Executive Advisory Committee

David Bender, Esq., is the chairman of the Center's Executive Advisory Committee and a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Haynes and Boone, LLP. His practice focuses on recovering his clients' losses from their insurance companies as a result of environmental contamination, property damage and business interruption, embezzlement, employment claims, construction defect, and class actions. Bender has represented policyholders in international arbitration forums as well as European organizations in U.S.-based insurance coverage disputes. He holds Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating for professionalism and ethics and is a frequent presenter at Association of Corporate Counsel Chapters on insurance and risk management issues as well as the ACC Value Challenge.

A longtime friend of the Center, Bender received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and served as a member of the Center's Executive Advisory Committee before becoming its chair.

Jenifer Berrigan Besh is married to Chef John Besh. They have four beautiful boys together, and their eldest is a junior at Notre Dame. Jenifer graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts and Loyola Law School in New Orleans. She is a recovering attorney who now stays busy taking care of her husband and sons and is very active in volunteer work. In addition to the Center for Ethics and Culture's Executive Advisory Committee, Jenifer also serves with the Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Women in Action, The Table Foundation Board, St Tammany Parish Commission of Cultural Affairs, and the St Margaret Mary School Board. She volunteers with the Chef John Besh Foundation, the Northshore Court Foundation, and is active in her children's schools and their parish church. She lives in southern Louisiana with her husband and sons.

John Besh is a chef and native son dedicated to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. In his sixteen restaurants and bars, entrepreneurial pursuits, and public activities, he aims to preserve ingredients, techniques, and heritage. Besh's cookbooks, My New Orleans and My Family Table, were each recognized with an IACP Award. His third cookbook, Cooking From The Heart, was published in 2013 and his latest cookbook, Besh Big Easy, was released on September 29, 2015. He hosts two national public television cooking shows based on the books. The John Besh Foundation works to preserve New Orleans’ culinary heritage via initiatives such as the Chefs Move! scholarship program and microloans for local farmers. John and his wife Jenifer live with their four sons in southern Louisiana.

Kathy S. Craft holds a degree in speech pathology. She has served as a board member for a number of Catholic organizations, where she has been involved in areas related to strategic planning, program development, and initiating new fundraising projects. She is currently on the National Advisory Board for the Catholic Leadership Institute, the Board of Trustees for the Augustine Institute, and the Priority Planning Team for the Church of St. Mary. She’s the mother of four children.

John DeMatteo II is the president of Park Square Realty, a real estate investment company. He also serves on the boards of the Back Bay Association, the New England Parking Association, Montrose School, St. Sebastian School, the Massachusetts Family Institute, and Christendom College. John earned a B.S.E. from Duke University and holds an M.B.A. from the Columbia School of Business. He lives in Wellesley with his wife, Kristine, and their seven children.

Anthony de Nicola is president of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and a member of its Management Committee, having joined WCAS in 1994. He focuses on the information/business services industry. Prior to joining WCAS, he worked for four years in the private equity group at William Blair & Company, financing middle-market buyouts. Previously, Mr. de Nicola worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department. He graduated from DePauw University in 1986 and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1990. He and his wife sponsor the Christie and Anthony de Nicola Family Colloquy, the keynote session of the Center’s Annual Fall Conference.

The Hon. Mike Ferguson represented New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009. He served as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the principal committee with jurisdiction over health care, telecommunications, energy, and environmental policies. Congressman Ferguson served as vice-chairman of the Health Subcommittee and played a pivotal role in shepherding passage of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit in 2003. He served as a member of the Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. 

Since leaving Congress in 2009, he has founded Ferguson Strategies, LLC. He also serves as a senior fellow of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest’s Odyssey Initiative for Biomedical Innovation and Human Health and the chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Congressman Ferguson is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Maureen, are the proud parents of five children.

Mark Filip is a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP in its Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices, where he leads the firm’s government enforcement defense and internal investigations group and helps to lead the litigation department. Mr. Filip serves as one of 15 members of the firm’s worldwide management committee. He also served at the U.S. Department of Justice as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and he spent four years as a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Filip has been honored as a litigation star in the 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation and was named 2016’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation—Securities by Best Lawyers®. He received the Chicago Legal Aid Bureau's 2008 William H. Avery Award for Commitment to Pro Bono Legal Work and Public and Community Service. Mr. Filip graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1988 with degrees in economics and history. After college, he attended Christ Church at Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Law in 1990, First Class Honors. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1992.

John Gschwind is the Vice President, Legal, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Rexel Holdings USA Corp., responsible for the Legal, Internal Audit and Risk Management (Insurance) functions of the company and its various operating subsidiaries: Rexel, Inc., Rexel Energy Solutions, Capitol Light, Gexpro, Gexpro Services, and Platt Electric Supply. As part of his duties, he also oversees all compliance, safety, regulatory, and corporate governance activities of the business. Prior to joining the Rexel Group/Rexel Holdings USA, Mr. Gschwind was a member of the GE Legal Staff for seventeen years, holding senior legal positions with GE Power Systems, GE Corporate, GE Supply, and GE Consumer & Industrial.  

Mr. Gschwind is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.B.A. finance), and he obtained his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and Authorized House Counsel in the State of Connecticut.

