Michigan Chapter Founder
Entrepreneur and Business Leader; supporter of arts, education, business, community, politics and Church are all statements that can describe our founder, the late Frank D. Stella. As Founder, Chairman and CEO of The F.D. Stella Products Company, Detroit, designers and distributors of food service and dining equipment, Stella received numerous awards and worldwide honors for his accomplishments in all areas of his business, community and charity.
Of the many noteworthy projects championed by Stella was serving as founder and motivation for the Patrons of the Arts, Detroit Chapter. Frank Stella worked to inspire a successful organization and important presence for the Patrons in the Detroit metropolitan area. Seeded in his leadership, our organization continues to grow and strengthen and remain a valued Chapter supporting art restoration within the Vatican Museum.
On a personal note: Mr. Stella was unwavering in his faithfulness to the Catholic Church and esteem of his Italian American heritage. He was passionate about the arts and inspired others to preserve the history.
Board of Directors
Antonio and Suzanne Rea are members of St. Hugo of the Hills Parish, the Detroit Chapter of Legatus, the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museum, and the Papal Foundation. Tony is an architect and works in commercial construction and real estate development through his companies A. Rea Construction, Inc. and Fairmount Properties. The Rea’s have 5 children, and 9 grandchildren. They reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
John and Kristan Hale have five children, are life-long Michigan residents where they have a tremendous interest in the arts, particularly the sacred arts. Kristan and John are Board of Trustees of the Michigan Opera Theatre and John is a member of the Board of Directors.
John graduated from the University of Michigan and obtained his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. After a judicial clerkship with Justice Dorothy Comstock Riley, John practiced law at Bodman, LLP and Ford Motor Company before joining a family business where he serves as co-owner of Corporate Travel Service. Since 1965, the company has been a tour operator and traditional travel agency that organizes pilgrimage, cultural, music, and educational tours and cruises. The company also produces events, themed cruises, performance tours and music festivals.
Kristan earned her bachelor and master degrees in education and taught elementary school for 8 years and now works at home with their 5 children and is active in the family business and event planning.
Dianne Ahern grew up in rural Illinois, has travelled extensively for business and pleasure, and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Technology from Marian College (University), and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University. After rewarding careers in laboratory medicine, hospital administration, and healthcare consulting, Dianne found her new love: researching and writing about the events that shape our lives.
It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope (Saint) John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she felt called to write books for Catholic children and their families. As a Patron of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, Dianne uses her frequent trips to Rome and the Vatican to craft the plots of her adventure/mystery and sacrament books for children.
Medicine is both an Art and a Science and probably this is the reason why Lourdes loves the Arts and Music. She has been a member of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) since the early 70’s, and has been involved in Fundraising Events and Memberships Drive. Currently, She is an Associate Member of the DIA. Lourdes has been a member of Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) since the early 70’s and currently a member of the Board of Trustees. She has participated in Fundraising Events and Memberships Drive through the years. She is also a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) since the early 80’s and have participated in Fundraising Events and Memberships Drive.
Lourdes is currently a certified Adult Neurologist at DMC Harper Hospital, Joint Conference Council/DMC Board member, Medical Executive Council member/Secretary Treasurer at DMC (2006-present), Harper/Hutzel Vice Chief of Staff (2006-present), and Clinical Assistant Professor Neurology at Wayne State University (1983-present). She was on the Board of Directors at Michigan State Medical Society (1998-2006), and was an Alternate Delegate at the American Medical Association (2002-2006). Lourdes was the past President of the Wayne County Medical Society (1998-1999), on the Board of Trustee (1998-2006), Executive Council (1997-present), Delegate (1990-present), and a Board Member (1998-present) and Secretary Treasurer (2012-present) at the WCMS Foundation.
Gerard Andree is a Senior Partner at Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, PC where he has been practicing law for the past 38 years. Gerard brings to the Board of Directors of the Michigan Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums his prior experience as President of the St. Hugo of the Hills Parish Council and the Detroit Chapter of Legatus. In addition to past service on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Lawyers Society and as a Trustee of the Oakland County Bar Foundation he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Chapter of Legatus. Gerard is also a member of both the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, American Association and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Gerard and his wife, Carolyn, have three children, live in Bloomfield Village and are members of St. Hugo of the Hills Parish.
