Catholic Leadership Institute Announces New Board Chair, CEO, and First Senior Fellow

MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Brown, 610-363-1315 ext. 228,

Wayne, PA -- As Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) prepares to celebrate 25 years of service to the Catholic Church, the Board of Directors of Catholic Leadership Institute announced Bernarda "Berni" Neal was elected the new Chair of the Board and Daniel J. Cellucci the Chief Executive Officer at their annual meeting in May.

The Board also announced Matthew F. Manion will serve as the first Senior Fellow for the Institute. Manion served in a variety of leadership roles since 1994 and has served as President and CEO since 2003. During his tenure as President and CEO, Catholic Leadership Institute grew from an all-volunteer ministry offering weekend retreats for young adults in Philadelphia to an international non-profit offering a comprehensive suite of leadership training and consulting services for bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay leaders from over 150 dioceses.

For Manion, the 25th Anniversary of Catholic Leadership Institute was the perfect time to make this move.  "As we begin the second 25 years of service to the Church, I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to devote more time to the research, writing and the dissemination of key findings that Catholic Leadership Institute can offer to the Catholic Church and her leaders - in addition to continuing to support the development of our services and funding."

Cellucci has been a long-time member of the Catholic Leadership Institute team, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Episcopal and Client Services with overall responsibility for the marketing and service fulfillment for diocesan partners as well as the continuous improvement of Catholic Leadership Institute's programs. Cellucci has also played a primary leadership role with the Disciple Maker Index, CLI's parish survey tool that seeks to help parishes focus their efforts toward the mission of evangelization. Cellucci began his full-time career with Catholic Leadership Institute in Communications and Philanthropy, doubling the apostolate's annual fundraising revenue over his four year tenure.

According to CLI Founder and Board member, Tim Flanagan, Cellucci's long and successful tenure with CLI was important to the Board in their discernment.  "Dan's 11 years of experience across all departments of the organization has made him uniquely prepared to fulfill this role and we look forward to working with him and seeing the great things God will do through CLI under his leadership."

The Board also elected a new chair, Berni Neal, from Orange County, California. In addition to serving on the boards of an impressive list of Catholic apostolates, Neal has served in volunteer leadership roles for CLI since 2008 including as a member of the National Advisory Board and then as a member of the Board. She succeeded Mike Emmi at the conclusion of his term in May.  "I am humbled by the responsibility of serving the apostolate as Chair of the Board. I think Catholic Leadership Institute is one of the most important and effective ministries in the Church today. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I will do my best to follow in the footsteps of Tim Flanagan and Mike Emmi," said Neal.

For Cellucci, CLI's exciting future is grounded in its foundation. "The mission of our Church deserves the best. CLI has always been focused on equipping all of the leaders of our Church with the best leadership tools and practices out there. It has been a privilege for me to serve our clergy and lay leaders through this apostolate over the past decade and it's an honor to have been elected by the Board to this new role. I look forward to working with Matt, Berni, and the entire team to continue to support and equip all of those leaders called to ministry in our Church."

Catholic Leadership Institute was founded by Tim Flanagan and the late Fr. Chuck Pffeffer. The first program was held on July 4, 1991. Catholic Leadership Institute provides bishops, priests, deacons and lay persons in the Roman Catholic Church with world-class, pastoral leadership formation and consulting services that strengthen their confidence and competence in ministry, enabling them to articulate a vision for their local church, to call forth the gifts of those they lead, and to create more vibrant faith communities rooted in Jesus Christ.