MCC Staff

JASON ADKINS, ESQ.
Executive Director

Jason Adkins has served as the executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference since March 2011. Prior to his advocacy work for the Church, Jason was an attorney at the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm. Jason has clerked for both state and federal appellate judges, and received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he has served as an adjunct professor.

Jason is a regular presenter at parishes and at organizations around Minnesota, and continues to serve as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. He writes a regular column that appears in diocesan newspapers, and his work has also appeared in numerous secular publications and journals. He frequently appears in the media, and serves on many corporate boards and advisory councils.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), and resides in Saint Paul with his family.

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Email: jadkins@mncatholic.org


5MARY JANE STREIFF
Business Manager

Originally from Southern California, Mary Jane has worked for several Catholic organizations, including Catholic Answers and Thomas Aquinas College (California). She holds a Business degree from the University of California, Riverside, and a Liberal Arts degree from Thomas Aquinas College. Mary Jane completed a graduate degree in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, and resides with her husband in Afton.

Email: mjstreiff@mncatholic.org


KATHERINE SZEPIENIEC
Communications Manager

Katherine returned home to Minnesota to join our staff in October 2017. Previously she lived in the Washington, D.C. area where she worked for EWTN News Nightly as a segment producer and St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Hyattsville, MD as the Communications Specialist. She has her master’s degree in Emerging Media from Loyola University Maryland.

Before living on the East Coast she lived in Trujillo, Honduras as a missionary with Farm of the Child, a Catholic children’s home. After earning her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead, she worked as the morning newscast producer for KAAL-TV in Austin, MN.

She and her husband reside in Hastings. She is also the proud auntie of three nieces.

Email: kcross@mncatholic.org


MAGGEE BECKER
Project Manager & Executive Assistant

Maggee graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A.s in Catholic Studies and English in 2019. Her involvement in St. Paul’s Outreach propelled her zeal to live a life of discipleship and mission. Throughout college and after graduating, she spent time working in the youth ministry world at Partnership for Youth and at her home parish of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague. In order to deepen her understanding of the Church, Maggee is currently working towards a master’s degree in Theology at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

When she is not in the office or studying, you can usually find Maggee hanging out with family, going on runs, or beating people in a competitive game of cards.

Email: mbecker@mncatholic.org


RYAN HAMILTON
Government Relations Associate

Ryan is an altar server, lector, and product of Catholic elementary school who felt called to join the MCC team in response to the events of 2020. He brings over a decade of combined experience in legislative politics, policymaking, and advocacy.

Ryan is a Southern transplant, who earned degrees from Wake Forest University and Tulane University Law School. He began his career in Minnesota politics as staffer for the House Government Operations Committee during the historic 87th Minnesota Legislature. He went on to become a lobbyist for the state’s largest trade association. Ryan has also employed his negotiation and interpersonal skills as an agent for minority-owned small businesses.

He resides in North Minneapolis with his wife and two toddlers. On weekends, the Hamilton’s can be found attending sporting events, exploring state parks, or tending to their vegetable garden.

Email: rhamilton@mncatholic.org


LYNN VARCO
Policy & Engagement Associate

Lynn joined the Minnesota Catholic Conference in January 2021. Through years working as a senior leader in several Minnesota nonprofits, he has formed extensive experience in advocacy, strategic planning, and program development. At MCC, his work focuses on coalition building, outreach, lobbying and public policy.

The mission of MCC inspires us to follow the Epistle of Barnabas: “Do not live entirely isolated, having retreated into yourselves, as if you were already justified, but gather instead to seek the common good together.”

Lynn earned his BA from the University of Chicago, holds an MA in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas and was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He resides in Saint Paul with his family.

Email: lvarco@mncatholic.org