Catholic Media Association Announces Election of Six Board Members

Board provides leadership, advocacy and expertise in support of Catholic media professionals and organizations


CHICAGO (March 14, 2023) — The Catholic Media Association announced today the election of six members to its Board of Directors, the governing body of the association. Directors serve various categories of membership, representing the diversity of Catholic media professionals throughout North America.

“Since 2020, our world has shifted to a culture of perpetual development, and this includes the Church.This is true for our association and our members. We need to continue to seek and cultivate vibrant, talented Catholic leaders to serve on the board and our committees,” Amy Kawula, president of the Catholic Media Association, said. “We strive to build the strength of our association as communication teams and platforms continue to grow and provide new opportunities for what Catholic communication means today.”

Terms are for three years and begin on June 8 at the CMA members’ annual meeting at the Catholic Media Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Directors may serve up to three consecutive terms.

“The Church must communicate with great care, precision and clarity,” CMA Executive Director Rob DeFrancesco said. “Board members contribute their leadership and expertise to help propel the Church in her mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Of the six members elected this year, five are new to the Board of Directors. Once they begin their terms, there will be 15 board members representing the needs, interests and diversity of Catholic Media Association members.

JoAnn DiNapoli, elected Treasurer, has been involved in the business side of the media for more than 30 years. She serves as Director of Sales at DeSales Media Group in Brooklyn, NY, overseeing a staff that offers multi-media advertising options for The Tablet, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s award-winning weekly newspaper, and NET-TV, New York City’s only 24-hour Catholic cable television station.

Pablo Kay, elected Western Region Representative, is the Editor-in-Chief of Angelus, the multimedia news platform of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Prior to joining Angelus in 2018, Pablo worked as a news editor for NBC-owned stations in Los Angeles and San Diego. He has reported from different parts of the U.S. and the world, including Panama, Israel, Rome, and the U.S.-Mexico border. His work has also appeared in Spanish Catholic publications including Alfa y Omega and Omnes. During his time at Angelus, he has overseen redesigns both of the print magazine and of

Michael La Civita serves as Vice President of the Board and was re-elected Magazine Business Staff member. He is the Director of Communications for Catholic Near East Welfare Association. For more than 30 years, he has directed CNEWA’s media program, including the creation of its web site, blog and media magazine, ONE. Other responsibilities include strategic planning, promotions, marketing and media relations. A member of the CMA since 1989, he served on the board of directors from 1998 to 2001 and was reelected in 2017. His committee responsibilities have included Bylaws, CMA/CNS liaison, fair codes and practices, and strategic planning.

James Ramos, elected Southern Region Representative, is a Houston-based journalist, photographer and design editor at the Texas Catholic Herald, sharing stories of the 2 million-plus Catholics from Texas Gulf Coast. A member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Catholic Creatives, and Young Catholic Professionals, he also previously led digital and social media engagement at Aleteia. The son of Filipino immigrants, his photography and writing has been seen in Catholic News Service, Every Sacred Sunday, Aleteia and Columbia Magazine.

Mike Walsh, elected Newspaper Publisher Member, is the associate publisher of the Catholic Star Herald. He is tasked with ensuring that the newspaper remains as relevant and solvent as the day it began in 1951, while continuing to grow its digital presence. During his seven-year tenure, Walsh has overseen a renewed emphasis on local Catholic news, while ensuring the faithful receive national/world coverage from the Catholic perspective that incorporates truth, charity and morality. His work as associate publisher is part of his larger role as Secretary for Communications for the Diocese of Camden, where he oversees marketing, communications and media relations.

Emily Sanna, elected Magazine Publisher Member, is the managing editor of U.S. Catholic magazine, where she has worked for eight years. She began her career as the digital editor at U.S. Catholic, where she led the magazine in revamping their social media strategy, redesigning their website, and introducing a new web content strategy that more than doubled online engagement in the first several months. As managing editor, her work has focused on helping the magazine rearticulate its mission and vision and apply this to both print and digital content strategies, developing and managing a remote workflow appropriate to the realities of 2023, and helping to implement an upcoming online membership program.


About the Catholic Media Association

The Catholic Media Association builds and strengthens the value, effectiveness and identity of Catholic media by facilitating the professional development and spiritual growth of its members. The Catholic Media Association contributes to the Church’s mission of communicating the Good News and evangelizing the modern world by engaging and supporting Catholic media.

The Catholic Media Association has been uniting and serving Catholic journalists since 1911. The CMA is the most active and vibrant group of Catholic media professionals in the world, with more than 200 publication members and 800 individual members. Member publications reach nearly 10 million households plus many more through digital media.


Current list of Catholic Media Association Board of Directors

  • Amy Kawula, President, The Compass

  • Michael La Civita, Vice President, Magazine Business Staff Member, ONE Magazine

  • Joe Sinasac, Treasurer, Novalis Publishing

  • Ana Rodriguez-Soto, Secretary and Southern Regional Representative, The Florida Catholic

  • Most Rev. Robert P. Reed, Honorary President, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston

  • Jennifer Brinker, Newspaper Editorial Staff Member, St. Louis Review

  • Gretchen Crowe, General Publisher Member, OSV News

  • John Feister, Magazine Member at Large, Glenmary Challenge

  • Janelle Gergen, Member at Large, Diocese of Crookston

  • Paula Gwynn Grant, Diocesan Communication Director, Archdiocese of Washington

  • Carol Zimmermann, Eastern Regional Representative, The Tablet

  • Kerry Weber, Magazine Editorial Staff Member, America

  • Michael Stechsulte, Midwest Regional Representative, Detroit Catholic


Media Contact
Robert DeFrancesco
Executive Director, Catholic Media Association
(602) 751-2720