Graham W.J. Beal has been the director, president and CEO of the Detroit Institute of Arts since 1999. Since joining the DIA’s leadership, Beal has overseen two major capital campaigns, guided the reinstallation of the museum’s world-renowned collection, and overseen the museum’s renovation and expansion, which will display and interpret the collection in exciting new ways.
Beal has continued to build on the museum’s outstanding reputation and has strengthened relationships with some of the world’s most well-regarded institutions through loans and programming supported by the museum’s unparalleled collection. Under Beal’s leadership the DIA has co-organized outstanding exhibitions such as Van Gogh: Face to Face in 2000 and Magnificenza! The Medici, Michelangelo and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence in 2003.
Prior to his tenure at the DIA, Beal served as director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has held the position of director of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, and served as chief curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Beal has published many exhibition catalogs, books, and articles including an exhibition catalogue on the DIA’s American paintings.
Beal is a native of Great Britain, born in Stratford-on-Avon. He has degrees in English and Art History from the University of Manchester and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Dale A. Chiara is a managing partner and owner of Design Systems, Inc., a large multi-disciplined engineering company headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with family companies in Canada and Mexico, and employing over 300 people. Design Systems supports the automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, package handling, healthcare, steel manufacturing and other industries by providing program management, conveyor and paint finishing engineering solutions, and other consulting engineering services. Dale is a graduate of Michigan State University and has completed postgraduate work at both MSU and Wayne State University.
Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian with the good fortune to live and work in Rome. After finishing her studies at the University of Chicago in 1989, she moved to Northern Italy to do her graduate work at the University of Bologna. Researching her thesis on the Church of San Giovanni and Petronio in Rome, she soon realized that like Queen Christina of Sweden before her, she couldn’t live another day if she didn’t live it in Rome, and became a denizen of the Eternal City in 1997.
She started giving tours in 1998 for a small cultural association and passed the licensing exam for guides in 2001. That same year she was hired to teach Art History at Duquesne University’s Italian campus, and has remained a member of the Rome faculty ever since. After a five-year stint teaching Renaissance Art at John Cabot University, she joined the teaching staff at the Pontifical University of the Angelicum in Rome, and more recently has begun teaching at Christendom College as well.
Writing opportunities soon followed the coursework, with numerous articles in Inside the Vatican, Sacerdos and First Things magazine, the College Art Association on-line as well as a regular column with Zenit News Agency. She was a contributor to AOL’s Politics Daily and her first biography, The Tigress of Forli: The Remarkable Story of Caterina Riario Sforza, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Press in 2011. She has since written two more books, one on the Roman station churches with George Weigel, and a book on the theology of the body with Father José Granados.
Elizabeth Lev lives minutes from St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums with her husband and three children.
Pope John Paul II named His Eminence, Adam Joseph Maida archbishop of Detroit in 1990. Cardinal Maida had served as bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis. previous to his appointment in Detroit. He was elevated to cardinal in 1994.
Following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, Cardinal Maida was called to Rome to join the conclave that would eventually elect Pope Benedict XVI to be the late-pope’s successor. Cardinal Maida submitted his resignation that same year at the age of 75. However, Vatican officials asked Maida to remain in Detroit. His resignation from active ministry was finally accepted in January 2009 by the new pope.
Cardinal Maida was born in East Vandergrift, Pa. He was ordained a priest in 1956 for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Maida now serves as Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The Napolitano’s (Mark and his wife, Mary Anne) along with their three grown children (John, Angela, and Paul) have called Plymouth their home for over two decades. Plymouth is also home to Napolitano Wealth Management, where Mark serves as a managing director with Raymond James & Associates.
Mark has been an active member of the community for many years, devoting his time to the Plymouth Community United Way, Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth, and as treasurer of the Michigan chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. He is also a graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in material logistics management with a concentration in all three management disciplines; purchasing, operations, and transportation.
