Community Led by Community
Individual volunteers drive this community – one unlike any other. An all-volunteer Board of Directors works closely with the Franciscan friars and lay staff to collectively discern and choose new directions for the organization. It is this model of shared ownership and shared authority that has allowed the Franciscan Renewal Center to truly work as community for the community for more than 60 years.
Board of Directors
The Franciscan Renewal Center is led by a 16-member Board of Directors comprising community lay volunteers, Casa leadership and friars. Board members are volunteers who — along with a passion for the Franciscan Renewal Center and for Franciscan spirituality — have a gift for looking at the “big picture” and deep experience in the areas of strategic guidance, financial management, human resources, health care, and more.
The primary work of the Board is to:
- Provide support and guidance that empowers the Franciscan Renewal Center to stay true to its mission, its values, and the broader mission of the Province.
- Ensure the Franciscan Renewal Center’s financial stability by providing financial oversight, inputting into the strategy, and assisting with the execution of fund-raising and endowment growth.
- Engendering interest from the community to actively participate in, and add greater value to, the Franciscan Renewal Center by becoming Board and Board committee members.
Steve Lyons (Chair, Board of Directors)
Steve was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and educated by the Dominican Sisters and Xaverian Brothers. He has a Bachelor of Engineering from the SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler (Class of 1970) and later studies business at Eastern Michigan University.
After graduation, Steve served on active duty in the US Merchant Marines and was a officer in the US Navy Reserve. He joined the Ford Motor Company in 1972 as a design engineer and retired after 34 years of service as President of the Ford Division and Group Vice-President for Marketing, Sales and Service. After retirement, he continued to be very active in the automotive business and has worked as a consultant to Goldman, Sachs as well as building a Ford dealership in Surprise, Arizona (sold his interest to his partner in 2012).
Steve and his family have lived in many cities across the US, as well as Madrid, Spain. He and his wife, Donna, are now settled in North Scottsdale. They first came to the Casa in 2000 with many visits over the years and became full-time members in 2012 when the move to the Valley. Steve and Donna have served on the Major Gifts Committee fro the Capital Fund Raising Campaign.
Steve and Donna have three children and four grandchildren. They both enjoy traveling and golf.
Michele "Mike" C. Mencuccini (Vice Chair, Board of Directors)
Mike has served as the co-head of the Casa’s lector ministry, is a Lector and Eucharistic Minister, and will continue as a member of the Board Formation & Governance Committee. Mike earned a MPS in Pastoral Theology from Loyola University New Orleans and is currently a doctoral candidate at Creighton University’s School of Interdisciplinary Leadership. Her previous education includes undergraduate and post graduate degrees in architecture, accounting, and education.
Mike is the Director of Finance, Facilities, and Human Resources at St. Francis Xavier Elementary School. Additionally, she is a facilitator for the Loyola Institute of Ministry’s graduate studies program. She has served on a variety of non-profit boards including: Catholic Charities AZ as President and Finance Chair; Phoenix Children’s Hospital as Finance Chair; YWCA of Maricopa County as Finance Chair; UMOM New Day Center’s (homeless shelters for women and families) as Social Enterprise Chair and; St. Francis Xavier Parish Council and School Board as President and member, respectively.
Transplants from the east coast, she and her husband, Mark Voigt, have lived in Phoenix for almost 40 years where they raised their twin sons. They enjoy hiking, traveling, and the beach, where they spend their summers.
Steve O’Neill (Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee)
Steve is a member of the Casa Board of Directors having previously served on four committees and subcommittees. He received an Undergraduate Degree is Electrical Engineering form Rose-Hulman Institute. Steve’s career began with 29 years at General Electric with multiple assignments in Engineering, Sales, Strategic Planning, and General Management. After a two year stay at Rapistan as Senior Vice-President his team acquired Pinnacle Automation, a material handling software and hardware company. Steve sold the company in 2000 and retired to Scottsdale.
Currently he serves on the Board of Directors for the Honor Health Foundation. Steve and his wife, Jan, have been attending the Casa for two years. He has “inherited” Jan’s two children and six grandchildren.
Bob Crawford (Chair, Board Formation & Governance)
Bob first came to the Casa in 2005. He completed his catechist certification and served as a team member of the RCIA program from 2007 to 2016. Bob has over 35 years working in healthcare, including Scripps Hospitals, Health Net, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and is currently with Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Bob has held various positions including hospital and physician contracting, strategic planning, marketing, sales, business development, and program implementation.
Bob’s family moved to Scottsdale in 1959. He received his BA in Education from the University of Arizona and moved to San Diego where he later completed his Master of Public Health at San Diego State University. Returning to Scottsdale in 2001, Bob has been a volunteer with Circle the City. Bob lives in Scottsdale with his partner and enjoys travel, cooking and golf.
Carol Sanger (Board Secretary)
Carol grew up in New York, attended middle school in Mexico City, high school in the Bay Area and graduated with a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. She was an international banker in New York (Manufacturers Hanover Trust) in the 70’s and 80’s prior to moving to Phoenix in 1992. She worked at both the Department of Commerce and the Department of Transportation in the administrations of Governors Symington, Hull, and Napolitano, focusing on economic and rural development, finance, transportation, and trade issues. From 2003 to 2019, she volunteered, worked and consulted for the Arizona Community Foundation throughout Arizona 2003-2019.
Carol and Jay began attending Mass at the Casa in 1994. Carol went through the Casa’s RCIA program in 1997-1998. From 2013-2019, she served on the Endowment Sub-Committee, and attended Benevon training in 2015. She was part of the Beyond Assisi pilgrimage in 2017.
Dennis O’Neal (Chair, Sustainability Committee)
Dennis was born in Elyria, Ohio. He was educated K-12 by the Sisters of Notre Dame; received a Bachelors, Degree from the University of Dayton (Society of Mary) and a MBA from Miami of Ohio. He began his professional career in banking in 1964 with the American National Bank of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. In 1978 he joined the First National Bank of Omaha and was with them until 2013. Dennis was, as his career grew, President of the Omaha Bank and Chairman of its banks in Ft. Collins,
Greeley, and Boulder. From 2007-2013 he was Chairman of the Bank’s Community Foundation whose goal was to invest in the low and moderate income areas of Omaha.
The Bank always believed that a successful community made for a successful Bank and thus Dennis was active in the community. Highlights included Chairman of Creighton Prep Jesuit High School. President of Boys and Girls Clubs; Chairman of St Joseph’s Hospital, the teaching hospital for Creighton University; active in the Omaha Community Playhouse for 14 years where he served as President and then Chairman of the Playhouse’s Foundation. In 1999 he was awarded an honorary degree from Creighton University.
Dennis assumed responsibility for the Sustainability Committee in 2019. He and his wife of 53 years, Ginger, have two children and two grandchildren.
Marry Warren (Member)
Mary graduated from RCIA at the Casa in 2006 and has been an EM since 2007 and a bread baker until the move to the new church. She served on the Board Formation and Governance Committee (2012-
2015) and currently serves on the Sustainability Committee and crochets for the Wrapped in Love ministry.
She has a PhD (Sociology, ASU) and is endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Mentor for Policy (IMH-E®(IV-P). She currently teaches Cross-Cultural Understanding and Law, Policy and Advocacy in the online Infant and Early Childhood Development PhD program of Fielding Graduate University (2013 to present). She is the Secretary for the international Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.
Alanna M. Mack (Member)
Alanna was born and raised in Los Angeles, and graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in economics. In 1980, she attained her CPA and moved to the Phoenix area. Alanna began her own accounting practice in 1989, which has grown to become Mack & Rohwedder, PC. Over the years, Alanna has served on Boards of Directors for many organizations, including the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Southern Arizona and Sojourner Center. Alanna's sustained commitment to public service was recognized with the Public Service Award from the Arizona Society of CPAs.
Alanna and her husband, Don Murray, have been members of the Casa community since 2000. They have three children and five grandsons.
Susan Pitts (Member)
Susan was raised and educated in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, earning degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Mississippi University for Women in 1972 and a Physician’s Assistant Certification(with a specialty in Pathology) from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1975. She worked in Pathology for 42 years before retiring in 2016. The last ten years of her career were spent as the Administrative Director of Clin-Path Diagnostics, a private pathology laboratory in Tempe, AZ.
Susan moved to Scottsdale in 1997 after having gone through the RCIA program in Louisiana in 1996. She first attended St .Patricks in Scottsdale where she was a lector and active in the RCIA program. She has been at the Casa since 2006 and has served as an EM since2008. She has been a member of the Board Formation and Governance committee since 2016, and recently participated in the Casa’s 2020-24 strategic planning process.
Susan currently volunteers for duet. Additionally, she enjoys traveling, fly fishing, rock climbing and spending time with friends and family, including her beloved dog, Trudy.
Fr. Sebastian Sandoval, OFM
Appointed by the Province of St. Barbara.
Ex-Officio Directors: Fr. Joe Schwab, OFM (Executive Director, Franciscan Renewal Center)
Fr. Joe came to the Casa in June 1997 and became Director in 1998. He entered the Franciscan Order in 1978 and served as Superior or Administrator in several communities, including Oakland and Santa Barbara. He received his BA with honors from Arizona State University and is a lifetime member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. He received his graduate degree in theology from the Franciscan
School of Theology, Berkeley. He has certifications in Contemporary Spirituality from the Kino Institute, Franciscan Theology from the International Study Centre at Canterbury and Pastoral Ministry, University of Notre Dame.
He has been a member of the Provincial Board (Definitorium) for 2 terms and has served on numerous committees and as a hospital chaplain. He has directed many pilgrimages to Italy and the Holy Land and has travelled frequently through Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Fr Joe keeps active in sacramental ministry, preaching, retreats, education, and local and provincial administration.
Ex-Officio Director: Charlie Brown (General Manager)
Charlie serves a voting member of the Board of Directors FRC. He was hired on November 9,
1998 as General Manager forming a collaborative leadership model with Executive Director Joe Schwab. He graduated from Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado in 1984 with a BA in
Business Administration. He immediately began his management career with Kmart
Corporation and was promoted to General Manager in 1988 in Vista, California.
Continually promoted to larger volume stores in a variety of locations throughout California.
After his 14 year successful retail management career, he choose to transition his sills to better align with his faith and spirituality as well as spending more time with his daughters. Charlie has furthered his education by attending Harvard on scholarship and the ASU non-profit extension. He has served as Chair of the Retreat Directors Committee for the Province of St. Barbara for ten years.
Charlie completed the two-year certification training and education as a spiritual director. He is a father of two lovely and faithful daughters, Amber and Bridget. He enjoys his lake cabin in Durango, fitness, travel, art and always a lifelong learner.