Tag Archives: Steph Busch

Serious business in the nation’s capital

Leave it to Legatus members to change the course of history.

The Catholic University of America’s incredibly popular business program — led by Legatus members — grew into a full-fledged business school in 2013. Now the school is taking another bold step in its offering of authentically Catholic business formation.

In May, CUA received a $15 million gift from the Tim and Steph Busch Family Foundation. The Busches are longtime members of Legatus’ Orange County Chapter. Their gift is the largest single donation in the university’s 129-year history. Five other donors brought the total to $47 million. The funds will help grow CUA’s business school, which has been re-named The Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics.

Tim Busch is the founder and CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group, which operates a group of luxury hotels. He also founded the Napa Institute and The Busch Firm, a law firm in Irvine, Calif.

Explosive growth

Tim and Steph Busch

Tim and Steph Busch

The Busches say they chose CUA because they believe in the school’s mission.

“I’ve been on the board of Catholic University for the past 12 years,” Tim Busch said. “In the beginning I didn’t know much about it. But the more I became aware of the school and its mission, the more I got enthused.”

Catholic University will use the funds to renovate Maloney Hall, which will house the business school. The money will also help develop new academic programs in the school, including an Institute on Human Ecology.

CUA always had a business department, but in the last decade the department saw explosive growth. More than 700 of CUA’s 4,000 undergraduates now major in business.

“In 2010, the department was growing like something out of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” said CUA president John Garvey, a member of Legatus’ chapter in Washington, D.C. “We could not contain the students. It seemed appropriate to build a school for them. Other Catholic universities have business programs, but I don’t know if they integrate faith and finance in the way that we do.”

John Garvey

John Garvey

In a secular Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, students learn to maximize profit. A few schools have elective courses on ethics. But when CUA founded its business school in 2013, the goal was to turn business education on its head by integrating Catholic social teaching in every class, Garvey explained.

“Ignorance of rules is not the primary reason for misdirection in business,” he said. “We need to focus on guiding the students to becoming better people who instinctively make better moral judgments. Aristotle says that virtue is a habit, a practice that becomes second nature. We need to train people thoroughly, and this can’t happen by only taking one course.”

Ethical standards

William Bowman, dean of the business school, remembers what happened when Enron — one of the world’s largest energy companies — collapsed in 2001 because of unethical accounting practices.

William Bowman

William Bowman

“After the Enron scandal, a priest friend of mine — Fr. Michael Barrett — said, ‘What about business ethics?’ He had been a stockbroker and had a real understanding of the business world, but he also knew about Church teaching. He led me to read several encyclicals dealing with the free market system,” Bowman explained.

Bowman, a member of Legatus’ DC Chapter, spent several years studying Church teaching on business and economics.

“This is a very new area, looking at business through the Catholic lens,” he said.

One of the biggest contributions to this field comes from Andrew Abela, CUA’s provost and founding dean of the business school. Abela spent three years researching every papal encyclical, Vatican II document, and papal speech on business. In 2009, his findings were published in A Catechism for Business. The book answers 100 tough ethical questions for business leaders.

Philosophy and theology are the foundation of the university’s business school curriculum. Students can expect to read several encyclicals like Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, Pope St. John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. They study the themes of subsidiarity, solidarity, virtue, entrepreneurship and human ecology.

“So it’s not just about accounting and finance,” Busch explained. “We want students to understand why we do what we do.”

A higher standard

Steph Busch, a business partner with her husband, decries the theological drift in many of the country’s Catholic colleges.

“There is so much liberal teaching in universities,” she said. “It’s out on a limb and it doesn’t speak to mainstream society. We hope that CUA’s business school can change the rhetoric. Students need the right formation.”

The Busch School also wants to become a center for sharing “best practices” in the world of Catholic business.

A combination of modern and classical design is envisioned for the Maloney Hall renovation, shown in this architectural rendering

A combination of modern and classical design is envisioned for the Maloney Hall renovation, shown in this architectural rendering

“We bring in Catholic businessmen and women to talk about what their faith has to do with their work,” Garvey said. “Turnout from the students has been overwhelming.”

In the long term, CUA wants its business students to learn what it means to be good stewards who can serve society and the common good. Once the school graduates students with doctorates, these leaders can influence future businessmen and women.

“We realized that a professor in a business school can impact 100,000 students in his or her lifetime,” Tim Busch explained. “The school’s mission is to impact how people think.”

