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board of directors

executive committee

Fr. Christopher Walsh
4th term – Elected 2009

Fr. Chris is Pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort Church in Northwest Philadelphia where he has served since 2008. He has been active in various aspects of the pro-life movement since 1985 and has served on the Board since 2011. Fr. Chris believes that the Culture of Life can only be built and maintained through a comprehensive strategy like that of the Pro-Life Union.

Paul DeCamara
Vice Chair
1st term – Elected 2016

Paul DeCamara, along with his wife Cindy, has been involved with Pro-Life activities for the last 25 years at St. Alphonsus Parish in Maple Glen, PA. They have six children and live in Upper Dublin Township, PA. Paul has worked in the fire sprinkler industry for the last 38 years and has supported pro-life activities for many years.

Helene Hallowell
1st term – Elected 2017

Helene Hallowell is a health and wellness professional who is committed to guiding others to see their full potential in body, mind and spirit. Helene thrives on being the supportive presence for some who sometimes have little positive influence in their lives, and is a proponent of Natural Family Planning as a means to build up family life.

Bob Biggs
2nd term – Elected 2014

Bob and Maggie Biggs currently reside in Newtown, PA.  He is a CPA and has served as Board Member for several non-profit organizations. The Biggs’ are pro-life advocates anchored by their three adopted children.

board of directors


Kim Bennett
1st term – Elected 2019

Kim is a Nurse at AlphaCare, a local pregnancy resource center, and has been on staff for over 30 years as a Registered Nurse where she is trained to provide limited obstetric ultrasounds. She is also a Certified Childbirth Educator and a Trauma Healing Training Facilitator for the American Bible Society Trauma Healing Institute. Kim has a BS in Bible from Cairn University. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kim has been married for over 40 years with four grown biological children and two adopted special needs children. Kim and her family now live in Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania, after many years residing in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

Estela Bugg
1st term – Elected 2019

Originally from Honduras, Central America, Estela is now living in Greater Philadelphia and married with three children and five grandchildren. She has been Director of Volunteer and Parish Community Relations at Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 24 years. In addition to this job role, Estela is the Project Rachel Ministry Director recently relaunched in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Life and Family. Estela has been volunteering as a sidewalk prayer in front of abortion clinics. She is a longtime parishioner at St. Peter the Apostle Parish. Before her work at Catholic Social Services, Estela was the founder and first director of the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center in Philadelphia. Estela holds a Masters in Human Services, bilingual and bi-culture. Because of her parish outreach for seven parishes in the North Philadelphia Latino area, she became instrumental in the development of the Office for Community Development of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Cason Cheely
1st term – Elected 2019

Cason Cheely is an attorney at Stone Crosby, P.C. She resides with her husband Dan and their six children in the Philadelphia area where she serves as vice chair of the Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and board member of the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Life at Princeton University. She is also involved with the Canavox movement and Regina Angelorum Academy, a Catholic classical school. She received her J.D. cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in 2006 and her A.B. in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 2003. She authored the chapter “Embryo Adoption and the Law” in The Ethics of Embryo Adoption and the Catholic Tradition (Brakman and Weaver, Springer: 2007).

Marlene Downing
1st term – Elected 2019

Marlene Downing is a mother of two, author, public speaker and director of HOPE Pregnancy Center. She is a dedicated community leader who brings awareness to tough issues facing society. Her desire is to create opportunity for organic conversations, wholeness and healing. Her wisdom in these areas is based on her own personal experience. She is no stranger to hardship or to the power that Jesus Christ has to turn it all around. After working nearly a decade at a corporate organization, Marlene yielded to the call of God to work at a non-profit organization named HOPE Pregnancy Center. Since then, her love for the work has given her zeal to be divinely creative through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Marlene views her work at the HOPE Center as a beautiful golden opportunity to mentor women while saving lives.

Ashley Garecht
1st term – Elected 2019

Ashley Garecht is a homeschooling mom of four who was unexpectedly thrust into the national pro-life debate after she and her daughters were filmed and harassed by State Representative Brian Sims while they were praying outside of a Planned Parenthood in downtown Philadelphia.  She continues to pray outside of abortion facilities in the region and speaks publicly about the sanctity of life and the civil and religious liberties of pro-life activists.  Before motherhood, Ashley worked in the White House and is a graduate of Duke University.

