GICM Leadership

Pia de Solenni, SThD
President and Executive Director

Pia de Solenni. SThD is a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst. She recently served as Chancellor of the Diocese of Orange, California, and Theological Advisor to the Bishop. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She is also a consultant member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Governing Board

Gellert Dornay

The son of a Hungarian immigrant and native Seattleite mother, Gellert Dornay was raised with 8 siblings and attended a Montessori preschool and grade school founded by his parents. Eager to maximize contribution, he was married, had attended three different universities, helped launch a boutique coffee roaster and welcomed their first child by the time he hit legal drinking age. 

Dornay helped Java Trading Co. bring specialty coffee to the masses on three continents over his 15 year tenure, leaving shortly after a private equity sale in 2006. 

As a practicing Catholic, Dornay developed a strong desire to promote human dignity through business, which led to co-founding Axia Home Loans in 2007. Homeownership contributes greatly to family and economic stability. Under Gellert’s leadership as CEO, Axia grew to fund over $1 billion annually, helping thousands of families become homeowners. Dornay is the only newcomer to successfully build a national mortgage bank during the Great Recession. And in 2016, Axia became the first 100% employee owned mortgage bank. Just as owners take better care of homes and communities, so do the 350 employee owners at Axia who now participate in company ownership and contribute to a stronger and more just and equitable economy. 

Gellert and his wife Elizabeth homeschool their ten children on Mercer Island, Washington. He  participates on several boards of profit and non-profit companies which are forces for good in our economy. 

Ana Cecilia Fieler

Ana Cecilia Fieler is a visiting assistant professor of economics at Yale University since 2018. She has previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton University. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University, an M.A. in economics from Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Fac. Engenharia Industrial, Brazil. Ana Cecilia lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her husband and their six children.  

John Harpole

John Harpole is President and Founder of Mercator Energy, a natural gas brokerage and services company located in Denver, Colorado.  John and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 27 years. They have 3 children. Emily Harpole (23 years old) is a missionary with The Culture Project.  Mary Harpole is a junior at Benedictine College and Jack Harpole is a freshman at Benedictine College. John serves on the Board of Directors at Benedictine College, the Board at the Leadership Program of the Rockies, the Board at the University of Colorado’s Global Energy Management Program (GEM) and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) Advisory Board.

John Hillen

The Honorable John Hillen is the CEO of EverWatch Solutions, a 400-employee defense technology firm in Northern Virginia. Dr. Hillen is a former assistant secretary of
State, public company CEO, award winning business school Professor, decorated combat veteran, public intellectual, and author of several books. He serves as The Wheat Professor of Leadership and Ethics at historic Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. A Catholic lay leader, he was the founding Chairman of the International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Program on Church Management, serves on the Board of The Dominican Foundation, and is a longtime member of Legatus. John graduated from Duke University, holds a master’s degree from King’s College London, a doctorate from Oxford, and his MBA from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell. 

David Karam

J. David Karam is the Chief Executive Officer of Sbarro, a leading Italian quick service restaurant company. Mr. Karam joined Sbarro when he was appointed Chairman of the Board in January of 2012 and assumed the additional duties of CEO in March of 2013. 

Before joining Sbarro, Mr. Karam was the President of Wendy’s International from 2008 to 2011. During his tenure at Wendy’s, Karam led a successful turnaround, which included significant improvements in product quality, operational execution and brand profitability. Under his leadership, Wendy’s rose to become the second largest QSR Hamburger chain in the U.S., surpassing Burger King for the first time in the company’s 42-year history. In 2011, Karam was inducted into Wendy’s Hall of Fame. 

Prior to joining Wendy’s in 2008, Mr. Karam was president of Cedar Enterprises, one of the largest franchisees in the Wendy’s system. While President of Cedar Enterprises, the company was awarded the R. David Thomas Founders Award, the Diamond Award for National Marketer of the Year and numerous other recognitions. He joined Cedar Enterprises in 1986 as Vice President of Finance before being promoted to President in 1989. Mr. Karam previously served as senior auditor for Touche & Ross from 1982 to 1986. 

Karam is a CPA and holds a B.S. in Accounting from The Ohio State University and is a graduate of the Owner President Management program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. He serves on the Board of Directors for Henny Penny Corporation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Pontifical College Josephinum. 

Joe Rothbauer

Retired in 2018 as the Head of Asset Operations for Castleton Commodities International (CCI). CCI is primarily an energy trading company which also purchases assets in the energy space. Mr. Rothbauer led the midstream and electric generation business for CCI.  These operations in the past 14 years have created 3 billion in cash to the owners. Father of ten adopted children aged 4 to 45 years old, Mr. Rothbauer has been married to his wife Rebecca for 38 years. Involved with numerous not for profit organization such as the YMCA and IBLAC, Mr. Rothbauer is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BS in Engineering and captained the 1980 Wisconsin Badger Football team. 

