President and CEO
Husband to Sharon for 40 years, and father to Bethany, David and Susan, Mike joined the Heroic Media team as President and Chief Executive Officer on March 1, 2018.
Preceding this position, Mike was Area Director – The South and Senior Director of Philanthropy for FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, co-managing FOCUS’ 39-person philanthropy team, managing one-third of the United States, and responsible for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding many of FOCUS’ leading benefactors nationwide. Mike also founded and led FOCUS’ Campus Advancement program nationwide.
Prior to FOCUS, Mike was Sr. Consultant for Petrus Development, LLP, working with Catholic campus ministry centers at universities throughout the country, including Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, Duke University, the University of Colorado-Boulder, The Ohio State University and others, as well as managing comprehensive campaigns for Benedictine College and the University of Saint Mary.
Prior to Petrus, Mike was National Director of Advancement for the Catholic Campus Ministry Association in Cincinnati, working with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to support Catholic Campus Ministry centers and their staffs nationwide. Mike also served as Executive Director of the Capital Campaign at the University of Dallas. Prior to that, he served as Texas State Director of Development for Audubon Texas and managed corporate giving for Texas Wesleyan University. A fourth-generation Texas native, Mike began his professional career as a Catholic parish youth minister and then as Director of Campus Ministry and Theology teacher at Nolan Catholic High School, Fort Worth, Texas.
Mike’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the University of Dallas and graduate studies in Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and in Philanthropy and Development. Mike’s volunteer work includes the following current and past service:
Vice President and Founding Director, Board of Directors, St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School, Austin, Texas
Chair of the Development Committee and the Catholic Mission Committee, St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School, Austin, Texas
– Director, Heroic Media Board of Directors, Austin, Texas
– Director, Nolan Catholic High School Board of Directors, Fort Worth, Texas
– Chair, Development Committee, Nolan Catholic High School Board
– Member, Strategic Planning Committee, Nolan Catholic High School
– Chair, St. Rita Catholic School Board of Directors, Fort Worth, Texas
– Founding Chair, Development Committee, St. Rita Catholic School Board
– President, Fort Worth, Texas Chapter (1,500 members) of the National Audubon Society
– Director, State Board of Directors, Audubon Texas
– Director, National Alumni Board, University of Dallas
– Reunion Campaign Co-Chair, University of Dallas
– Program Chair, Rotary Club of Western Fort Worth
– Campus Ministry Committee, Diocese of Fort Worth
– Director, Dayton Audubon Society Board of Directors, Dayton, Ohio
– Campaign Steering Committee, University of Iowa Newman Center
– Campaign Steering Committee, Stage Door Theater, Conifer, Colorado
– Member: Association of Fundraising Professionals
– Member: Council for the Advancement and Support of Education
Executive VP of Marketing and COO
Brett joined the Heroic Media team in February 2015, bringing 25 years of marketing experience. He developed and launched marketing programs for a $6 billion global consumer telecommunications products manufacturer as well as for entrepreneurial-driven small companies and start-ups. He has over 10 years of internet marketing experience developed while building a six-figure instructional video website business from the ground up. He also co-developed several online marketing courses that are offered by a prominent cable TV program.
While attending a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, he experienced profound healing and forgiveness for the role he played in the abortion of his own child during earlier years. Following the retreat, he decided to dedicate himself full-time to the pro-life cause.
Brett is the founder and editor of Pro-Life Magazine. He graduated with a degree in Economics from Tulane University. He has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in International Studies from The Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.
Brett and his wife Eri have been blessed with three amazing children, Kevin, Rachel, and Sean.
Vice President of Community Relations and National Expansion
Karen joined the Heroic Media team in May 2017, bringing 28 years of volunteer and professional experience in the pro-life movement. Commissioned by Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann in 1993, Karen served as the founding Executive Director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas (CPLC), the Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas, until 2015, and as the 2012-14 Chair of the Life & Family Life Department of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. Under Karen’s leadership, the CPLC was heralded as the largest and most effective diocesan-based pro-life organization in the world and a model for the nation. In 2016, Karen received the honorary title of CPLC Executive Director Emeritus, and shortly thereafter established Culture of Life Network to serve pro-life organizations through consulting, speaking and help with special projects – which brought her to Heroic Media.
