Slate of Candidates for the Board of Directors Officers Election
The CMA Board of Directors is the governing body of the association. The Board represents the broad diversity of our membership in terms of job responsibilities, communications formats, geography and roles within their organizations. We encourage you to get involved and vote for those who you feel will contribute to the organization’s continued success.
Thank you for participating in this year's Board of Directors Officer Election. Online voting concluded on May 3, 2023.
Gretchen Crowe, OSV News
Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV News, the national and international Catholic news wire service reporting on Catholic issues and issues that affect Catholics. She manages a team of 11 passionate individuals who believe that by providing subscribers with excellent, accurate and faithful content that forms, informs and inspires, they can help form disciples of Jesus Christ and ultimately help bring people to heaven.
Prior to her work with OSV News, Gretchen served as editorial director for periodicals at OSV, where she oversaw the publication of Our Sunday Visitor, the only national Catholic weekly newspaper in the United States; OSV’s two clergy magazines, The Priest and The Deacon; its children’s magazine, OSV Kids; and online content on SimplyCatholic.com, TeachingCatholicKids.com, and RadiantMagazine.com.
Gretchen joined OSV in 2013 as editor of Our Sunday Visitor, just days before the election of Pope Francis. Prior to her work at OSV, Gretchen spent nine years in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, as a writer and editor for the illustrious Arlington Catholic Herald. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also minored in French.
An award-winning writer and photographer, Gretchen is the author of three books: "Legacy of Mercy: A True Story of Mercy and a Mother's Forgiveness," (OSV, 2022), “Praying the Rosary with St. John Paul II” (OSV, 2019) and “Why the Rosary, Why Now?” (OSV, 2017). Gretchen lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband, Michael Heinlein, and their three adorable children.
Michael La Civita, ONE Magazine
Michael La Civita is Director of Communications for Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA serves the Eastern churches in addressing conflict, injustice, poverty and leadership formation in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. For more than 30 years, he has directed CNEWA’s media program, including the creation of its web sites, blogs, social media and multimedia magazine, ONE. Other responsibilities include strategic planning, promotions, marketing and media relations.
La Civita travels frequently, writing and speaking widely on the communities served by CNEWA and their challenges and hopes. Under his baton, CNEWA’s multimedia initiatives consistently earn recognition from the Catholic Media Association, receiving press awards for reporting, writing, editing, graphic design, photography, video production and individual excellence for his talented team members.
A member of the CMA since 1989, he served on the board of directors from 1998 to 2001 and was reelected in 2017. He is now vice president. His committee responsibilities have included Bylaws, CMA/CNS liaison, fair codes and practices, and strategic planning. Invested in 2009 in the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, La Civita now serves as chancellor of the U.S. Eastern Lieutenancy. He is a member of St. Francis Xavier Church in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Janelle Gergen, Diocese of Crookston
Janelle Gergen is Chancellor/COO and Chief Communications Officer for Bishop Andrew Cozzens and the Diocese of Crookston in northwest Minnesota. She holds a B.F.A. from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and M.S. from Purdue University. She has been married 19 years and is the mother of four.
Gergen’s background includes 18 years combined experience in non-profit leadership, with notable expertise in public relations, integrated marketing, crisis communication, strategic planning, policy writing, media relations, and editing.
Gergen has been a CMA member for nine years and has served on the Board of Directors since 2021. Ambitious and solution-oriented, she has participated in several ad hoc committees, including complaint resolution, bylaw review, and strategic planning.
Gergen feels impassioned by CMA’s mission of community-building, advocacy, and resource-sharing among Catholic communicators, and remains humbled to serve her peers.
Paula Gwynn Grant, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington
Paula Gwynn Grant is an Emmy Award-winning television and radio broadcaster and marketing/media professional, who currently is Secretary for Communications for The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington (D.C.), home of the Catholic Standard and El Pregonero archdiocesan newspapers. Prior to this position, Paula served for five years as Director of Communications for The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, home of The Georgia Bulletin. She is the media spokesperson and representative for the Cardinal Archbishop.
A former Miss Black America (1989) and honors graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Paula has over 35 years of experience producing and hosting television and radio programs and working as a top Communications advisor for religious clergy/bishops, numerous politicians/government officials, doctors, professional athletes and entertainers.
Grateful to be of service to our Church as a professional Catholic communicator, over the years, Paula has served on several Catholic non-profit boards including the Ignatius House and Loyola Jesuit Retreat Centers, the Mercy Care Foundation, and for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Communications Committee as a Consultant.
Paula considers it a great honor and privilege to be serving her second term on our Catholic Media Association Board.
As journalists and communication professionals, Paula sees our role as assisting and accompanying the People of God by sharing their diverse stories as encouraging signs of life and our mission of spreading the Good News of the Gospel in all the various formats and platforms that we can.
Paula is grateful for the life journey God has her on professionally and personally with her husband, Ray, their 26-year-old daughter, and 22-year-old son.
Jennifer Brinker, St. Louis Review
Jennifer Brinker is a reporter at the St. Louis Review newspaper and Catholic St. Louis magazine, publications of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. For 25 years, she has covered topics as they relate to the Catholic Church in the archdiocese, including life issues such as abortion and the death penalty, human trafficking, homelessness, poverty and race. Her work has been recognized by the Catholic Media Association of the United States and Canada. She is an alumna of the Missouri School of Journalism.
In her time as a board member, Jennifer has assisted with education committee, which offers a variety of webinars to members. Through surveying its members, the Catholic Media Association understands that continuing education and networking opportunities are among the top reasons why people choose to become members of the association.
Carol Zimmermann, The Tablet
Carol Zimmermann, who worked for Catholic News Service for 30 years writing about education, human interest, health care and the U.S. Supreme Court, is currently the senior national correspondent for The Tablet, diocesan newspaper of Brooklyn covering similar beats from her home in Maryland.
Zimmermann was elected last year as the Eastern Regional Representative for the Catholic Media Association's board of directors and she currently serves on the board's membership committee .She got her start in the Catholic press at the Catholic Standard, archdiocesan newspaper of Washington, where her husband Mark is the editor.
Carol and Mark have two adult children and one in high school.They are members of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Gaithersburg, Maryland.