ethnic cuisnines, and spending time digging in the dirt with his wife and five children in rural Chester County, PA.
Events Department Manager
Janene is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with a degree in politics and a minor in history. Before joining Ascension Press, she worked in the culinary industry as a recruiter. Janene is actively involved in her parish as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. In her spare time, she is an avid dancer and enjoys the outdoors and traveling. Janene and her husband, Conrad, live in the Philadelphia area with their daughter, Gabrielle.
Community Relations Coordinator
Karyn O'Neel recently joined Ascension Press as the Community Relations Coordinator and is excited to use her gifts of listening, insight, and encouragement to further the mission of Ascension Press in communities in the US and internationally. She is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California and has been an active participant and small group Bible study leader for over fifteen years. Karyn and her husband Brian live in West Brandywine PA and have six children. In her spare time, she loves to read, garden and explore the beauties of Chester County.
Page Layout and Pre-Press Design Specialist
Stella joined Ascension in the Spring of 2011. Before coming to Ascension, Stella graduated in 2005 from Southeast Missouri State University, where she created, in cooperation with faculty, an interdisciplinary program, through which she earned a Bachelor of Science, with an emphasis in Graphic Design, Advertising and Technical Design. Stella brings more than six years of experience in graphic design, including 3 years of work in Memphis, TN with various church and charitable organizations. Stella and her husband Michael, a veteran liturgist and current graduate student of Pastoral Counseling, live in Downingtown, PA, and are active in their parish and community outreach to the poor, including ongoing service for Dorothy Day House of Hospitality in Memphis, TN.
Parish Support Coordinators
Parish Support Coordinator
Tina Araujo brings a wealth of experience to her position as a Parish Support Coordinator for Ascension Press. Tina attended Our Lady of the Lake University and Trinity University before becoming a founding member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in The Woodlands, Texas, where she has served as a catechist and adult faith formation leader for more than a decade. Tina has facilitated and led Great Adventure Bible studies since 2006, has served as an event and logistics coordinator for Jeff Cavins, and has been a Great Adventure core team leader at St. Anthony of Padua. Tina and her husband, Joseph, have been married for twenty years and they have two teenage children.
Parish Support Coordinator
Shannon Civetta has been leading and cultivating The Great Adventure Bible Timeline and other Ascension Press Bible studies in several New Jersey parishes for more than six years. She is the bible study coordinator in her home parish, Resurrection, in Randolph, NJ, where she has also taught religious formation for grades one through eight, using Ascension Press' Theology of the Body for Teens—Middle School Edition. Shannon worked for ten years in marketing and public relations before starting a family, and she holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a BBA in marketing and Spanish from James Madison University. She lives in Randolph, NJ, with her husband, Vinny, and their two sons. She spends a fair amount of time in hockey rinks and soccer fields.
Stephen joined Catholic Word in 2011. Raised in Cincinnati, Stephen moved to the Chicago suburbs in high school. Since early high school, Stephen has attended mission trips throughout the United States to help in the neediest areas. He has an Associate’s Degree in Science. Stephen loves the outdoors, spending time with friends, and working out.
Deacon Richard Harden
Richard joined the sales team in March, 2012 and is specializing in Theology of the Body programs. He has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering for the University of Missouri and spent the first thirty years of his career working in manufacturing, product/project management and marketing. Richard and his wife, Monica, are actively involved with ministries which assist the physically and mentally disabled. He is a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus and has been a catechist for over 15 years. Richard and Monica have been married for 33 years with 6 children and 8 grandchildren. Richard was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in 2011 and enjoys reading mystery novels, hiking, snowshoeing and scuba diving.
Naedal McMullen joined the sales team in 2011 as a Study Consultant for God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage program and Theology of the Body. Naedal has over 15 years experience in the advertising and marketing industry representing creative services in photography, print, and graphic design. She was a marketing consultant at Relevant Radio working on national accounts and producing commercials. She attended the Theology of the Body Institute, enjoys working with dynamic Catholics and loves teaching Theology of the Body for Teens at her local parish.
Michael has been working with Ascension faith formation programs since 2009, and has been involved in Catholic media since 1999. With experience in both broadcast and print media, and a thirst for growing deeper in the Catholic faith, Mike enjoys getting to know you while helping you find the right Catholic resources for your parish or school group. A 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus and lector at his parish, Mike has three daughters and enjoys spending time near lakes and rivers, attending High School sporting events, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Bob joined the sales team in 2005 as a Study Consultant for The Great Adventure Bible Study Series. He has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, and has worked in manufacturing firms in quality assurance and manufacturing engineering management roles. His last position was with the Knights of Columbus as a field agent and is a 4th degree Knight. Bob has run a bed & breakfast for 18 years with his wife, Linda. Bob is a cantor, lector, and an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist for his parish, St. Maximilian Kolbe.