Kelly Ann Davis
Director, Catholic Commission of Lake and Geauga Counties
Diocesan Director, Catholic Relief Services
Kelly Ann Davis was named Director of Social Action for the Catholic Commission of Lake/Geauga and Director of Catholic Relief Services for the Diocese of Cleveland in 2012.
Before her time with the Commission, Kelly honed her skills as a volunteer coordinator and development professional with experience in grant writing and special events management for the American Cancer Society.
Kelly earned a BS in Psychology from Heidelberg College where she received Departmental, Honors Society and Latin honors. She also spent a semester abroad at New College, Oxford University. Kelly also has MA in Community Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. CSP is an inter-disciplinary program that provided her with skills in community outreach and development, social justice and nonprofit administration. Through the CSP program she helped coordinate the Lowell Seniors Count project where she was able to recruit, train and coordinate over a hundred volunteers to do interview assessments regarding their health, wellbeing and needs to promote optimal health and successful aging in place.
Kelly spent time in Costa Rica where she filmed and later edited a short documentary entitled “Romancing the Bean” on economic interconnections and the process of bringing fair trade coffee to the United States. Additionally, Kelly spent a VISTA year in Chicago running a mentoring program for newly arrived Refugee women. While there she also initiated organizational and community collaborations with other agencies and co-founded initiatives such as a Community Garden for local migrant populations and the Chicago Refugee HIV/AIDS Task Force.
Kelly grew up in Oakwood Village and is a lifelong parishioner of St. Mary Parish in Bedford.
Karen P. Leith
Director, Catholic Commission of Summit County
Karen was named Director in 2010. She had been associate director since 2006, but had been associated with the Commission since 1984 as board member and then chair. She also serves as director of Call to Renewal of Summit County. In her position with the Commission, she serves as coordinator of the Diocesan Education and Training Center for Social Justice Ministry, as well as all electronic communications which include the Legislative Hotline, the DSAO E-newsletter and the Council of Global Solidarity E-newsletter.
Karen is a certified pastoral minister, social psychologist, author, and educator. She has taught adjunct at both John Carroll University and Baldwin Wallace College in psychology and religious studies. There are numerous publications and presentations in peer review journals and at national conferences in these areas. She has served as a Pastoral Associate, Youth Minister, Director of Religious Education, and a high school teacher, receiving much recognition for her work in all these areas.
Besides her presentations and publications in psychology and religious studies in journals, she has authored Justice and Peace Ministers: 8 Spiritual Formation Sessions for The Center for Learning and edited Partnering Handbook for the Diocese of Cleveland. Karen has given numerous workshops and retreats throughout the diocese, including Celtic Spirituality, Catholic Social Teaching, prayer, recruiting and keeping volunteers, youth development and youth ministry models, and the Labyrinth.
Karen holds a BA in mathematics and economics from Brown University, a MA in religious studies from John Carroll University, a MA in psychology and a PhD in experimental psychology from Case Western University. She has a Certificate and an Advanced Certificate in Youth Ministry from the Center for Ministry Development in Connecticut. Karen has studied for a summer at the American College of Louvain.
Trained in the deliberative process, Karen has conducted, modeled, and taught the deliberative process in both forum and study circle models for the National Issues Forums Institute, a program of the Kettering Foundation in Dayton.
Karen is married to Jim. They have two married children and five grandchildren.
Director, Catholic Commission of Wayne, Ashland and Medina
Patrick O’Bryan has been serving as the executive director of the Catholic Commission of Wayne, Ashland, & Medina since 1995.
He was co-founder and co-chair of the Tri-County Payday Lending Project, which ultimately led to the establishment of the statewide Coalition for Responsible Lending and the victory on Issue 5 in 2008, severely limiting the number and impact of payday lenders in Ohio.
He has served for several years as the chair of the Center for Restorative Justice of North Central Ohio, which mediates between victims and offenders in the courts of Summit and Wayne counties. He serves on the leadership committees of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, the Wooster Area Interfaith Partnership, and ECCOHIO (Ecumenical Community for a Compassionate Ohio), the last of which he co-founded.
Mr. O’Bryan is also the Rural Life director for the Cleveland Diocese. From 1998-2003, he served as the chair of the Ohio Catholic Rural Life Conference, leading in the development of statewide recognition and advocacy for Latino immigrants. In that regard, he co-founded the statewide Immigrant Worker Project and served as its chair from 2000-2003.
Mr. O’Bryan graduated from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, in 1972, with a degree in government. He is married to Marlene and lives in Wooster.
Sister Kathleen M. Ryan, SND
Executive Director, Diocesan Social Action
Director, Commission on Catholic Community Action
Sr. Kathleen was appointed Executive Director, Diocesan Social Action, July 1, 2011. She was named Director of the Commission on Catholic Community Action in 2010 and had been the Director of Legislative Affairs and Education for 23 years. She has been responsible for creating and implementing educational programs and pursuing legislative advocacy for peace and social and economic justice.
Sister holds a BS in Education from St. John College and a MA in Language Arts from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She was invited to participate in the 1995 and 1996 Teaching for Spiritual Growth Institutes sponsored by the NCEA at Harvard University and Boston College with eminent scholar Dr. Robert Coles. She was one of 25 educational leaders chosen from throughout the US to present a program the CCCA developed to teach nonviolence in the spirit of Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Dorothy Day.
Sister has presented numerous workshops over the past 18 years for the Roundtable as well as at the week long seminars on Public Policy sponsored by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. A published author, she has lectured widely on parish and social ministry, Catholic Social Teaching and on the role of the Social Concerns Commission in the life of the parish. For the past 18 years, she has written a column on some aspect of Catholic social thought for the Catholic Universe Bulletin, the diocesan newspaper.
Most recently, she helped co-found and serves as the diocesan liaison for Catholic Students for Peace and Justice (www.cspj.net), an organization made up of representatives from Catholic high schools and colleges in the Diocese of Cleveland.
Prior to her work at the CCCA, she was an elementary teacher.
Diocesan Social Action through the 5 Catholic Commissions working within the eight counties of the Diocese of Cleveland seeks to shape a more caring society and a more peaceful world through justice education, advocacy, community development and organizing. Our work is based on the call of the Gospel to work for the respect and dignity of all human life, the elimination of poverty, to speak out against injustice, and to promote the common good.