Joe Topper

Joseph V. Topper, Jr. has been the President of Dunne Manning Inc. since 2015. Mr. Topper is Chairman of the Board of Cross America Partners LP since acquiring the General Partner in November 2019. Mr. Topper has over 25 years of management experience in the wholesale and retail fuel distribution business. In 1987, Mr. Topper purchased his family’s retail fuel business and five years later founded DMI (formerly known as Lehigh Gas Corporation), where he was the Chief Executive Officer since 1992. Mr. Topper currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Villanova University and is member of the Board of Limited Jurisdiction at St. Michael the Archangel School. He is the past President of the board of directors for Lehigh Valley PBS and the Lehigh Valley PBS Foundation. He also served as a board member for the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown. Mr. Topper holds a Master’s degree of Business Administration from Lehigh University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Villanova University. Mr. Topper is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Ex Officio Non-Voting Members

Brian T. Shea

Brian T. Shea served as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Investment Services for BNY Mellon where he also oversaw Global Operations and Technology from 2013 until he retired in 2017. He also held a variety of executive roles at Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon company, including Chairman, CEO, and President and COO from 1983 until 2014. He currently serves on the board of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., Ameriprise Financial, Inc, and the RBB Fund Inc.

Mr Shea currently serves on the board of Catholic Charities of New York, as Vice Chair of the board of the Catholic Community Foundation of Long Island, on the board of Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation, Chairs the Advisory board for St John’s University’s Institute for Catholic Schools and serves on the Parents Executive Committee at Villanova University.

Mr. Shea previously served on the board of St John’s University in NY, on the board of WisdomTree Investments, Inc., on the board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the board of Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), and the board of the Insured Retirement Institute. He also served as Chairman of the National Adjudicatory Council and the Membership Committee of FINRA and as Chairman of the Membership Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Authority.

Mr. Shea received his B.S. in Business Management from St. John’s University, an MBA in Finance from Pace University, and an honorary PhD in Commercial science from St. John’s University.

Msgr. Martin Schlag
Chair, Program of Church Management

Prof. Msgr Martin Schlag, J.D., S.T.D. is Doctor iuris at the University of Vienna, Austria, and Doctor Theologiae at the Pontifical University Santa Croce, Rome. In 1996 he was ordained a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei. From 2008 to 2017 professor for social moral theology at the Pontifical University Santa Croce, Rome, as well as cofounder and Director of its Research Centre Markets, Culture and Ethics. Since 2015 also professor for Business Ethics at the University Roma 2 Tor Vergata, and since 2016 at the IESE Business School in Barcelona. 2012 appointment as Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. As of August 2017 Professor for Catholic Social Thought, Holder of the Alan W. Moss endowed Chair for Catholic Social Thought at the Center for Catholic Studies, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought.

Over 80 publications, among them: together with Domènec Melé Humanism in Economics and Business. Perspectives of the Catholic Social Tradition (New York: Springer 2015); The Handbook of Catholic Social Teaching: A Guide for Christians in the World Today (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017); The Business Francis Means: Understanding the Pope’s Message on the Economy, Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017. (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017).

Fr. Robert A. Gahl, Jr.
Vice-Chair, Program of Church Management

Robert Gahl is an Associate Professor of Ethics in the School of Philosophy of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce), the Vice Director of the Markets, Culture, and Ethics (MCE) Research Centre,  founding Vice Chair of the Program of Church Management, and a Research Affiliate at Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1964), he completed his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (1984) while gaining experience in aircraft manufacturing with McDonnell Douglas. He worked in Silicon Valley with control software of electron beam lithography systems (1985-1987). After completing his Licentiate in philosophy at the University of Navarre (Pamplona, Spain, 1989) and his doctorate in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (1991), he did postdoctoral research at the University of Notre Dame (1993). He was ordained to the diaconate by  Blessed Alvaro del Portillo and to the priesthood by St. John Paul II (1992). He has published on the narrative structure of the moral life, cognitive behavioral therapy and corporate social behavior, and the social doctrine of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He has directed courses on institutional mission at leading health care and medical research centers and on virtuous leadership for Italy’s center for defense studies (IASD). He has offered analysis regarding issues of ethics and Church affairs for numerous media outlets including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, La Presse, The National Catholic Reporter, AP, CNN, CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, RTE, La Stampa’s Vatican Insider, and Vatican Radio. In addition to Italy and the USA, he has lectured in the Vatican, UK, Spain, Kenya, Ireland, Malta, Slovenia and Poland.

Fr. Anthony Stoeppel
Chair, Clergy Advisory Board

Fr. Anthony Stoeppel is the Vice-Rector and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Immediately prior he was the Vice-Managing Director and on the faculty of the Program of Church Management. He also served as Vicar General of the Diocese of Tyler, Chairman of the Parish & Mission Assistance Program, President of Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic Schools, and pastor of multi-lingual parishes. Fr. Anthony attended Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, and holds a Doctorate of Sacred Theology from Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.