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» Senior Management

Senior Management


Michael F. Melara, Executive Director

Mr. Melara has a BA from Le Moyne College and an MS from Chapman University.  He has over 30 years of experience in not-for-profit and government work, including being a direct service provider, supervisor, and administrator.  Prior to being appointed Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Mr. Melara spent four years as the Executive Director of Huntington Family Centers.  In his current role, Mr. Melara is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a $21.7 million agency, including strategic planning, resource development, budget planning and management, human resources management, public relations, and Board relationships.


Christopher Curry, Chief Program Officer

Mr. Curry has a BA in history from Tulane University and an MA in Public Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Services Management and Policy from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  Mr. Curry began his career at Catholic Charities in 1996 as a full-time volunteer teen program coordinator.  He now oversees the agency's crisis response, stabilization services, and capacity building programs.


Lindsay Cronkright, Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Cronkright, CPA, has a B.S. in Business Administration, Accounting, from SUNY University at Buffalo.  Following graduation, Ms. Cronkright spent seven years in public accounting at KPMG and Dermody, Burke, and Brown.  She then spent five years leading the finance and IT departments of a local manufacturing company.  With this unique background, Ms. Cronkright joined Catholic Charities in 2021.  She is responsible for the agency’s finances, including cash management, financial reporting and related internal controls, and presentations to various stakeholders.


Tia R. Sales, Chief Human Resources Officer

Ms. Sales has a BA from Ithaca College and an MBA from Le Moyne College. She has over 13 years of experience in Human Resource Management and is a Certified Professional of Human Resources (PHR). Hired as Associate Director Human Resources at Catholic Charities in 2012, Ms. Sales previously served as the Human Resources and Organizational Development Manager for Syracuse University Information Technology and Services.  She is responsible for all areas of the Human Resources department including employee relations, organizational development, recruitment, benefits administration, and compliance with Federal and NYS employment laws and regulations.


Sonja Gottbrecht, Chief Performance Officer

Ms. Gottbrecht joined Catholic Charities as an Administrative Program Coordinator for the agency’s Housing Services in 2010. She is the lead on developing and implementing quality improvement and managed care programs for Catholic Charities and its affiliate organization, Toomey Residential and Community Services. Previously, she was the Program Officer overseeing the Supportive Housing Program, Health Home Program, and Elderly Services Department. In these roles, Gottbrecht has led the successful expansion of services to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in Onondaga County. Gottbrecht holds a Masters in Social Work from Syracuse University. 


Catherine J. Willson, Executive Assistant

Mrs. Willson has over 18 years of experience in administrative services and has spent nearly all her professional career serving in not-for-profit organizations.  Hired as Coordinator of Administrative Services at Catholic Charities in 2009, Mrs. Willson previously served as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Child and Family Services for Liberty Resources, Inc.  She is the assistant to the Executive Director and Associate Directors, the liaison for the Board of Directors, and the informational source for all administrative business, and is responsible for contract management and oversight of reception.