TEAM & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Meet our Headquarters Team

Shawn Carney

PRESIDENT & CEO

Steve Karlen

CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR

Robert Colquhoun

DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNS

Lourdes Varela

DIRECTOR, IBEROAMERICA CAMPAIGNS

Jodie Richter

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Haywood Robinson, M.D.

DIRECTOR, MEDICAL AFFAIRS & EDUCATION

Theresa Endsley

CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST

Barbara Constable

CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST

Heather Gardner

DIRECTOR, CAMPAIGN ADVANCEMENT/365

Ramona Treviño

OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Dawn Crawford

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS

Jill Copeland

DIRECTOR OF MEDIA

Bobby Reynoso

DIRECTOR, RETAIL OPERATIONS

Gilbert Gonzalez

DIRECTOR, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Tomislav Čunović

OF COUNSEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Meet our Board of Directors

Matt Britton

BOARD EX-OFFICIO & GENERAL COUNSEL

John Barnett

BOARD CHAIR

Monique Ruberu, M.D.

VICE-CHAIR

Michael Silva

BOARD MEMBER

Segundo De Los Heros Monereo

BOARD TREASURER

Fr. Paul Felix

CHAPLAIN & BOARD SECRETARY

Institute of Law & Justice

Matt Britton

BOARD EX-OFFICIO & GENERAL COUNSEL

Sheera Presley

LEGAL SERVICES OPERATIONS MANAGER

Tomislav Čunović

OF COUNSEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Donato Borrillo

MD, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL & DIRECTOR OF MEDICOLEGAL AFFAIRS

Dwight Artis

ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, LITIGATION

Melissa M. Simpson

ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, CORPORATE

April S. Wilson

OF COUNSEL, LITIGATION

Shawn Carney

PRESIDENT & CEO

Shawn began as a volunteer in the pro-life movement while still in college. During this time, he helped lead the first ever local 40 Days for Life campaign. After graduating from college, Shawn was asked to serve as the executive director of the Coalition for Life, a local pro-life organization in Texas, made up of more than 60 churches. From its beginning, Shawn has been instrumental in growing 40 Days for Life nationally and then internationally.

Shawn is a regular media spokesperson, and his work has been featured on hundreds of outlets, including Fox News, The Laura Ingraham Show, The Drudge Report, The Guardian, USA Today, and Christian media including The Christian Post, National Catholic Register, Sirius XM Catholic Radio, EWTN Radio, and Focus on the Family.

Shawn is one of the most sought-after pro-life speakers, addressing audiences coast-to-coast and internationally. Shawn and his wife Marilisa were portrayed in the 2019 major motion picture Unplanned, which tells the story of Abby Johnson's conversion as a Planned Parenthood director. Shawn is the author of four national bestselling books including The Beginning of the End of Abortion, To the Heart of the Matter, and his most recent #2 Amazon bestseller, What to Say When: The Complete New Guide to Discussing Abortion.

Steve Karlen

CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR

Steve got involved in the pro-life movement as a volunteer leader with the 40 Days for Life campaign in Madison, Wisconsin. Before long, he found himself at the center of a nationwide controversy as the health system at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, was secretly preparing to open a late-term abortion center on campus. Groups across the state looked to him for leadership. After nearly a year and a half, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics abandoned its plan to open an abortion facility, citing Steve and his team as the reason for the decision.

Steve now serves as the campaign director for 40 Days for Life, where he trains and assists local 40 Days for Life campaign leaders, co-hosts the 40 Days for Life Podcast, and edits 40 Days for Life's Day 41 magazine. He has spoken in all 50 states; Washington, DC; four Canadian provinces; and Mexico City. Steve is the author of the book This is When We Begin to FightSteve lives in Madison with his wife and five children.

Robert Colquhoun

DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNS

Robert is based in London, where he led the first 40 Days for Life campaign in England. The vigils were held outside a BPAS abortion facility that, after several campaigns, stopped doing abortions and eventually closed its doors. Robert has helped the 40 Days for Life mission spread across the United Kingdom. He now assists local leaders coordinating 40 Days for Life efforts in nations as widespread as Australia, Croatia, New Zealand, Russia and South Africa.