Karen has been recognized with several awards and honors, including: 2004 Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation of Texas’ Motherhood Award; Legatus International’s 2005 John Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Hall of Fame Award, presented in Naples, Florida by Tom Monaghan, the singular time for a diocesan respect life director; 2009 Texas Knights of Columbus ACE Award; 2011 Texas Life, Faith & Education Award; and The 2017 Father Edward Robinson, O.P., Pro-Life Person of the Year Award; attending the 2008 arrival ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI on the South Lawn of The White House at the invitation of President George W. Bush; signing ceremonies of Texas’ Sonogram Law and omnibus Pro-Life Law HB 2 in 2011 and 2013 at the invitation of Governor Rick Perry; 2011 invitation-only Springtime of Faith Foundation Rome Summit, a select conference for 25 to 30 international Catholic and Christian leaders; and delivering the eulogy at the funeral of Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe vs. Wade, in February 2017.
Karen is the primary spokesperson for Heroic Media, with extensive experience in public and media relations including radio, television and online news, newspapers, and documentaries, and has been featured in three books.
A native Virginian, Karen moved to Texas during her senior year of high school. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1983, with a minor in Business. Karen and her husband Eddie, married in 1984, are the proud parents of Maria, Will, Johnny, Dane and Mike, and Jordan, lost to miscarriage. The Garnetts reside in Dallas and are members of Sts. Monica and Rita parishes and the Christian Community of God’s Delight, where Karen serves in music ministry.
Director of Special Projects and Research
Adopted at birth, Marissa has a passion for building a culture of life and offering help and hope to women facing unexpected pregnancies. Marissa focuses on messaging and research for Heroic Media, managing the development and testing of the organization’s online video messages to reach women facing unexpected pregnancies.
Marissa works out of Heroic Media’s Dallas office, and has been with the organization since August 2010. Prior to joining Heroic Media, Marissa worked five years in Media and Public Relations in the non-profit sector with the Better Business Bureau and an organization specializing in U.S./Mexico relations. Fluent in Spanish, Marissa served as a missionary in Peru with Mission to the World. She is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in Political Science.
Marissa is an expert on the pro-life issue, having been featured in National Right to Life News, One News Now, Adoption Today & Fostering Families Today magazine, National Catholic Register, and on the Information Radio Network. Marissa lives with her husband, J. Marty, and their two young children in Dallas.
Director of Development
Kevin grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he attended Jesuit High School. During his time at Jesuit, he became involved in the Pro-Life Club. Through the influence of the Jesuits, faculty, and his family, Kevin came to understand the importance of being a voice for the preborn. The Pro-Life Club’s main ministry was praying outside of the local abortion facility. While praying outside of this facility, Kevin was able to witness something that is rarely talked about in the mainstream media: the look on a woman’s face after leaving an abortion facility. While there were many tragedies that occurred inside of this abortion facility, Kevin also has distinct memories of women who saw the Jesuit High School students praying, went up to them and thanked them for giving the sign they asked for to not go through with their abortions.
While attending the University of Dallas, Kevin attended Heroic Media’s first annual Prayer Breakfast for Life, where he became aware of the compassionate approach Heroic Media was taking towards approaching women as well as its measurable effectiveness. Kevin began interning shortly after the Prayer Breakfast, and accepted a full-time job as Development Officer after graduating from UD in May of 2015.
Kevin is devoted to helping Heroic Media raise enough money so that they may be able to reach every woman who searches for information about abortion online.
Kevin lives in Irving, Texas, with his wife Laura.