William Kelley teaches constitutional law and administrative law at the Notre Dame Law School, and focuses on public law issues in his scholarship. During Spring 2008 semester, he served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Research. From 2005-2007, he served in the White House as Deputy Counsel to the President. In that capacity, he was responsible for advising the President of the United States on all legal matters affecting the Executive Branch. He joined the faculty in 1995 after practicing with two major law firms, and serving from 1991-1994 as assistant to the solicitor general at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Professor Kelley began his legal career by serving as law clerk to the Honorable Kenneth W. Starr on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1987-88), as well as for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (1988-89). He earned his B.A. from Marquette University in 1984, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1987, where he served as Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Anthony J. Lauinger is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he grew up in a family of seven children. He attended Catholic schools, and after graduating from an Augustinian high school, Cascia Hall, he spent a year in the Augustinian seminary. He graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and was an officer in the United States Navy, serving on a patrol gunboat in Vietnam.  

Mr. Lauinger and his wife, Phyllis, a physician, co-founded Tulsans For Life in 1973, the year of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Since 1978, he has been president of the statewide right-to-life organization, Oklahomans For Life, working to pass pro-life legislation at the state capitol in Oklahoma City. He has served for the past 35 years on the Board of Directors of the National Right to Life Committee, for the past 29 years as a member of the Executive Committee, and for the past 18 years as vice-president of National Right to Life. He was active for 25 years in coaching youth sports and has been very active in the Republican Party, serving as a delegate to several Republican national conventions and as a member of the Platform Committee for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Tony and Phyllis have been married for 42 years. They are members of Saint Mary’s Parish in Tulsa and the parents of eight children, all of whom are graduates of Notre Dame. They have thirteen grandchildren.

Leo Linbeck III (Emeritus) is a husband, father of five, and president and CEO of Aquinas Companies, LLC, which has three main business lines: construction management, life science preventure technology development, and real estate development. In addition, he teaches MBAs as an adjunct professor at both the Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business and Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he serves as Lecturer. Mr. Linbeck graduated from the University of Notre Dame with two bachelor degrees, one in civil engineering and one in the Program of Liberal Studies. He also has a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

Mr. Linbeck is very involved with PreK–12 education reform, especially the expansion of high-performing charter schools serving low-income communities. He helped create REEP (the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program), a business school–based program for developing school leaders. He is currently the chairman of REEP and serves on the boards of several educational, community, and nonprofit organizations.

Neil Ramsey is the President and CEO of CONFICARE. Conficare develops healthcare real estate projects. Mr. Ramsey also serves as the CEO of Ramsey Quantitative Systems Inc. (RQSI) and is responsible for the leadership of quantitative strategies development and providing strategic direction for RQSI. He is responsible for directing all external investments for the firm including allocations to the real estate sector both domestically and internationally. Prior to forming these entities, Mr. Ramsey was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked with both domestic and foreign multi-nationals in developing corporate strategies. He received his B.S. in Engineering from Vanderbilt University, Summa Cum Laude. Mr. Ramsey also received his M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University. He serves on the boards of the Catholic Education Foundation, the Vanderbilt Owen School board of Advisors, the Governor Scholar Program, and the Kentucky Retirement System. Mr. Ramsey also co-founded Ram Tell, Inc., a family-foundation in Tell City, Indiana, that supports Catholic causes and has a particular interest in initiatives that protect human life. Neil and his wife, Anne Ramsey, have five children.

Jack Remick is a 1959 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He had a 25-year career with IBM in Rochester, MN, and is a founder of Fastenal Company, which is headquartered in Winona, MN. He is now an independent businessman and serves on the Engineering Council at Notre Dame. 

Mary Ann Remick graduated from the College of St. Teresa (Winona, MN) with a B.S.N. in nursing. After some years in the world of medicine, she found her home in volunteer jobs connected with Catholic schools. Mary Ann is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN, and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at Notre Dame. Jack and Mary Ann are long-time friends of the Center and the university: They have both served on the Center’s Advisory Committee for many years, and they established the Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellowship, through which world-renowned scholars are able to spend a year researching at the Center.

Stephen R. Sefton (Emeritus) graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is the founder and president of Clearwater Equity Group, Inc. Prior to his current position, Mr. Sefton held positions with Wells Fargo Bank and Norwest Equity Partners. In past years, he has also served on the Board of Directors of CommonBond Communities and as a volunteer with Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation, which sponsors inner-city youth programs and economic development initiatives. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Basilica Landmark.

Terry Seidler graduated from the College of New Rochelle. She was married to the late Roland Seidler for 47 years as they raised ten children in Pasadena, California, two of whom graduated from Notre Dame. She has served on pro-life, school, and community boards and has taught CCD in her parish for 30 years. 

Sean Patrick Tracey is the managing partner of Tracey & Fox, a personal injury law firm with offices in Houston and San Antonio, Texas. He is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the State Bar of Texas, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the American Association for Justice. He speaks frequently about trial techniques, epidemiology, and science in the courtroom. Tracey earned his BA in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and his JD from the South Texas College of Law in Houston. He is a member of the advisory board for the William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas. Married with one child and two grandchildren, Tracey lives in Houston.