Lourdes Varela

DIRECTOR, IBEROAMERICA CAMPAIGNS

Lourdes is based in Mexico City, where she has led eight 40 Days for Life campaigns. After working for almost ten years in the pharmaceutical industry, she felt called to dedicate herself to defending life. As one of the first campaign leaders in Latin America, Lourdes has helped spread the mission all over Mexico. Her mother and sister are also 40 Days for Life campaign leaders in Mexico.

Matt Britton

BOARD EX-OFFICIO & GENERAL COUNSEL

Matt serves as the board secretary and general counsel for 40 Days for Life. Matt has had an expansive legal career, including four terms as an elected prosecutor; a county attorney; counsel to many not-for-profits and U.S. companies operating around the world; a major law firm litigator; and general counsel. Matt has written and spoken countless times on a wide range of legal and pro-life issues in locations across the United States as well as England, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, Korea, Singapore, Brazil, China, and locations across the European Union.
Matt graduated from Boston College, and holds a Masters
Degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Most importantly, Matt is married to Libby Britton, and they have eight beautiful children and six grandchildren.

Jodie Richter

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Jodie is a small-town East Texas girl and Texas A&M graduate who began her career in agricultural production operations. After a short while, and thereafter for over 15 years, she worked in human resources roles of progressive responsibility for two Fortune 75 companies. When her personal and professional worlds collided, she saw life in a new lense and chose to step away from the corporate scene to focus on being the best mom and wife she could be for her family. While working as Admissions Director at her children’s school, she had a wake up call after viewing Unplanned. She has always been pro-life, but regretably, never did much about it. She is now humbled to “do something about it” everyday alongside the amazing 40 Days for Life team in the fight to save unborn baby girls and boys in small towns, big towns and everywhere in between. Jodie and her wonderful husband are the proud parents of three girls, ranging from pre-school to college.

Haywood Robinson, M.D.

DIRECTOR, MEDICAL AFFAIRS & EDUCATION

Haywood Robinson, M.D. was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended college and medical school in Southern California and received specialty training in family medicine at Martin Luther King/Charles R. Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Haywood and his late wife Noreen Johnson, M.D. met as residents at King/Drew Medical Center where they learned to perform the abortion procedure. They later worked together as abortionists. Since his salvation in 1986, pro-life work has been a passion for Haywood. He and Noreen practiced medicine together until retirement in 2019. Noreen passed away in 2021.

Haywood has since remarried. He and his wife, Daphne Robinson, serve together in family, life and pregnancy care ministry and missions. Collectively, they have eight children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Theresa Endsley

CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST

Theresa led the 40 Days for Life campaign outside the Western Hemisphere’s largest abortion facility in Houston for years. Countless lives were saved from abortion under her leadership.

As the programs director for the Houston Coalition for Life, Theresa coordinated peaceful vigil participants, sidewalk counselors, and other volunteers in front of four area abortion facilities. She previously served as the director of the maternal assistance program with a crisis pregnancy center, managing phone counseling and in-person peer counseling, working directly with moms facing crisis pregnancies and mothers of newborns, and coordinating parenting classes and baby item distribution.

Theresa now serves as the campaign strategist for 40 Days for Life. In this role, she trains, supports, coaches, and mentors local 40 Days for Life leaders across the United States and Canada.

Theresa is married and lives in Texas.     

Barbara Constable

CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST

Barbara is originally from Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of Capitol Page School and Georgetown University. She is married to a Presbyterian minister and is the mother of 4 children. Barbara and her husband have lived and served in pastoral ministry in Boston, Chicago, London, and upstate New York. She currently resides in Virginia. Prior to joining the 40 Days for Life headquarters team, Barbara served as the leader of the 40 Days for Life campaign and 40 Days for Life 365 campaign in Richmond.

Heather Gardner

DIRECTOR, CAMPAIGN ADVANCEMENT/365

Heather always considered herself pro-life but never knew there were people who prayed outside abortion facilities until she became a student at Texas A&M University and was invited to attend a prayer vigil. The vigil was held outside the local abortion facility by the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life in Bryan, Texas—the birthplace of 40 Days for Life and where former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson was converted. She got increasingly involved and eventually served on staff as the director of communications for the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life.  Later, Heather served as executive director of the Central Texas Coalition for Life in Austin.