Director of Product Management
A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Jordan has marketing experience from early-stage startups to a billion dollar retail chain. He has served in a variety of roles, concentrating on digital marketing programs across web, search, and apps involving multiple Fortune 500 companies, and has extensive experience in search engine marketing in both SEO and PPC. Jordan joined the Heroic Media team in December 2014.
Jordan is active in soccer, enjoys volunteering, and serves within his church’s children’s ministry.
Director of Accounting
Renona joined the Heroic Media team in August 2017, bringing 14 years of accounting experience, including CPA firm, private small business, and not-for-profit accounting. Renona received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in 2003 from the University of California at San Marcos, with a focus in Accounting.
Prior to accounting, Renona had a 20-year career in child development, earning an Associate Degree in Child Development with certificates in Child Development and Child Development Site Supervisor from Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California. She then held an early childhood teaching credential from the State of California, working with children, teachers, parents and college professors to provide the highest quality care and learning environment for children ages infant to 5, and encouraging all to approach early childhood development with compassion and professionalism.
Being a mother who once faced an unexpected pregnancy, Renona chose life for her daughter. Bringing this precious life into her family was truly a gift, and Renona was fortunate to have had the support she needed. Now, with her husband Jim, 4 children and 7 grandchildren later, Renona could not imagine having terminated that first gift. The choice for life was an easy one for her. She has great compassion for others who do not have the support she had, and the gut-wrenching fear and uncertainty they experience. Renona is passionate about working with others who provide support and encouragement to women facing unexpected pregnancies.
Director of Pregnancy Center Training
A graduate of Brown University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Elaine has been actively involved in pregnancy center ministry for the past 14 years, during which she served as the Executive Director of pregnancy medical centers in Boston and Philadelphia.
Elaine joined the Heroic Media team in July 2014. One of her main passions is to help equip Pregnancy Help Centers to increase their outreach to individuals at risk for abortion and to be the first responders in an unexpected pregnancy.
Elaine’s husband Christopher is the Director of Pediatrics at Lynchburg General Hospital and they are the blessed parents of three precious children, Matteo, Isabella and Giovanni. The Russo family resides in the Lynchburg, Virginia area.
Thanks to the heroism of his birthparents and enterprising grandfather, Jamie was born in New Mexico, then adopted at birth by his loving family and raised in South Bend, Indiana. After graduating from Hillsdale College in Michigan, Jamie married his high school sweetheart, Beth Ann, and embraced their life journey in California and Texas.
When doctors described conceiving babies as “impossible,” Jamie and Beth Ann happily adopted their son, and then experienced additional miracle babies when Beth Ann gave birth to two daughters, the first conceived within a month of the adoption. Beth Ann often says that without the courage and love of people choosing life, she would have no husband and family.
Jamie was blessed with a very successful business career for 30+ years, and then experienced his “Saint Paul moment” while on pilgrimage in Israel. He received a call to “sell for the greater good” and is thrilled to dedicate his talents to Pro-Life and faith-based causes. Joining the Heroic Media team in February 2018, Jamie’s goal with Heroic Media is simple: Raise Money to Save Babies!
Jamie and Beth Ann reside in Plano, Texas, where they are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish.
Product Marketing Specialist
Involved in the pro-life movement since her days as an undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, Abigail joined the Heroic Media team in May 2018. Having experienced an unexpected pregnancy herself, Abigail knows first-hand how necessary it is for women to have awareness of and access to the compassionate care and real help found at life-affirming Pregnancy Help Centers. Abigail’s son Gabriel is now two years old and the light of Abigail’s life!
Abigail graduated with honors from UT-Austin in 2015 with a degree in Religion and History. Prior to joining Heroic Media, Abigail gained experience working in the trenches of the pro-life movement in a pregnancy help center and as a sidewalk counselor through her work at the St. John Paul II Life Center and the Central Texas Coalition for Life and speaking at churches, youth groups, fundraising events and on radio talk shows.
Abigail and her son reside in Dripping Springs and are parishioners of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church.