Although there are some elements in the Catholic Church critical of the free market system, the Busches point out that Catholic social teaching reveals that business is a force for good when done right.

busch-students“We are all called to co-create with God,” Tim Busch said. “Handouts will always be necessary as a safety net for the poorest of the poor, but at the end of the day, it’s better to teach someone how to fish than just to hand them a fish.”

The Busch family is serious about the idea that business people have a responsibility to give back to society.

“Capitalism is in trouble because of this attitude among some to take all that they can as long as it’s legal,” he said. “We want to develop a higher standard than just profit, even though profit is important.”

Tim and Steph Busch firmly believe that a business can be ethically run, treat its employees and customers with dignity, be profitable and give back to society.

“I give credit to Legatus,” Busch said. “It has really formed us. Through it, we have really deepened our formation in the faith and how it relates to work.”

SABRINA ARENA FERRISI is Legatus magazine’s senior staff writer.

Learn More: business.cua.edu

Growing a business school at CUA

The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business and Economics offers an undergraduate degree in business. Graduate students can earn a master’s degree in one of five business programs: Master of Science in Business Analysis, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Arts in Integral Economic Development Management, and Master of Arts in Integral Economic Policy Development.

The university hopes to offer an MBA and a doctoral program in the future. A post-doctoral fellowship begins this fall on how to teach business as a force for good. —Ferrisi.

Taking it to the next level

Legate KATHLEEN EATON BRAVO rebrands Birth Choice as Obria Medical Clinics . . . .

Legate Kathleen Eaton Bravo has long been a trailblazer in the pro-life pregnancy center movement, but now she is taking her vision for ending abortion to a new level.


Kathleen Eaton defends the unborn at the 2012 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

What’s in a name?

On Feb. 1, the Birth Choice Health Clinics Eaton Bravo had led for 28 years were rebranded as Obria (pronounced OH-bree-uh) Medical Clinics. The change, part of a strategy to offer life-centered sexual and reproductive health care to young women and men in a secular, sexualized culture, was sparked by a decline in Birth Choice’s patient numbers.

Birth Choice responded in part by closing and relocating several clinics, but in the process it became clear that the name wasn’t working.

“When we did focus groups, they didn’t like ‘Birth Choice,’” Eaton Bravo said. “They didn’t know if it was pro-life or pro-choice.” Some thought the name reflected an agenda and others thought Birth Choice was a birthing center. By contrast, the name Obria Medical Clinics resonated positively with both men and women.

To supporters who didn’t like the new name because it didn’t mean anything to them, Eaton Bravo explained that in the world of marketing, meaning is less important than effective branding. “I said, ‘What does Apple have to do with computers? But we all know what it is.’”

From their work in the hospitality industry, Orange County Legate Steph Busch, vice chair of the Obria board, and her husband Tim know the trend is to use more neutral names.

Justin Alvarez

Justin Alvarez

“People are looking in all aspects of their life for something unique that meets their needs and applies to them,” Steph Busch said. “I think Obria offers that possibility.”

Of the 10 names presented to Birth Choice by Breviti, a company that has successfully branded more than 900 organizations, Eaton Bravo liked Obria right away.

Her reasoning was simple: Obria starts with “OB,” suggesting an emphasis on women’s health, although the clinics will treat men as well. The root of the name is from the Spanish “obra,” which means “to work,” and the insertion of the letter “I” reflects personal responsibility. Eaton Bravo, a member of Legatus’ Orange Coast Chapter, said the new name incorporates the good work the organization does for the sanctity of life, both in and out of the womb.

Key to choosing Obria, she added, was that no one owned the name and all the web addresses attached to it. “In today’s world you don’t just think up a name,” she explained. “Every word that you could imagine that sounds good, somebody owns.”

Taking on the beast

With the rebranding of Birth Choice in California as Obria, Eaton Bravo hopes eventually to expand outside the state, developing Obria nationally as a competitive health-care model for serving young women and men who are not only facing a pregnancy but are in a lifestyle that could result in one.

To reach abortion-minded clients, Birth Choice clinics since

2006 have offered services that compete directly with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s No. 1 abortion provider. These include STD and HIV/AIDS testing, plus well-woman and prenatal care.

“We do everything Planned Parenthood does minus contraception and abortion,” Eaton Bravo said.

