Meet The Staff
John Gerardi, Executive Director
John grew up in Clovis, and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (Class of 2010) and Notre Dame Law School (2013). At Notre Dame, Johnmet his lovely wife Holly, and they were married in 2013. They have two daughters: Madeleine (21 months) and Sophia (3 months). John’s father, Dr. Joe Gerardi, is the head of orthopedics at Valley Children’s Hospital, and his mother, Dr. Sharon Gerardi, is a dermatologist at Kaiser. The Gerardis attend the Latin Mass at St. Anthony of Padua in Fresno, where John sings in the choir.
John has been involved with Right to Life of Central California since he was 14 years old, participating in Right to Life’s educational youth group. Those experiences helped shaped his views about the central importance of the life issues, leading him to continue his involvement in the pro-life movement in college and beyond. At Notre Dame, John studied Classics (Latin, Greek) and Philosophy, and served as the president of Notre Dame Right to Life, one of the largest pro-life student organizations in America. In law school,John focused his coursework on jurisprudence, bioethics, and religious liberty, and wrote his final paper on the history of abortion law in the United States.
After two years of practicing law at a civil litigation firm in Massachusetts, John took and passed the California Bar exam in July 2015, and began working as the legislative director for California Family Council in Fresno. CFC was integral in helping defeat SB 1146, a California bill that would have cut off Cal Grants funding for religious colleges that uphold traditional marriage. Following this victory, John was hired to serve as the executive director of Right to Life in September of 2016. He looks forward to many years of leading Right to Life in its mission of educating churches and youth, outreach to those considering or suffering from abortion, and engaging the broader culture.
Kristen Mowatt, Operations Coordinator
Kristen recently joined Right to Life of Central California in October 2016. She was a volunteer for several years and is excited to continue her passion to promote equal rights for the unborn.
Kristen received her Bachelor’s degree in History from University of California, Berkeley and completed Master’s coursework at Boston University. She has worked in the financial sector both in Boston and San Francisco. After many years in Boston, Kristen returned to the west coast to raise her family.
Kristen has two children, Mikko and Gemma, who keep her busy. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and attending her children’s activities.
Juan Carlos Medina, Outreach Coordinator
Juan Carlos joined Right to Life in 2016. He has previously been a part of various committees for youth and young adult ministries throughout the valley including at St. Joachim’s (his home parish) and the Diocese of Fresno.
Juan Carlos has been involved with youth ministry in both Spanish and English speaking groups for over 12 years at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Madera. There he has given countless presentations to teens about their faith, morality and Theology of the Body. It was through Theology of the Body where he grew a passion to share the pro-life message with those teens and his peers. Currently Juan Carlos is a committee member of the Disciples Ignited Young Adult Group in his home parish and is the music director for Adoremus, a group bringing young adults from around the valley together for worship and adoration in Fresno.
In his spare time Juan Carlos enjoys playing music, interacting and playing sports with other young adults from his church, hiking, and capturing videos with his action camera.
Rafael Rodarte, Education and Creative Coordinator
Rafael married his beautiful wife Bernadette in 2011 and together they have two wonderful children, Kiara and Sebastian. Rafael was raised in the church, and he has always understood that life is precious from the moment of conception to natural death.
Rafael is an award winning film maker who brings years of experience in communication and media to his new position at Right to Life of Central California (RLCC). His time at KMPH Fox 26 and KNXT Catholic Television as producer/video editor have truly prepared him for what lies ahead at RLCC. One of his more memorable projects is a short documentary he produced for KNXT. The film followed a group of young adults and Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Diocese of Fresno to the first annual One Life LA, a pro-life event drawing more than15,000 pro-lifers.
Rafael and Bernadette are active members at St. Joachim’s Catholic Church in Madera, Ca. They both have a passion for teaching and serving the youth of their community, devoting several years of their young adult lives to youth groups and the confirmation program at their home parish. Rafael appreciates and understands the importance of ecumenism. He led worship at Fourth Street Church of God’s youth group for two years and has collaborated with several musicians from a variety of churches in his community.
Rafael enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and trying new foods.
Glenda Friesen, Administrative Assistant/ Bookkeeper
Glenda joined Right to Life in 2010. She has previously served as Office Manager for Community Bible Church in Fresno for 6 years and most recently as Office Manager for Samaritan Women for 3 years.
Glenda’s strengths include volunteer outreach and management, executive assistance, and office administration.
Glenda and her husband Phil have been married for 37 years. One of Glenda and Phil’s favorite hobbies is visiting wineries in Paso Robles and Sonoma with their two adult daughters and son-in law. They also love to cook and entertain.