Liguori, Mo. – The board of directors of Liguori Publications has unanimously elected a multimedia journalist as publisher (CEO) and a businessman and priest as president. Virgil Tipton of Richmond Heights, MO, is the new publisher and the Rev. Donald Willard, C.Ss.R., of Whittier, CA, is the new president. The two succeed the Rev. Mathew Kessler, C.Ss.R., who served as both president and publisher for six years. The change is effective July 1, 2013.
“Fr. Mat has served with great distinction and has positioned Liguori Publications well to adapt to the future of publishing,” said the Rev. Matt Allman, C.Ss.R., chairman of the board of directors. “We have confidence that Virgil and Fr. Don will expand on that legacy.”
Tipton, a native of Springfield, IL, began his career as a reporter and editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was the founding editor of the newspaper’s web site and went on to become deputy editor of the newspaper, overseeing digital publishing, the news research library, and computer-assisted reporting. He also worked for NewsEngin Inc., a company that builds software for news organizations.
“Liguori Publications’ past is rich and its future shines with promise, with a creative staff dedicated to the mission of spreading the Good News in print and digital forms,” Tipton said. “I’m thrilled the board has chosen me to build on Fr. Mat’s work, and I look forward to making great things happen with the board, Fr. Don, and the staff.”
Before his ordination on June 8, 2008, the Rev. Willard attended Illinois State University and gained management experience in many different businesses. Although successful, he felt unfulfilled and answered the call of God to be a priest. After professing vows as a Redemptorist, he received an MA in divinity from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Since his ordination, Rev. Willard has been the associate pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption in Whittier, CA.
Liguori Publications is a collaborative ministry of Redemptorist priests and brothers and lay staff whose mission is to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world through its publications. Liguorian magazine is one of the nation’s leading Catholic periodicals. Liguori also produces print and digital trade books, youth and catechetical materials for parishes and religious education programs, parish bulletins, and devotional and educational pamphlets. Learn more at Liguori.org.