As part of the rebranding, she envisions Obria working with existing medical clinics, starting new ones, collaborating with faith-based primary-care community clinics and supporting local pregnancy resource centers in converting to a medical model. With the help of a $500,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Obria plans to develop a network of 25 clinics in California, where the abortion rate is 40% above the national average.

nextlevel-1Obria also will be launching an Internet-based telemedicine program that will offer access to counseling services, health education and other pro-life educational materials in more than 20 states through partnerships with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and Students for Life.

“If we don’t do something now,” Eaton Bravo said, “10 years from now the pregnancy center movement has a chance of becoming obsolete. We might still be serving and providing baby clothes, but not with a cutting-edge, faith-based model that reaches the patient instead of the donor.”

Ventura-LA North Legate Justin Alvarez, an attorney and Obria board member, said he believes one of the biggest challenges in the pro-life pregnancy center movement is a lack of consistency and differences in quality and approach, something the Obria brand can address.

“If you’re going to create a brand that can compete with Planned Parenthood and other organizations, you must have good quality control over everybody operating within that brand.” For instance, he said, a brand like McDonald’s is successful because of consistency. “It has a good product, it meets needs, and you know what you’re going to get.”

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and a member of Legatus’ Northern New Jersey Chapter, said she believes the more pregnancy resource centers can move in the direction of medical clinics like Obria, the more they can compete with abortion providers.

“It doesn’t mean other pregnancy centers don’t save babies,” she explained. “Just about everyone does free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests now, but they’re not medical clinics.”

If someone goes to an Obria clinic for something other than pregnancy and has a good experience, Morana said, she is more likely to return if she does get pregnant. “It’s really brilliant. If more centers go in this direction, we would be putting the abortion industry out of business more and more.”

Another benefit to pro-life medical clinics, Busch added, is their ability to reach and help women who are caught up in human trafficking or prostitution. For example, she said, if these women go to a clinic for STD testing, they have the opportunity to talk to a counselor and, in some cases, change their lives. “We really try to rescue some of these women who need some real guidance whether they’re pregnant or not.”

It’s also important, Eaton Bravo said, that pro-life facilities adopt a medical model to compete in and adapt to an environment being influenced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the new law, community-based health clinics are being expanded with the help of government funding under the Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC) model.

However, to receive federal money, clinics must agree to dispense contraception and do abortion referrals. Obria hopes to partner with faith-based clinics that cannot accept these restrictions and help them get funding to continue operating.

Eaton Bravo likens the Obria model to the Gospel image of pouring new wine into new wineskins.

“We have to let go of 40 years and move into this new world of health care under the ACA,” she said. “We need to be wiser, define exactly what we are, and how we do it.”

JUDY ROBERTS is Legatus magazine’s staff writer.

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What Legatus means to me…

Legatus members from across the country explain how Legatus has affected their lives . . .

From the beginning of the organization, Legatus has been focused on the faith development of its members. Legatus exists to help its members learn, live and spread the faith. As we reflect on the last 25 years — and look ahead to the next 25 — we asked members from across the country to tell us what Legatus means to them.

Bob Pliska

In a word, Legatus is the best. As a member for almost the full 25 years of this great organization, I have been truly blessed in learning to “study, live and spread the faith in my business, professional and personal life.”

When I originally joined as the young president of a publicly held commercial real estate company, it was a great opportunity to sharpen my skills as a businessman, be a good family man, and be social, all the while practicing and spreading our great Catholic faith. This made the sharing of business information, networking, and the faith experiences exciting and fun with the many dedicated and quality members of Legatus.

This great experience was only heightened when, after having been a member for several years, I became widowed at a very early age. I was left with two major challenges — a family to raise and a business to run at the same time. With the help of Legatus, I truly lived and put into practice the four key elements of Legatus: faith, family, business and social. I went from a very tragic situation to a very fulfilling experience.

The camaraderie of Legatus members and the quality of its many programs — all with similar faith, family and ethical business objectives in mind — have provided a rewarding successful life experience. Thank you, Tom Monaghan. And thank you, Legatus!

Bob Pliska
Detroit Chapter
Member since 1989


Tim & Steph Busch

We joined Legatus 22 years ago during its infancy. By Divine Providence, the only chapter west of the Mississippi was in Orange County, which is where we lived.

The mentorship of Tom Monaghan and fellow member Catholic CEOs and spouses has greatly directed our faith formation. I returned to attending daily Mass and we were inspired to co-found two private Roman Catholic schools: St. Anne School and JSerra Catholic High School in South Orange County. It further inspired us to participate in the founding of 10 other chapters in the West. Through those efforts, hundreds of friends and acquaintances became members of the various west coast chapters.

