Board of Directors

Juan_Rosas

Juan Rosas III, Board President: Juan Rosas III serves as Board President of Sidewalk Advocates for Life.

For the past seven years, Juan has served as a Field Director through his financial planning practice with Northwestern Mutual in the Dallas area. His growing team is dedicated to providing families and individuals financial security through a disciplined financial planning process. Juan considers it a great blessing to help others discover how to best use the gifts and resources the Lord has entrusted to us through stewardship; he similarly enjoys teaching others how to most effectively provide for their family through these gifts.

Juan earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Texas A&M University in 2006. While a student at Texas A&M, Juan was trained as a prayer volunteer and sidewalk counselor with the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life and participated in the very first 40 Days for Life campaign. He also served as Chairman of the Pastoral Council for his college church for two years during his college career.

For over two years, Juan has served as Vice Chairman of the Pastoral Council for his church. He enjoys studying psychology and leadership development, spending time with his family, and helping others stretch their vision about what is possible. Juan currently resides in Las Colinas, TX with his beautiful wife, Melissa, and their two children.

Elissa Graves

Elissa Graves, Esq., Board Secretary: Elissa is an attorney in the Dallas area who serves as Board Secretary for Sidewalk Advocates for Life.

Elissa earned her law degree at The University of Texas School of Law in 2013. While a student at UT, Elissa volunteered with the Central Texas Coalition for Life as a sidewalk counselor and participated in the local 40 Days for Life campaign. Elissa is very passionate about empowering women facing unplanned pregnancies, and has therefore dedicated her career to making abortion unnecessary and unthinkable.

Elissa met her husband, Kyle, during law school on the Texas Review of Law and Politics, where they both served as editors. Upon graduating law school, Elissa moved to Arizona, where she served as Legal Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom. While at ADF, Elissa engaged in litigation to promote a culture of life in the United States and made various speaking appearances on pro-life topics. Elissa has also made numerous media appearances,including appearing on outlets such as The Hill, Town Hall, and NPR.

Elissa is an avid gardener, and enjoys World War II history, fashion, travelling with her adventurous husband, and spending time with her family. Elissa currently resides in Sachse, TX with her husband Kyle and two basset hounds, Daisy and Sadie.

Michael_Acquilano

Michael Acquilano, J.D., Treasurer: Michael Acquilano serves as Board Treasurer for Sidewalk Advocates for Life.

Mr. Acquilano was hired in 2013 by His Excellency Robert E. Guglielmone, D.D., Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina. He presently serves as the founding Director of the South Carolina Catholic Conference, Director of Advancement of the St. Thomas Aquinas Scholarship Funding Organization and a Finance Associate for the Diocese of Charleston. He has worked at the United Nations as an NGO representative for the Society of Catholic Social Scientists in the February 2011 Commission on the Status of Women where he worked alongside the Holy See and several ambassadors in an effort to promote an international right to life. In 2012, Mr. Acquilano worked with South Carolina Citizens for Life as a legal intern where he focused on government compliance issues and the implementation of pro-life legislation.

At the Diocese of Charleston, Mr. Acquilano works to pass legislation on a State and Federal level on a multitude of issues of importance to the Catholic Church. He has focused on issues of life, religious liberty, traditional marriage, school choice, and recent federal intrusion into curriculum and standards. In addition, under the direction of his Bishop, Mr. Acquilano created an organization whose main purpose is to disburse scholarships to exceptional needs children across the state of South Carolina. To date, over 250 children and $1.8 million dollars have been disbursed and allocated for children. Mr. Acquilano serves on several other boards in the Diocese of Charleston including an initiative between Catholic hospitals on end-of-life care and physicians orders for life-sustaining treatment.

chris

Dr. Chris Neumann, Member: Chris currently works as a pediatrician in Katy, TX, where he spends his days making a game out of a visit to the doctor’s office and marvels at the wonder, faith, and resilience of children.

The son of two teachers and second eldest of five children, Chris was born and raised in El Paso, TX. Upon leaving west Texas after high school, Chris set out for Aggieland and completed his studies at Texas A&M University, where he completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Science summa cum laude with a psychology minor.

He then began his studies and training to become a physician at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.  However, after one year of medical school, he felt called to put his studies on hold, and decided to take a year off for discernment and contemplation of the seminary.  As the Holy Spirit would have it, Chris was blessed to work as Office Manager for the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life during the first national 40 Days for Life campaign.  His job brought him both to the coordination of the campaign and to the sidewalks outside the now closed Planned Parenthood in Aggieland.  He still considers this single year as among his most important fulfilling work.

While working for the Coalition for Life, Chris discerned and re-discovered his strong desire to be a husband and father, and met his future wife, Ali.  After his year away, he returned to Houston and to medical school.  Chris and Ali were married in 2009, and Chris completed his studies, earning his medical degree in 2011 with honors and with their first son in tow.  A self-proclaimed child at heart with no desire to fully grow up, he then proceeded to enter residency training in Pediatrics in Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital, and he completed his training in July of 2014, through the grace of God and with the never-ending work of his wife, who works full time at home with the couple’s now two sons and youngest daughter.

lauren_staff

Lauren Muzyka, Esq., Member:  Lauren Muzyka serves as Executive Director of Sidewalk Advocates for Life where she oversees the management and development of the organization and staff, and ensures that the organization fulfils its mission through its programs and policies.

Lauren is a licensed attorney in Texas whose passion for defending the sanctity of human life led her into the pro-life movement.  For over two years, Lauren served as Campaign Strategist for the National 40 Days for Life Team, advising their 300+ campaigns in North America running a local campaign; most recently, she served as Director of Prayer, Civic Action, and Outreach for the CPLC of North Texas.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from Texas A&M University (2004), as well as an Advanced Certificate in International Affairs (2005). She is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Ave Maria School of Law (AMSOL). While at AMSOL, Lauren served as President of the Lex Vitae Society, Student Bar Association 3L Class Senator, and remained active in Moot Court Board and The Advocate Radio Show. In 2008, Lauren was selected as Best Oralist in the State of Michigan Moot Court Competition, where the AMSOL team also won the championship. She was also selected by her classmates to be a 2009 Student Commencement Speaker.

Lauren has interned with organizations such as Alliance Defending Freedom (Blackstone Fellowship), Americans United for Life, Liberty Institute, Texas Alliance for Life, and the Collin County District Attorney’s Office.  She also recently served as Host of “Culture Lifeline,” a pro-life, pro-family radio program on the Guadalupe Radio Network during most of 2013; similarly, she has been a guest on various radio outlets throughout the country.

Lauren additionally serves as a pro-life guest speaker and trained sidewalk counselor of 17 years. Her greatest joy is her relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, being married to her husband of 7 years and bringing God’s people together across denominational lines in the pro-life movement.