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 and congregational dynamics. She is the co-Dean of the UU Leadership Institute (along with Jonipher Kwong) and plans other in-person trainings at the cluster and regional level. She writes for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) LeaderLab and tweets at @Vitalleaders.
Renee is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and is in Final 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. She serves on the boards of the Kent Environmental Council and the Kent League of Women Voters and the City of Kent's Sustainability Commission. She also served as president of the Kent Natural Foods Co-op. She and her spouse Randy practice sustainable living with solar panels, and electric car and a permaculture food forest on their city lot.
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.