Over the last decade, Heather has trained thousands of volunteers locally, nationally, and internationally to be sidewalk advocates and pregnancy center client advocates. In 2019 she even had a cameo in the major motion picture Unplanned, based on the book by the same title. 

Heather currently serves as the director of campaign advancement for 40 Days for Life and oversees the "365" locations. She spends regular time on the sidewalks outside abortion facilities reaching out to women and men, praying for an end to abortion, and striving to build a culture of life.

Ramona Treviño

OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Ramona Treviño worked as the manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion referral facility in Sherman, Texas until 2011 when God used the prayers and public witness of a 40 Days for Life campaign to move her to leave her job and reclaim her walk with Christ. Ramona’s resignation from Planned Parenthood resulted in her former center going out of business.

Ramona has shared the miracle of her conversion and the goodness of Christ’s mercy throughout the U.S. and internationally through speaking engagements as well as print, broadcast, and online media.

Ramona is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is the author of Redeemed by Grace: A Catholic Woman’s Journey to Planned Parenthood and Back.

Dawn Crawford

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS

Dawn has worked in the fields of sales, administration, recruiting and marketing. She considers it a privilege to now coordinate 40 Days for Life events. Dawn attended her first 40 Days for Life vigil while working at a local Catholic School. The abortion facility where that vigil was held closed permanently two years later. Little did she know, it was only the beginning of God's plans for her role with 40 Days for Life. Dawn lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two boys.

Jill Copeland

DIRECTOR OF MEDIA

Jill worked for ten years at the Eternal Word Television Network, producing such popular EWTN programs as Life on the Rock, Catholic View for Women, and Women of Grace. While working on pro-life shows at EWTN, Jill came to realize that God was calling her to work full-time in the pro-life movement. Jill has been with 40 Days for Life since 2014. She is married to a true Southern gentleman, and they are the parents of two sons.

Bobby Reynoso

DIRECTOR, RETAIL OPERATIONS

Bobby became involved with pro-life efforts through a simple invitation from a friend to stand and pray outside Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. Bobby joined the Coalition for Life in 2008. In 2010, he became executive director of the organization. God answered the community's prayers in 2013 when the Bryan abortion facility closed its doors. Bobby met his wife, Erin, while praying outside Planned Parenthood during the first nationally coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign. Bobby and Erin live in Bryan with their five children.

Gilbert Gonzalez

DIRECTOR, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Gilbert first became involved in 40 Days for Life as a student in college, where he learned of the injustice of abortion taking place locally in Bryan, Texas. After praying at several 40 Days for Life campaigns, he met his wife, and they are now happy to be back in the town where they met, raising three beautiful children.

John Barnett

BOARD CHAIR

John took part in the very first 40 Days for Life campaign as a college student in 2004. After a year spending most abortion days on the sidewalk, John was brought onto staff at what was then the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life.

At Texas A&M, he studied Industrial and Systems Engineering and completed minors in Business and Math. John discerned that God was calling him to play a different role in the mission of the Coalition and a day after walking across the stage, he started in a sales position at a pipe fitting company in Houston at the end of 2006. John has climbed his way up professionally while weathering the ups and downs of a volatile industry, and is humbled and grateful to now be able to serve on 40 Days for Life’s board of directors.

John believes all life is a precious gift from God. 2019 was an emotional year that saw not only the birth, heart surgeries, and death of his daughter Claire, but also the birth of her baby brother during the great 40DFL baby boom. In the early months of 2021 and 2022, the Barnetts were blessed with another daughter and another son. John lives near Houston, TX with his amazing wife Lynn and their seven surviving children.

Monique Ruberu, M.D.

VICE-CHAIR

Dr. Monique Ruberu is a cradle Catholic who evolved into cafeteria Catholic. In 2012, her marriage was crumbling, but God stepped in and renewed it. In response to His love and grace she fell in love with her faith and began her path as a Napro Technology Trained OB/Gyn, a 40 days for life campaign leader, author, public speaker and pro life advocate.

