Program Advisory Board

Bishop David J. Walkowiak, Episcopal Moderator

Bishop Walkowiak was appointed the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids by Pope Francis on April 18, 2013. Born in East Cleveland, Ohio, Bishop Walkowiak attended the University of Notre Dame, where in 1975, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and international studies. He studied at Saint Mary Seminary in Cleveland and received a Master of Divinity degree in 1979.  He was ordained to the priesthood June 9, 1979 by the late James Cardinal Hickey at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Cleveland.  Bishop Walkowiak later studied canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received the Licentiate degree in 1984 and the Doctorate degree in 1987.

Conor Dugan, Chair of the Board

Conor Dugan is an attorney with Warner Norcross & Judd in Grand Rapids, where he serves as Senior Counsel in the firm's Appellate Practice Group.  Before joining Warner Norcross & Judd, Conor clerked for then-Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, worked as an appellate litigator in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for nearly seven years, and served as counsel at an appellate and Supreme Court boutique in Washington, D.C.  In his career he has successfully represented clients in the U. S. Supreme Court, the Michigan Supreme Court, numerous federal courts of appeals, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. He received an A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.  Conor lives with his wife and four children in East Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a member of Sacred Heart Parish.

Benjamin Currie, MD

Benjamin Currie is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.D. from Northwestern University, where he was president of the Catholic Medical Students Association. He completed his residency at Washington University in St. Louis. He has participated in several service trips abroad, most recently providing ophthalmic surgical care to patients in Honduras. He and his wife Stephanie are parents of three children and members of St. Francis de Sales in Holland, MI.

Thomas Levergood

Thomas Levergood is Executive Director and a co-founder of the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago.  He received his B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in General Studies in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He taught American Literature at a high school in Paris and has done political work and research. After studies in languages and literature in Munich, Paris, and New York, he returned to the University of Chicago to pursue graduate studies in theology, politics, and literature in the Committee on Social Thought.

Carrie Olesh

Carrie is an Assistant Director of Admissions at Hope College.  She began her work at Hope in 2011 recruiting High School students from Michigan and Indiana.  Prior to her work at Hope, Carrie lived in Düsseldorf Germany from 2008-2011.  There she sat on the board of Youth Compass, a Christian organization that supports fellowship, spiritual growth, and mission work with Third Culture Kids.  She attended St. Albertus Magnus where she assisted in leading Rosary and Bible studies.  Carrie is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications. She has an established background in Sales and Marketing while working for companies in Miami FL, Chicago IL, Cincinnati OH, and Holland, MI.  On Hope’s campus, Carrie enjoys her involvement with Hope Catholics, advising the Hope Men’s Rugby team, and sitting on the Health Professions Advisory committee. Carrie is the mother to three children (two at Hope College) with her husband, Paul.  Carrie and her family are members of St. Francis de Sales in Holland, MI.

Phil Sotok

Phil is the President and Founder of VentureSource Corporation. The company, formed on the pillars of Catholic social doctrine, is a global supplier of customized and specialized products to the automotive industry, with offices in Zeeland, Michigan; Shanghai, China; and Barcelona, Spain. Prior to founding VentureSouce, Phil worked in various engineering, finance and international business development roles for Chrysler, Manga and Prince Corporation. He earned his BS degree in Economics and Mathematics from Hope College and his MBA from the Thunderbird school of International Management.  He speaks Spanish and Portuguese. In addition to providing leadership and strategic direction to VentureSource, Phil is also an active investor in two start-ups and a board member of the Virtuous Leadership Institute.

J.T. Weis

J.T. Weis is Chief Executive Officer and owner of Abcor Industries in Holland, Michigan. Abcor was named a Top 50 company to watch in the State of Michigan. Prior to owning Abcor Industries, he was Group President in Berkshire Hathaway. Earlier in J.T.’s career, he successfully ran a global French company while based in Paris, France and has significant prior Fortune 100 leadership experience. He has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Winona State University. Currently, J.T. serves as Board President of Sacred Heart Academy and has served on several Boards and Councils. J.T. lives with his wife, Christine of 25 years and four daughters in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. They are members of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish.