The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Nominating Committee nominates candidates for all positions elected by the General Assembly except for President and Moderator. Candidates for elected positions may also be nominated by petition.
As part of the vetting process, all applications will be vetted through the Ministries and Faith Development office. The reason is to be mindful that folks involved in misconduct or allegations of misconduct are not appointed or nominated to committees until due process is complete.
Nominations for Election at General Assembly 2022
The Nominating Committee provided the following slate of nominees to the Board of Trustees on March 15, 2022.
This slate was edited on May 5, 2022. In addition to those nominated by the Nominating Committee, two nominees have been added who submitted petitions to run for the Board of Trustees and those candidates are noted below as "by petition."
Board of Trustees
- Suzanne Fast - position #7 (3-year term)
The Rev. Suzanne Fast (she/her) joined the Board of Trustees in 2019. She serves on the Values and Resources Working Group, the Governance Working Group, and the Bylaws Working Group. Rev. Suzanne has previously served our faith at the local, district/regional, and national levels, including serving on the Accountability Group for Justice General Assembly (GA) 2012 in Phoenix. She is a facilitator in the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Beyond Categorical Thinking Program. Her passion for youth, young adult, and campus ministry traces back to her own experiences and her service in the leadership of the Continental Unitarian Universalist (UU) Young Adult Network many years ago. She has a background in business, including systems analysis, accounting, and human resources. Rev. Fast is a community minister focusing on disability justice, advocacy, education, and pastoral ministry, primarily through EqUUal Access. Rev. Suzanne is one of the creators of the Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Program for congregations and serves on its Coordinating Committee. She is affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, FL. A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School, Rev. Suzanne is also a certified spiritual director. A life-long UU, she traces her call to ministry to the foundational lessons in meaning-making learned in UU religious education. Rev. Suzanne is particularly interested in the spiritual journeying of adults and children, and the connections we make between our inward journeys, our daily lives, and our shared work for a just society. Suzanne was fortunate to work on two sacred art projects with the Nyingma Institute, where she studied for many years, and which lives on in her interest in creative expression as a spiritual practice. She also enjoys escapist mysteries, cooking, and tending the occasional tomato plant. Suzanne and her husband share their home with two imperious and impish cats.
- Rebecca Mattis - position #7 (3-year term) — by petition
Rebecca Mattis has been a Unitarian Universalist for fifteen years. She is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rutland and has served on their board of trustees for six years. She has been active within her church throughout her membership, and is especially proud of the work she and her congregation did to welcome Syrian refugees in 2016-2017. She recently completed four years’ service on the city council of Rutland, Vermont, where she earned the respect of her fellow public servants on both sides of the political aisle for her principled discussion, listening skills, thoughtful attention to facts and due process, and ability to help craft solutions to complicated problems by attending to the needs of all. She is currently the Chair of the Rutland City Planning Commission, overseeing the complete rewrite of the zoning bylaws of the city. In this work, Rebecca has made sure that people with varied and opposing views are at the table, because she knows that creating good policy depends upon incorporating the input of diverse representatives of the community. Rebecca was a teacher for many years, including five years teaching middle school math, and currently volunteers, teaching English to asylum seekers and refugees from Central America and Afghanistan. She sings in the church choir, gives occasional sermons, and enjoys hiking, writing, and playing the ukulele.
- Sherman Logan - position #9 (3-year term)
The Rev. Sherman Z. Logan, Jr. was installed as a member of the Board of Trustees at General Assembly 2019 and is currently serving a three-year term. He is a member of the Values and Resources Working Group, the Board liaison to the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and the Financial Secretary in-training. Rev. Logan has served the Association in many capacities. He is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, served as a member of the Beyond the Call 3 design team, and is a Vocational Advisor for the Ministerial Formation Network. In addition, Rev. Logan served on the Commission on Institutional Change Laboratory Committee and the Mountain Retreat and Learning Center's board and nominating committee. Rev. Logan joined the First Unitarian Universalist of Richmond, VA staff and has served the Congregation since 2008, where he currently serves as Acting Senior Minister. In addition to his current role as Acting Senior Minister, he served as the church business manager, Assistant Minister, and Executive Minister. In 2014, Rev. Logan was granted Preliminary Ministerial Fellowship by the Unitarian Universalist Association, and in 2019, he was granted Full Ministerial Fellowship.
- Adam Robersmith - position #10 (3-year term)
The Rev. Dr. Adam Robersmith is a Unitarian Universalist minister, spiritual director, artist, and scholar. He serves as the Senior Minister of the Universalist Church of West Hartford, CT, while also supporting the work of spiritual formation for laypeople and clergy within our movement. He has been a member of Diverse and Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPS), the UU Spiritual Directors Network, the UUA Appointments Committee, and the UU Ministers Association (UUMA). He also served as one of the 2017 Berry Street Lecture panelists. Educated at Cornell University, Starr King School for the Ministry, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Fielding Graduate University, he has studied science, theology, history, human development, and the arts. The range of his interests and breadth of his education allow him to support the spiritual and religious lives of people with a wide variety of beliefs and spiritual practices. When he isn't ministering, he is also a gardener, fiber artist, and cook who loves a good workout. He lives in the woods of Connecticut with his partner of 25+ years.
- Justine Sullivan - position #11 (3-year term)
The Rev. Justine Sullivan grew up in Scituate, MA, and got her start in church life playing and singing at the “Folk Mass” on Saturday afternoons at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Scituate Harbor. Justine found Unitarian Universalism as an adult after many years of being unchurched. She has worked as a manager in high technology and as a social worker and psychotherapist, and in 2013 she entered seminary and was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in June of 2017. Before entering seminary, Justine joined the Clara Barton District Board, serving as District President and then as president of the District Presidents’ Association. Justine has also served as a congregational facilitator and consultant and currently serves as a Good Officer for the Northern New England chapter of the UUMA. Justine lives in Northborough, MA with her wife Dale and a wonderful dog named Callie, and is currently serving as interim minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, ME.
- Beverly Seese - position #11 (3-year term) — by petition
Rev. Seese has served as a UU congregational minister for the past eleven years, along with an active Community Ministry. She received her Master's Degree from Meadville Lombard where her areas of specialization were Pastoral Counseling and Worship Arts. She grew up in Modesto, CA, as a Church of the Brethren pacifist, and has taken training for non-violent resistance. She participates in marches for anti-nuclear weapons proliferation, Climate, the National Women’s March in 2017; and a Poor People’s Campaign march in 2021. Beverly served on the board, was a youth group advisor and directed the choir at her denomination's local church when she moved to Indiana thirty years ago. She grew impatient with the slow pace of instituting gay rights and diverse liberal religious thought, and changed her affiliation when she found a home with the Lafayette UU Church. There she served as Choir Director, Religious Education teacher, Ministerial Committee member and chair, and President of the Board, before going to seminary. Credentialed in Music and Consumer & Family Science, Beverly taught in CA, OR, and IN. She worked as a college academic advisor, and spent ten years as a counselor/academic advisor and ESL instructor at a state Adult Education Program, working with immigrants and young people to gain their U.S. citizenship and High School Equivalency Diplomas. She is active in her rural community, serving on several boards, and volunteered three years as a “Big Sister” to a young teen mother. Beverly worked some years in retail management and is now the owner/host of an historic B&B. She loves music making, gardening, reading, quilting, and other creative arts. With husband, Carl, she enjoys visiting their daughter, in Denver, and son, close-by in Indiana.
General Assembly Planning Committee
- Mary Beth Spencer (4-year term)
Mary Beth Spencer (pronouns she/her or they/them) resides on land of the Bay Miwok - Ohlone People. She is a member of Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA, where she has been a member since 2009. She identifies as a disabled, neuroatypical, queer, polyamorous, white, woman who is lucky enough to have two amazing partners and to have 5+ kids. They have worked as a teacher in the outside world, working with kids with a wide variety of disabilities, including learning disabilities, but also mental health and emotional health disorders. This work, and their own experiences with their disabilities and those of their kids, encouraged them to plan things carefully and thoughtfully, and then to let everything go and reset in the middle as needed. She learned that by doing things this way, most, if not everyone could be included in her activities and plans. She hopes that by working with the GA Planning Committee, she will be able to find more ways for all people to be included in GA this year, through 2026, and beyond.
- AJ van Tine (4-year term)
AJ van Tine is a Unitarian Universalist minister with strong organizational, analytic, interpersonal, conflict management, and pastoral skills. A community leader with experience creating, sustaining, and transforming liberal religious organizations, he's the assistant minister in fellowship at First Unitarian Church of Rochester and previously served Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists. He's a member of the UUMA and Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) and has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council (UUPCC) in the past. He received his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 2018 and Bachelor of Arts from Christopher Newport University in 2014. He's also been a member of the UU Congregation of Fairfax, in Oakton, VA since 2010. He's led the Conflict and Covenant Team at General Assembly since 2020, and seeks to serve on the GA Planning Committee because it feels like a natural next step in the leadership and service he's given to UUism having been the co-lead of the Conflict and Covenant team for what will be three years. He understands there is a need for volunteers, and has been asked to consider serving. He's a lifelong UU who is convinced of our faith's transformative potential, and an institutionalist who likes helping organize events and large scale organizations in ways aligned with our values, so we can promote our values and progressive approach to religion.
