The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors elected several new international leaders to key positions during its recent quarterly meeting, held Feb. 1-5 in Mexico City.
Jorge C. Estrada Avilés of Mérida, Yucatán, who has served as supreme warden since February 2022, was elected to the Board of Directors. Estrada is currently in his second year as state deputy of Mexico South.
Succeeding Estrada as supreme warden is Andrzej Anasiak, who served as state deputy of Poland from 2014 to 2017. Anasiak is the first member of the Knights of Columbus from Europe to serve as a Supreme Officer. As supreme warden, Anasiak will attend meetings of the Board of Directors as a representative of Poland, where the Knights of Columbus was established in 2006.
In addition, Michael McCusker of Memphis, Tennessee, was elected to lead the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus as supreme master; he will also continue as a member of the Board of Directors, following his election to that position last August. McCusker, a decorated military veteran, succeeds Dennis Stoddard, who retires March 1 after 13 years as supreme master. In recognition of Stoddard’s distinguished record of accomplishments, the Board of Directors voted to accord him the honorary title of supreme master emeritus.
Jorge C. Estrada Avilés
A practicing lawyer and university professor, Jorge Carlos Estrada Avilés has held a number of leadership positions in the Knights of Columbus. He was elected state deputy of Mexico South in 2021 and installed as supreme warden in February 2022.
Estrada Avilés earned his law degree from Autonomous University of Yucatán and received a master’s degree in commercial law from Marist University of Yucatan, where he has taught since 1997 and served as head of the law school from 2002 to 2008. Since 1991, he also has served as a public notary lawyer, a position requiring the highest level of legal expertise and ethical standards.
He has served the Catholic Church as president of the Mexican National Council of the Laity, an adviser to the Archdiocese of Yucatán, a delegate of the Holy See to a United Nations convention and of the Mexican Bishops Conference to the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
Estrada Avilés lives in Mérida, Yucatán, with his wife, María Dolores Fritz Sierra, who is Secretaria de Gobernación del estado de Yucatán (Secretary of the Government of the State of Yucatan); the couple has five grown children.
Andrzej Anasiak joined the Order in 2006, when the first Knights of Columbus councils in Poland were established. He later served three terms as state deputy (2014-17) and has been a key figure in the growth of the Knights of Columbus in Poland.
Since 2021, Anasiak has represented the Father Michael J. McGivney Guild in Poland, promoting the canonization cause of the Order’s founder in various ways and organizing regular visits of first-class relics of Father McGivney to parishes and dioceses nationwide. He has also served as national coordinator for the Knights of Columbus faith formation program Into the Breach and organized a popular monthly men’s rosary initiative.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began nearly a year ago, he has helped coordinate extensive relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, including the creation of a Knights of Columbus Mercy Center in Radom and the assembly of care packages for distribution in Ukraine.
After a successful career in the life insurance industry, Anasiak currently is CEO of Timberworks, a company offering professional recruitment services. He is a member of Our Lady of Częstochowa Queen of Poland Council 14004 in Radom, where he lives with his wife, Magdalena. They have two children.
Michael R. McCusker
A member of the Knights of Columbus since 1988, Michael McCusker served as state deputy of Tennessee from 2019 to 2021 and was elected to the Board of Directors in August 2022.
McCusker has worked as a criminal prosecutor for more than 20 years and currently is assistant district attorney general for the 30th Judicial District of Tennessee. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves, and then the Tennessee National Guard, for more than two decades, including a deployment to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006. McCusker was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan, as well as an Army Commendation Medal for his actions during a search-and-rescue mission there in 2005.
McCusker is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and earned his law degree from the University of Memphis. He is a member of St. Michael the Archangel Council 17578 in Memphis. He and his wife, Theresa, live in Germantown, Tennessee, and have three children.