Steph converted to Catholicism in 2000. Our children have witnessed our commitment to the faith, which will pay spiritual dividends for many generations to come. We are forever indebted to Tom Monaghan who, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, created such a fabulous organization.

Through Legatus we met the amazing Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Legatus’ former international chaplain. With him we co-founded the Magis Institute, a great ministry focused on spiritual life, especially the relationship between faith and reason. And by attending Legatus Summits, we were inspired to found the Napa Institute. Its mission — “Equipping Catholics in the ‘Next America’” — is elaborated at the Institute’s annual conference, held each July at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa.

Tim & Steph Busch
Orange County Chapter
Members since 1990


Patrick & Andrea Molyneaux

Legatus is an incredible grace that helps us become the best version of who God wants us to be. If we could summarize Legatus in one scripture verse, it would be “iron is sharpened by iron, one person sharpens another” (Prov 27:17). The Legatus relationships we’ve established with like-minded Catholic leaders bring out the best in us. These relationships sharpen our encounter with Jesus Christ through His Church.

An example of that sharpening process happened in March 2011 when a fellow Legate invited us to put our pro-life convictions into action by praying with him in front of a Planned Parenthood operation the following Saturday. I agreed, and for the first time in my life I prayed in front of an abortion clinic. The surreal experience of watching pregnant women pass by and walk through a door to kill their babies changed me forever.

It was a wake-up call that made me realize I needed to do more to defend life. A few months later I felt inspired to leverage my network and influence and reach out to Bishop David Zubik and the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Pittsburgh to organize a significant pro-life event in front of Planned Parenthood. Together we organized Pittsburgh’s first “Mass and Prayer Walk for Life,” scheduled for April 28, 2012.

This is the first pro-life initiative of its kind in Pittsburgh history. Our prayer is that it will become an annual event. The seed was planted by a Legatus member whose faith and convictions sharpened the faith and convictions of fellow Legates. Faith is indeed contagious, and Legatus helps it spread.

Patrick & Andrea Molyneaux
Pittsburgh Chapter
Members since 2009


Larry & Mary Anne Eagan

We’ve received just so many gifts and blessings from being members over the past five years. But one of the greatest and most personal of all these gifts, I’d have to say, is having the sacrament of Reconciliation made available at our monthly meetings. It’s a sacrament we long for.

And our chaplain, Monsignor Chris Connelly, gives voice to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gifts of good counsel, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. He gives voice to them through both the confessional and Mass.

For us, Legatus has brought that Biblical verse about “the way of love” in 1 Corinthians 13 truly alive. This is especially true in relation to the sacrament of Marriage. Through Legatus, we have come to share more deeply in our search for God’s peace. We witness the faithful love of our fellow Legatus couples, and this helps strengthen our own commitments to love — love for the Holy Trinity and Our Mother Mary, for each other, for our family, our community and the world.

The sharing and enrichment of our faith at the monthly meetings and the Summits have inspired us to work diligently to develop ourselves further spiritually. Legatus magazine gives us a blueprint to explore our faith further through books, media and stories of inspiration.

Larry & Mary Anne Eagan
Western Massachusetts Chapter
Members since 2006


John & Jennifer Feltl

I first heard about Legatus from a business contact, but it was a few years before I actually made a meeting. When I did, an historian-theologian priest gave a talk on the history of Catholic education in the United States. I came alone, but the next time I brought my wife. A date night with rosary, Mass and a speaker is the best date night on the face of the earth.

Before I joined, I was a cradle Catholic who took the faith for granted. The more we can learn and be trained in our faith, the better. The world today is so confused and in such need of evangelization.

Legatus is a real gift that is easy to make time for, including attending Summits. It’s a great way to help us all become better Catholics, better people, better husbands, fathers, owners, better everything. As a business person, I never had the tools or the forum to talk comfortably with other business people about our faith until Legatus. Now I’m not sheepish or ashamed at all to ask, “Do you know about Legatus?”

Legatus is also helping us do a better job of passing on the faith to our kids. Legatus gives us clarity through solid catechesis, especially through our monthly speakers and the two priests who serve as our co-chaplains: Fr. William Baer and Fr. Michael Keating. The spiritual direction they give is another reason why Legatus is so important to us.

John & Jennifer Feltl
Twin Cities Chapter
Members since 2009