Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. As program manager for Leadership Development, she is responsible for providing consultation, programming and training material (including webinars and videos) on various aspects of congregational growth, leadership development, conflict transformation and congregational dynamics. She spends half of her time working on LeaderLab, The UU Leadership Institute, and other online UUA leadership resources.
Renee lives in Kent, Ohio and is a local community organizer and activist. She serves on the boards of the Kent Environmental Council, Edible Kent, the Kent League of Women Voters, the Portage County NAACP, and the City of Kent's Sustainability Commission. She also has served as president of the Kent Natural Foods Co-op and helped them transition their governance. She and her spouse Randy practice sustainable living with solar panels, an electric car, a backyard permaculture food forest, and a front yard pollinator on their city lot.
Renee is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and is in Full Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Renee was the Consulting Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Canton, Ohio for two years, where she actively participated in the district's small church growth project. She served her internship at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before that she served East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland, Ohio for two years as their interim Director of Religious Education. She co-authored the Tapestry of Faith curriculum, "A Chorus of Faiths." She was ordained in 2010 by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, Ohio where she has been a member since 1996. There she served in a variety of leadership roles before being called to ministry. She is now their affiliated community minister and teaches middle school religious education.
She served as the chair of the Ohio Meadville District Commissioned Lay Leader Committee from 2011-2015 and co-chair of the Program Development Group for the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly from 2012-2015. She was the 2007 recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Seminarian Award for Excellence in Social Justice, and the 2010 recipient of the Commission on Social Witness sermon award. Before being called to ministry, she was a mechanical design engineer and was awarded a patent for one of her designs.