- Sam Wilson (4-year term)
Sam R. F. Wilson has served the Winchester Unitarian Society as Director of Youth Ministries for the past eight years. He runs a large youth group that is well known for its annual service trips. He is currently also serving as the Interim Coordinator of Religious Education, and is excited to become the new Director of Youth and Children's Ministries next year. Sam has also been a program leader for the UU College of Social Justice since 2013. A proud member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), the Guild of Interim Religious Educators (GIRE), and the Order of the Goldfish, Lotus, and Chalice, Sam is particularly excited about ways to make GA an awesome, uplifting, and empowering experience for our children and youth. He has previously served GA on the Youth Caucus Staff and the Worship Arts Team. Shortly after GA, you can usually find him singing and swimming at Ferry Beach (which also happen to be his two favorite spiritual practices!).
- Debra Gray Boyd (3-year term)
Connecting people to one another and to opportunities to serve our shared faith is Debra's jam. She is currently serving on Nominating for her home congregation (First UU Columbus OH) and the Church of the Larger Fellowship. She has served as a board member, treasurer, Chair of Finance, and lots of other things at her home congregation and served on the board of the Ohio Meadville District when it started exploring regionalization. More recently on the national level, Debra finished 10 years of service on the General Assembly Planning Committee in 2021. Debra is excited to explore how we cultivate a deep and diverse bench of leadership carefully matching people's skills, interests, and abilities to the work so that it is an enriching and transformative experience for both the volunteer and our shared faith. For fun and to fill her own well, Debra has been attending Central East Region Summer Institute with her husband and daughter for almost 15 years.
- Xolani Kacela (3-year term)
The Rev. Xolani “xk” Kacela, Ph.D. has served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Las Cruces, NM, Durham, NC, and Dallas, TX. He is the author of several books, including The Black UU Survival Guide and Finding Your Way Home, a UU children’s book. Prior to parish ministry, he was a hospice chaplain, and currently serves as a chaplain in the New Mexico Air National Guard in Albuquerque, NM. Before that, he served with the District of Columbia National Guard and worked at U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL. He has deployed four times, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. Kacela earned four degrees, including a doctorate in pastoral theology and pastoral counseling from Texas Christian University. He lives with his wife, Tamara, in Las Cruces, NM.
- Courtney McKenny (3-year term)
Courtney McKenny is a lifelong UU, who grew up attending the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield, MO. She graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelors of Art in History. Courtney has previously served for over 10 years as the Director of Religious Education at the UU Fellowship of Montgomery. Currently she is the Director of Lifespan Faith Development for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. Previously, she has served on the UUA Appointments Committee, the Mid South District Religious Education Committee, as well as the Southeast Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association as vice president and then president. She is also an Our Whole Lives Facilitator - Junior and Senior High.
Note: This slate was edited on March 24, 2022 to include the following nominees for the Presidential Search Committee. Due to an administrative error, these nominees were accidentally omitted from the original slate submitted on March 15, 2022.
Presidential Search Committee
- Jaimie Dingus
Rev. Jaimie Dingus (she/her) has served as the settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Huntsville, AL since 2020. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. She is passionate about the future of Unitarian Universalism and grateful to serve with the amazing team on the Presidential Search Committee. Outside of ministry, she enjoys exploring Alabama with her four-legged best friend, Clementine.
- Denise Rimes
Denise Rimes has been a resident of Richmond, VA for her entire life! She is the Senior Vice President, Global Vendor Management at Bank of America in Richmond, where she's been employed since 1979, after receiving an undergraduate degree in American Government and Religious Studies. She has served in many volunteer capacities over the years: United Way Human Service Planning Committee and Fundraiser, University of Virginia Alumni Association chapter president, American Red Cross Personnel Committee member, Communities in Schools Board Chair and member, and Richmonders Involved In Strengthening Communities (RISC) member. Since 2002, she has been a member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, VA, serving in a multitude of capacities including Congregational President (2006-2008 and 2020 to present), and Chair of the Ad-Hoc Bylaws Revision Team (2007-2008). Other UU-focused volunteer positions include: Ministerial Search Representative (2011-2016), President of the Southeast District (2012-2015), and President of the District Presidents’ Association (2015-2016). She served as Vice Moderator of the UUA Board of Trustees (2016-2020), as well as on the Annual Program Fund (APF) Task Force (2015). Her focus since joining this faith movement has been twofold: governance practices and social justice, with a focus non anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism. Denise has been married for 37 years to Pat, with two daughters and five grandchildren.