Michael Silva

BOARD MEMBER

Michael joined the board in 2023 and brings over twenty years of experience as a management consulting professional in the High-Tech and Energy sectors, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. Michael and his wife are the proud parents of three children and have been long-time participants in 40 Days for Life. He was drawn to serve on the board by seeing the heart, effectiveness, and professionalism of the organization's leadership. Michael is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA) and Rice University (MBA).

Segundo De Los Heros Monereo

BOARD TREASURER

Segundo was born in Madrid, Spain. He is the Chief Financial Officer of I-66 Express Mobility Partners in Virginia. Segundo has an extensive experience of more than 17 years in P3 project financial management as Chief Financial Officer and Controller for numerous projects in North America. In his early life, Segundo was part of youth Catholic groups, acolyte at his Parish and served in the Navy. In the Navy, he received an award for outstanding behavior and zeal. Segundo and his wife are parents of two daughters and have sponsored two boys in Africa.

Fr. Paul Felix

CHAPLAIN & BOARD SECRETARY

Fr. Paul Felix was born the fourth of six children and raised in Houston, Texas. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Thomas School of Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1990.

​He has served as the parochial vicar at St. Vincent de Paul Church, St. Frances Cabrini Church, where he began a ministry in collaboration with the laity to area nursing homes, St. Edward the Confessor Church, and Christ Our Light Church during which time he also ministered inmates at 2 Texas State prisons. He served as pastor of Annunciation Catholic Church, and is currently the pastor at Shrine of the True Cross in Dickinson, Texas where he focuses on Spanish language ministry, maintains an effort to promote the gospel of life, Eucharistic Adoration, the New Evangelization, founded a Catholic professional medical ethics group under the patronage of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, and promotes the rediscovery of the identity and renewal of the mission of the Shrine of the True Cross as a diocesan Shrine, designated the official Archdiocesan church of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, and place of pilgrimage from which the spirituality of the Cross and the ministry of healing for the afflicted and reconciliation of sinners is fostered.

​Within the Archdiocese, he served on the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, the Presbyteral Council, as Vicar Forane for the Galveston-Mainland Deanery, and Vicar Forane for the Central Deanery. 

Fr. Paul serves as spiritual director for clergy, seminarians, and laity, assisted as a confessor and presenter in numerous Aggie Awakening Retreats, assisted as a confessor at numerous youth retreats at Camp Kappa, provided spiritual direction in ACTS Retreat Ministry, is a frequent teacher for RCIA and other adult education events, serves as Retreat Master for Archdiocesan Project Rachel Retreats for post abortive women, and participated in a mission trip to catechize and evangelize promoting devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe to Kerala, India. He is a 4th degree member of Knights of Columbus, a founding member of the first group of Jesus Caritas Fraternity of Priests in the Archdiocese, participant in the Opus Dei Circle of Priests, and was promoted to the rank of a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

Sheera Presley

LEGAL SERVICES OPERATIONS MANAGER

Sheera is from the Bryan College Station area and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She is also a graduate of Texas A&M University. She has always been pro-life and has felt called to serve those in need. Sheera is the recipient of the prestigious Yellow Rose of Texas award as well as the First Cavalry Division volunteer of the year award for her philanthropic work. She was blessed to be the executive director of a local maternity home before coming to 40 Days For Life, where she can continue to help end abortion and protect the unborn.

Tomislav Čunović

OF COUNSEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Tomislav is based in Frankfurt, Germany, and serves as the Executive Director for International Affairs. Tomislav is a seasoned litigator,
winning multiple pro-life cases in the EU. He has practiced law in Germany since 2008 after studying law in Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands with a focus on international and human rights law. He has handled a wide variety of matters and litigation in both business and pro-life law. Tomislav has served as legal counsel to several German and Croatian pro-life NGOs and pro-life activists.  Tomislav is married to the former Colombian national 40 Days for Life leader, Pamela.

