The NVCL Board consists of a small core of Christians from various walks of life, all dedicated to the sanctity of human life. Diverse in background, education, age and ethnicity, the members of the NVCL Board maintain strong values based on the natural law and serve as advocates for those without a voice. The following are the biographies of the members of the NVCL Board:
Kathy & Gerry Cruz
Gerard Floro Cruz was born into a Catholic family, the oldest son of six children. An avid sports enthusiast, Gerry coached all of his children in any sport they played – using athletic competition as a bridge and analogy to teach them and hundreds of other youth how to navigate life’s challenges and help prepare them for adulthood. He also was the Athletic Director for Kolbe-Trinity while coaching soccer, basketball and baseball teams there.
As the son of a physician and registered nurse, Gerry developed a natural compassion and conviction that all life is precious. He grew up around hospitals and they were the source of many high school and college-era jobs. His mother’s favorite saint was St. Gerard of Magella and most of her children bear his name. Gerry has continued this devotion to his namesake Saint whose intercession is sought for unborn children, expectant mothers, and women in childbirth.
Gerry has served on the Pastoral Council of St. Apollinaris Church since 2014 and currently is its chairperson. He also continues to work with young adults as a confirmation instructor for St. A’s. His joy in life is his wife, Kathy and their ever-growing family.
Mary Riley graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from the University of San Francisco in 1980. She also earned a certificate from the St. Ignatius Institute. She is the mother of two biological children, both now responsible adults, and four adopted children. She has been involved in pro-life activities including rescue since 1973. She has been the administrative director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation since 1989.
Alfredo Melgoza has lived in Napa since 1987. He is married with three (3) children. He loves to be with his family and sees family as most important. Alfredo has had various occupations doing upholstery and tree trimming, and he is currently employed as a mechanic’s helper.
Alfredo’s love of Our Lord is evident in his many activities. He is very active in his church community through Mass and choir. His outreach to the Hispanic community extends all over the North Bay. He has connections to pro-life people and work in Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Fairfield, Vallejo and Napa, and he serves as an important liaison to these communities.
When asked how he felt about the 40 Days for Life campaign, Alfredo said: “It is beautiful! If it wasn’t for 40 Days for Life, babies wouldn’t be saved.” Alfredo has had the wonderful experience of seeing two (2) babies with whom he was personally involved with saving, in strollers, looking happy and healthy and much loved by their families. Alfredo spends much of his “free time” getting people (including the youth community) involved with 40 Days for Life and Birth Choice. Alfredo is God’s warrior for babies and their families.
Ronald Maxson – Founder and Emeritus Board Member
Ron began to speak for the pro-life cause in 1967 when he returned from his second year as a combat commander in Vietnam to find that his home state of California had just declared abortion a legal right of women. He has continued to be a pro-life activist since that time. He is a founder of Life Legal Defense Foundation, a founder and member of the Board of California Right to Life Education Fund, a former chairman and long-time member of St. Apollinaris Catholic Church Respect Life Committee, a founder and leader of 40 Days for Life in Napa, the Respect Life Representative of the Napa Council 981 of the Knights of Columbus, a Fourth Degree Knight, Alemany Council, and the Northern California Knights of Columbus Redwood Chapter, and a founder and current chairman of the NVCL.
God has entrusted Ron and his wife with six (6) children, thirty (30) grandchildren and nine (9) great-grandchildren (so far), most of whom live close by in Napa.
Ron’s retirement is dedicated to building a culture of life beginning with his family and the community where they live and work.
Ron is also the 2014 Awardee of the “Defender of Life Award from ALPHA Pregnancy Clinics of Napa.
Howard Haupt – Founder and Emeritus Board Member
Howard Haupt grew up in a large Midwest family and received thirteen (13) years of formal Catholic education. He served twenty-seven (27) years as a U.S. Air Force officer and has a B.S. degree from the U.S. Military Academy and a graduate degree in Engineering Administration. He is a seventeen (17) year member of St. John the Baptist parish in Napa where he serves several ministries, including coordinator of the Respect Life ministry. Howard brings a wealth of organizational experience and feels called to serve others across the entire spectrum of the pro-life movement. He is a founding member of the NVCL and has served as co-director of 40 Days for Life in Napa for several years. A respect for the dignity of all persons is his abiding passion. He and his wife, Phyllis, are the parents of three (3) sons and the grandparents of four (4) children.