Speaker Biographies

Home/Leadership Conference/Speaker Biographies
Speaker Biographies 2011-12-05T21:45:36+00:00

This page is dedicated to our speakers for the Kino Leadership Conference.

Jim Beckman
Jim Beckman has been involved with youth ministry and evangelization of teens for more than 20 years. He graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1987 and has served in various roles of leadership of national, regional and local youth ministry ever since. He is a dynamic and passionate speaker and has a great love for young people. He has built solid and thriving youth ministry programs in several parishes over the years. Jim is the Director of Youth Leadership and Evangelization for the Augustine Institute in Denver. He also directs the work of ImpactCenter and YDisciple, both of which are based at the AI. He and his wife, Meg, live in Highlands Ranch, CO with their five children: Aaron, Claire, Daniel, Jonathan and Brian.

Colette Byrne
Colette Byrne has a M.A. in Education and has taught in the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic School system for 15 years and as a Coordinator of Religious Education for 6 years. She completed her Director of Religious Education training at Franciscan University in Stubenville. She is also a nationally certified Formation Leader for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program. Colette and her husband, Noel, are parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix, AZ and the proud parents of three adult sons, two lovely daughter-in-laws, and four beautiful grandchildren.

Jodi Ghelli
Jodi Ghelli is a professional counselor in an independent private practice. Her credentials include a Masters Degree in Social Work and she is licensed by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. She graduated with her MSW in 1992 and has practiced in a wide array of practice settings over those years- from homeless shelters, to emergency psychiatric services, to inpatient and outpatient settings and for several years now, has been successfully running her own private practice.

Jodi has been assisting the Diocese with Foccus reviews for the past 15 years. She currently  assists the Diocese by teaching ministry volunteers how to review the Foccus test and is active in consultation with the Diocese on ways to continually improve the pre-marriage and marriage services offered.

Ryan Hanning
Ryan Hanning is the current Coordinator of the Office of Adult Evangelization for the Diocese of Phoenix, and proud father of 5 children. Ryan has worked in Parish life as a Director of Youth Evangelization, a DRE and Director of RCIA in both English & Spanish. Ryan has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Arizona State University and a Masters of Education from Northern Arizona University. Currently, Ryan is finishing his M.A. in Theology from the University of Dallas and hopes to pursue his Doctorate in Biblical Studies in Israel. Ryan has also taught Theology and Biblical Studies at Grand Canyon University, as well as World Religions for the Maricopa Community College District.

Maricela P. Moffitt, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Moffitt graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1986. She is Board certified in Internal Medicine and has practice Medicine for over 20 years in Arizona. She obtained a Masters degree in Public Health in 1994 at the University of Arizona. She is currently holds the academic rank of Associate Professor of Medicine and serves as the Director of the Doctoring Curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix where she teaches basic communication and physical exam skills to medical students. She is a part-time Hospitalist at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. She currently serves on the 1st Way Board of Directors; The HOPE Mobile Ultrasound Unit Board; The Phoenix Diocesan Medical Ethics Board; The Catholic Physicians Guild of Phoenix Board and the (National) Catholic Medical Association Board (as President 2012.) She teaches with her husband in the RCIA program at Corpus Christi parish. She is married to Dr. Robert A. Moffitt; they have three children.

Professor James Pauley
Prof. James Pauley is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Catechetics at Franciscan University, recently completing his eighth year on faculty and his twentieth year in the field of Catechetics. James began working as a parish youth minister in 1989 and since then has worked in young adult ministry, adult faith formation and in two different agencies of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. As the Coordinator of Catechist Formation in Washington, James contributed to the development and initial implementation of the Archdiocesan lay ministries training program which was based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the vision of the General Directory for Catechesis.

Mike Phelan
Mike Phelan is currently Director of Marriage and Respect Life for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. He holds a Masters degree in Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies at the Catholic University of America. An educator by trade, Mike has degrees in education and English from the University of Dallas and taught junior high and high school literature, history, theater, and basketball for eleven years in the Peoria Unified School District. Mike and his wife of fourteen years, Sharon, have six children and live in Mesa, Arizona.

Bob Rice
Bob Rice received his MA Theology and Christian Ministry with a specialization in Catechetics from Franciscan University in 1997. Before coming to teach at Franciscan, he was a youth minister for 7 years at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Latham, NY, where he lead a LIFE TEEN program (one of the nation’s hub parishes), confirmation preparation, teen catechumenal preparation, and other ministries within the parish. Bob is a highly sought after, internationally recognized speaker for youth and youth ministers, sharing the Good News to tens of thousands people every year. He is also an accomplished musician who leads worship at the Steubenville Summer Conference and has released many CDs (you can find out more at bobricemusic.com). Bob has authored a book through Servant Publications titled “Basic Spiritual Workout” and is currently working on other writing projects. He lives in Steubenville with his wife Jennifer and four young children. Bob lives in Steubenville with his wife Jennifer and four young children.

Rev. Oliver Vietor
Fr. Vietor serves as the Parochial Vicar at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. He was ordained to the priesthood in September 2010 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision for former Episcopalian ministers who are married. He has many years of teaching experience both in schools and in the ministry and currently teaches in the Institute of Catholic Theology at St. Thomas.

Eric J. Westby
Eric J. Westby, MA is the Director of Parish Certification for the Kino Institute of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. He holds a Masters of Arts degree in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University in Steubenville, from where he was the first student to complete the graduate specialization in catechetics. He holds a Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies from the Center for Ministry Development, and has been involved in full-time parish youth ministry since 1988. He is a regular presenter at the summer St. John Bosco Catechetical Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has published youth ministry materials through YOU! Press and is the founder of ymcentral.com.

Nikki Westby
Nikki is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Arizona for the past 15 years. She is a Catholic based holistic practitioner who specializes in women’s issues and uses cognitive behavioral therapy to treat a variety of conditions such as anxiety and depression.  She has been working with Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries since 2000 and has attended international conferences for training with founders Dr. Theresa Burke, Ph.D and her husband Kevin Burke, MSS,/LSW, MEV. She has attended over 15 retreats in which she has participated as a facilitator or the counselor for the retreat process. She is a founding member of the first Rachel’s Vineyard team that presented a retreat in the state of Arizona 11 years ago. She currently has a small private practice and is passionate about helping men and women heal and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness and to accompany the wounded back to a new and abundant life in Christ.

Kristin Witte
Kristin Witte strives to encourage fellow disciples to embrace Christ’s healing mission. Kristin serves as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at Loyola University Maryland having spent eight years as the Coordinator of Pastoral Care for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. She has completed three Masters degrees and received her Doctorate in Ministry with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling from The Catholic University of America. She has been married to her husband, Andy, for ten years.