Leadership Over Lunch

Hosted by CLP, the Leadership Over Lunch series brings people of regional interest and CLP alumni to GU to share their leadership journey with students, faculty and staff.

Fall 2014

Ranjy Thomas is the CEO of Flying Rhinoceros and a pioneer in the children's  media industry. Ranjy's company , Flying Rhinoceros, is a leader in live interactive storytelling and immersive games for the web, mobile app and set-top box platforms. Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine's annual Young Millionaires edition, Ranjy Thomas is no stranger to the rags to riches (and sometimes back to rags) stories of young visionaries. Ranjy is also the executive director of Origin, a community of over 1,000 young professionals and college students from Portland, Oregon who are committed to helping people find a career that matched their strengths, talents and God-given calling.

(A conversation with the three 2014 Opus Award Finalists) Sr. Teresa “Tesa” Fitzgerald directs Hour Children, a nonprofit in Queens, New York, that serves incarcerated women and their children, building healthy, self-sufficient lives. The program is named for the hours that shape these children’s lives: the hour their mother is arrested, the hour children visit their mothers in prison, and the hour of their release. Gollapalli Israel works among the Dalit caste – the untouchables – in the slums of Chennai, India. While India technically abolished its caste system, centuries of stigma remain. Traditionally, the only occupations open to Dalits are considered impure: tanning leather, butchering, garbage collection and manual scavenging – a term used to describe cleaning human excrement from latrines. Fr. Joe Maier, a Redemptorist priest born in Longview, Wash., co-founded the Human Development Foundation Mercy Centre in Klong Toey, the largest slum in Bangkok, Thailand. Mercy Centre manages 23 kindergartens for more than 3,000 children. It operates special schools for street children and secures scholarships for more than 1,000.

Brent McCann, a 2008 graduate of Gonzaga University and the Hogan Entrepreneurship Program, is the President of Liliir Education Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide education and build leaders in South Sudan. The LEP is working to improve the vast educational injustice and inequality in South Sudan.

Spring 2014

Larry Spears is President & CEO of the Larry C. Spears Center for Servant-Leadership, Inc., established in 2008. From 1990-2007 he served as President & CEO of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership. Spears had previously been Managing Director of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, a cooperative association of 12 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. He also served as a staff member with the Great Lakes Colleges Association's Philadelphia Center and with the Quaker magazine, Friends Journal, in Philadelphia, PA.

Ben Stuckart serves as the Spokane City Council President. Ben is a Spokane native and graduate of both Lewis and Clark High School and Gonzaga University. Prior to his election Ben had the opportunity to start Communities In Schools of Spokane County. Under his leadership the organization grew to a now half million dollar agency annually. Communities In Schools is a collaborative organization and provides services for thousands of Spokane's students each year. He and his wife Ann have a dog named Bella and reside on the South Hill. In his spare time he and his wife enjoy exploring the City on foot with Bella leading the way.

Fall 2013

Brian Schaeffer, MPA, EMT-P is the assistant chief of the City of Spokane Fire Department in Spokane, Wash. He has 24 years of fire and EMS experience and has published numerous articles on air management, incident management teams in urban environments and fire service leadership. He is a current member of the IAFC, Washington State Chiefs and retired from IAFF Local 3133. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from Creighton University.

Hon. Mike Heavey served 14 years as a Washington State lawmaker and over 12 years as a Judge on the King County Superior Court. His work as a volunteer championing the innocence of Seattle neighbor Amanda Knox and Italian co-defendant Raffaele Sollecity inspired Mike get involved in the study of wrongful convictions in the U.S. and around the world.

Tom Veazey is a 2008 graduate of Gonzaga's Comprehensive Leadership Program and currently serves as the Program Director for Mama Hope, an organization that works in close partnership with local African organizations to connect them with the resources required to transform their own communities.