Antonio Rugiero is President and CEO of Antonio’s Cucina Italiana Restaurants, Roman Village Inc., and Rugiero Management Group. He is founder and Chairman of the Rugeiro Promise Foundation providing means for giving to charitable organizations.
However, it is family and faith that remains his priority. Mr. Rugiero embraces traditional family values, Church and his Italian American heritage. He serves on various civic and charitable Boards including: Chairman of the International Heritage Foundation, Mid-West Chairman for the Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance (ILICA) and Board member for Michigan Opera Theatre, Italian Film Festival USA, 13th District Finance Chairman Republican Party, Veteran’s Court for Southeast Michigan.
Anthony and his beautiful wife Sabrina have four children, two boys and two girls. They are founding members of the Patrons and enjoy sharing with their children all the wonderful opportunities offered by the Patrons to learn about fine arts and art preservation within the Vatican.
Over 20 years of experience and expertise has kept artist, author and product developer, Maureen Soens, on the leading edge of decorative paint design. She resides in Rochester Hills with her husband Ken and has two grown married children. Having studied with renowned experts in the art of decorative finishes from all over the world, her skills and talents are utilized to create realistic and fantasy finishes. She has extensive background in residential as well as commercial work including healthcare facilities, offices, banks, retail stores and churches.
Maureen has designed and conducted continuing projects for 16th century Naworth Castle in Brampton, England, where she leads a group of American artisans in decorating this ancient gem for the Honorable Philip Howard and family.
She has been invited as a keynote speaker in the field of decorative painting for national organizations in the arts of preservation and contemporary painting, has authored a book “Italian Plaster Techniques.” Her work has been published in magazines and books, and has been featured on television in both the United States and Great Britain.
Recently, she and her husband were issued a patent for their work in creating a paint release product that is marketed by Fauxline Products.
After visiting the Vatican Museums in 2009 with the Michigan Patrons , Maureen’s passion for the arts was further fueled. She returned home with an enthusiasm to share the excitement of preserving these precious gems and to create an awareness of the work of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.
As an art director and graphic designer for 30 years, Jeanne has created marketing and design materials for clients in the automotive, healthcare, and educational industries as well as for many small businesses. She has created promotional materials for Catholic organizations including: The Divine Mercy Center, The Catholic Biblical School Michigan and Catholic ministries. She is Creative Director for the Communications Team for Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan, where she is also a parishioner. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, promoting the arts has always been a passion and after a 2004 pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, promoting the sacred arts has been even more on her heart. After this pilgrimage, Jeanne launched her company, CARDS FOR HIS GLORY, where her goal is to spread the Word of God and the richness of the Catholic faith through the message and beauty of her greeting cards. Her cards combine striking photography and art with inspiring quotes and greetings, and have a contemporary feel, while portraying the tradition of the Church.
In the community, Jeanne has volunteered her art knowledge and expertise in area schools and for faith-related organizations. For the Michigan Patrons, Jeanne designs the Chapter newsletter as well as invitations and promotional pieces for events.
Jeanne resides in Plymouth, Michigan with her husband Tom and their four children. At her church, Jeanne and her husband lead the transformative Living in Love marriage enrichment program.
Teresa Tomeo is an author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and motivational speaker with more than 30 years of experience in TV, radio and newspaper and spent 19 of those years working in front of a camera as a reporter/anchor in the Detroit market. In the year 2000, Teresa left the secular media to start her own speaking and communications company, Teresa Tomeo Communications, LLC. Her weekday morning radio program,Catholic Connection, is produced by Ave Maria Radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan and now heard on over 200 Catholic stations nationwide through the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network and is also carried on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Teresa is a columnist and special correspondent for the national Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor and appears frequently on the EWTN Global Catholic Television Network. Teresa co-hosts the EWTN television series, The Catholic View for Women, and is the field reporter for their annual March for Life coverage in D.C. Teresa has also been featured on The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, and the Dr. Laura Show, discussing issues of faith, media awareness, and Catholic Church teaching, especially as it relates to the culture.
Teresa has authored several books. Her book Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, Not Conformed to the Culture was released in October of 2011 from Ignatius Press and has been named “required reading” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Noise: How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families, published by Ascension Press, is in its third printing.