Donato Borrillo

MD, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL & DIRECTOR OF MEDICOLEGAL AFFAIRS

Donato J. Borrillo joins the Institute of Law and Justice as assistant general counsel and director of medical legal affairs. He is a practicing physician licensed in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada, and South Carolina and an attorney admitted to the bar in Ohio and Michigan. Borrillo is a 1994 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, and a 1986 graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He is a 1990 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. He interned at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL, and completed residency at Wright State University, Dayton, OH. He is board certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Borrillo has a master of science degree in immunology from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, and a second master of science degree in aerospace medicine, from Wright State University, Dayton, OH. After his medical residency, he practiced as a flight surgeon with the United States Air Force from 1996 through 2001, and he was assigned to the Special Operations Command in Europe and Africa. Borrillo was honorably discharged as a major after nine years of military service and was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, England, from 1998 -1999, while serving at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. Prior legal experience includes clerkship with Jacobson, Maynard, Tuschman, and Kalur, LPA, as well as solo practice. He practiced as a partner with Fisher Broyles LLC between 2015 and 2016, before returning in 2017 to Zoll & Kranz where he served Of Counsel since 2009. Borrillo's previous legal practice focused on class action, mass torts, personal injury, wrongful death, occupational injury, and health care law. Borrillo is an active member of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Ocala, FL, and is he enrolled in his fourth year of Catholic Bible School of Michigan, Jackson, MI. He teaches medical students from the University of Toledo medical school at their community free clinic and provides services to patients at Mision La Guadalupana, Ocala, FL. Borrillo’s previous volunteer experience includes providing care for the terminally ill at Mother Teresa House, Lansing, MI. He deployed with Joyce Meyer Ministries to El Salvador, volunteered with Remote Area Medical, and responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with FEMA. Borrillo has spoken at the request of numerous bar associations, continuing medical and legal education seminars, and has over thirty medical publications.

Dwight Artis

ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, LITIGATION

Attorney Artis is originally from Atlanta, GA where he spent the first 18 years of his life.  The son of Attorney Gregory D. Artis Sr., Dwight has always had an interest in becoming a trial attorney.  After graduating from high school Dwight was accepted to The Citadel which is a historic military college located in Charleston South Carolina.

While attending The Citadel, Dwight thrived and was successful at gaining leadership experiences in the Corps of Cadets as well succeeding in academia earning a B.A. in English Lit. with honors.  While at The Citadel, Dwight also felt the urge to serve his country so he decided to join the Army National Guard.  While honorably serving in South Carolina Dwight was qualified as a 13 Bravo artillery gunner.

After graduation Dwight attended The University of Wisconsin Law School.  During his second year Dwight’s army unit was activated for a deployment.  Dwight took a year off of law school and was deployed to Iraq where he proudly served as a member of Delta Company 132nd Red Arrow unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After returning from war Dwight accepted an internship with the Rock County Public Defender’s office in Southern Wisconsin and became passionate about criminal defense.  After moving to Omaha Dwight continues to use his passion for justice aiming to bring affordable legal services to the people of Nebraska.

Melissa M. Simpson

ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, CORPORATE

Melissa has been an attorney for over 20 years. She did her undergraduate work at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, in 1998.

She began her career as an assistant district attorney in the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. Since then she has worked for a major legal research corporation, as well as in private practice for herself and for a large firm.

April S. Wilson

OF COUNSEL, LITIGATION

April has been practicing law for 20 plus years and has a wide range of experience, including as an elected prosecutor in multiple locations, City Attorney, Certified Mediator, and running her own private practice.

As a prosecutor, she has experience with all aspects of the criminal justice system. She has worked with grand juries, tried dozens of jury trials, and countless other trials.

David Wagner

OF COUNSEL, LITIGATION

David has served on the legal staff of the EEOC and the law faculty of Regent University, specializing in constitutional and administrative law. He has done legal work at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee chaired by Rep. Chris Smith, chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, and also at the Family Research Council. He was a speechwriter at the DOJ, editorial writer at the Washington Times, and teacher of history and philosophy at Holy Family Academy, Manassas. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Yale and a J.D. from Scalia Law School. David and his wife of 40 years have four sons a daughter and three grandchildren.