Liana Hollendonner
1st term – Elected 2019

Liana is the Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America in Pennsylvania and Delaware. She graduated from DeSales University in 2016 where she studied Political Science and Theology. Originally from New Jersey, she is the oldest of six children and remains very close to her family. Liana now lives in Media, PA and continues to stay involved with Catholic ministry and liturgical music.

Richara Krajewski
1st term – Elected 2017

Richara Krajewski is an alumna of Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania, and a New Jersey native. Richara has worked directly with mothers and families in crisis in clinical and social service environments. Her commitment to pro-life work is rooted in her faith and hope in the redemptive work of Jesus: life is sacred, and she believes that those who love Jesus are required to bear witness to the sacredness of human life—the poor, the sick, the migrant, those coping with mental illness, the aging, the lonely, rejected, and the unborn are especially close to the heart of Christ. Richara currently lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Lisa Liccione
1st term – Elected 2017

Lisa and her husband Tony together are the parents of 10 children, 5 adult children and 5 little residents of Heaven.  Both active parishioners of St Ignatius Parish in Yardley PA, Lisa is a founding member of the St Ignatius Servants of Mary; a Rosary ministry devoted to strengthening our youth through hospitality; and serving our elderly, sick, bereaved, and shut-ins through witnessing God’s love and healing through the prayer of Rosary. Devoted to building up a Culture of Life serving those at risk for abortion and/or in delicate stages of life, she served a number of years as a Post Partum Support Group Facilitator and continues to teach and promote the benefits of mommy/baby massage. Accountant (Rider University), and Healing Arts Practitioner (Health Choices-Princeton, NJ), she employs her expertise as owner of both Bottom Line Techs Services and Inspired Touch.

Dr. Monique Ruberu
1st term – Elected 2017

Dr. Monique Ruberu is board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology. She earned her medical degree from University of Texas Medical Branch and completed her residency at Hahnemann University Hospital/Drexel University respectively. She also leads the Philadelphia 40 Days for Life campaigns. When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling, dancing, singing, volunteering with her church and spending time with her three children.

Tom Shakely
3rd term – Elected 2012

Tom is Chief Engagement Officer at Americans United for Life. He previously worked as Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network in Philadelphia. Tom sees the building of a Culture of Life as an essential component of restoring our nation’s goodness. He has served on the Board since 2012 and was elected Vice-Chairman in 2014. He attended Penn State University and remains active in a variety of community and alumni activities.

Patrick Stanton
4th term – Elected 2009

Pat, the oldest son of our founder John Stanton, has been active in the pro-life and other human rights movements for many years. With his wife Wendy, he has raised nine children in the metropolis of Jenkintown. He is owner of Sloane Moving Company in Elkins Park.

Joe Zalot
1st term – Elected 2019

Joe Zalot is a Staff Ethicist with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) in Philadelphia. He has been with the NCBC since July 2017. Prior to this, he served as the Regional Director of Ethics and Spiritual Care for Mercy Health–Cincinnati (2015-2017) and as an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Ethics at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati (2004-2015). Joe earned his Ph.D. from Marquette University in 2002. He has authored two books and various articles, and has presented at academic conferences both domestically and internationally. He is also the founder of Dr. Z Travel, LLC, a faith-based travel company that offers educational and parish pilgrimage trips to Europe. Joe is married to his wife Susan (1994) and they have a daughter, Maria.

emeritus directors

John Stanton (1927-2014)
Nick Gibboni
Sandy Sasso
Regina O’Reilly

Staff Members

Tom Stevens
President & CEO

Tom Stevens is husband to Ann and father to Tommy, John Paul, Megan, Kellan, and Andrew. The Stevens family are parishioners of St. Colman Catholic parish in Ardmore. To learn more, read’s profile of Tom Stevens.

Anne Hinnegan
Member Services

Anne Hinnegan has been with the PLU since 1992 working with our founder John P. Stanton for many years. Anne serves as our Member Services Coordinator working with Church and Parish contacts to build support for the sanctity of life and the mission of the Pro Life Union.

Beth Harrison
Communications Manager

Beth Harrison joined the PLU staff in August 2018 as a Communications Manager to develop strategic content across all platforms, and interact with followers and inquirers about the Pro-Life Union’s news and events.

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Oreland, PA  19075