- Cathy Seggel
Cathy Seggel has been serving the First Unitarian Church of Providence as its religious educator for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BS in Nursing, she worked as an RN and taught Pediatric Nursing at Rhode Island College. She earned a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 2007. She was President of the Liberal Religious Educators Association from 2014-2017. She teaches UU Faith Development at Harvard Divinity School. Cathy lives in Providence with her husband, Norm. They have three children and four grandchildren
- James Snell
James is a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship and the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, where his three sons were blessed by the wonderful RE program. At his church in Dallas, James served as RE teacher, Treasurer, Vice President, President, Chair of facilities construction team, and as a GA delegate (2006-2012). He served on the UUA Board of Trustees (2013-2016), and currently serves on the Presidential Search Committee. James has attended numerous training sessions, including for UUA Board service, and at GA concerning identity issues, anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism. He holds a B.A. from West Texas State University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced law in Texas for 35 years. His hobbies are running marathons and writing fiction.
- Marva Williams
Marva has been a member of three UU churches and has held leadership positions at two of those churches. At First Church in Pittsburgh, she served in the youth religious education program for one year. Most of her church leadership positions were held at Second Church in Chicago where she was member for 20 years. She served on the membership committee for several years, was a member of two committees to obtain an interim minister, served in the youth religious education program, was the Chair of the Committee on Ministries, and served on several nominating committees. Marva was also the President of the Board of Directors of Second Unitarian. She has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County since March 2019. In addition to leadership at churches, she also served on the UUA Committee on Socially Responsible Investing for five years. She encouraged churches to invest in socially responsible credit unions, prepared sessions for General Assembly, and reviewed proposals from community-based organizations. In addition to these activities, she also has extensive experience serving on a board of directors or working for a non-profit's board of directors, and appreciates the distinctive roles of staff and directors. Marva served on the Board of Directors of two foundations based in Chicago and has volunteered with several community-based organizations including a credit union, a non-profit that provides housing and services for formerly-homeless women, and a community design organization, just to name a few. She also served with the Big Sister program in Chicago. She's collaborative and enjoys working on committees and has served on several church search committees and has experience marketing the vacancies, establishing job descriptions and criteria, informing candidates of the background of the organization and the position, interviewing candidates, and selecting the final candidates. She is an African American women who has participated in several racial justice programs, including programs at UU churches. She values the UUA and will work hard to be an effective member of the search committee.
Our UUA Needs You and Your Service
Do you want to help make real and concrete changes to our Unitarian Universalist Association?Do you want to put your skills and expertise to work for our faith movement? Do you want to explore a passion of yours through denominational service?
The UUA Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for our denominational committees elected by the General Assembly.
We are seeking nominations for all of our elected committees: Board of Trustees, Board of Review, Nominating Committee, General Assembly Planning Committee, Commission on Appraisal, Commission on Social Witness, as well as for Financial Advisor.
Have any questions about serving? Reach out to the nominating committee at email@example.com
The UUA Bylaws provide for nomination of elected positions by two procedures:
- Nomination by the Nominating Committee
- To be considered by the Nominating Committee, an applicant must:
- Be a member of a Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregation
- Complete the Volunteer Leadership Application. Applications remain active for two years, after which we ask volunteers still interested to re-apply.
- To be considered by the Nominating Committee, an applicant must:
- To run by petition, a candidate must:
- Be a voting member of a UU congregation
- Secure signatures of at least 50 members of certified UU congregations with no more than 10 from any single congregation
- File requisite papers with the UUA Secretary by the May 1 preceding the election
- To run by petition, a candidate must:
May 1st Deadline
People interested in running by petition have until May 1 to submit a completed petition.
The bylaws stipulate:
The Nominating Committee shall endeavor to nominate individuals so that the membership of the Board of Trustees and each elected committee reflects the full diversity of the Association, especially in regard to historically marginalized communities, but also balancing among size of congregation, lay and ordained, geography, age (including youth and young adults), and gender, among others. The Nominating Committee shall consult with groups and organizations including those traditionally underrepresented in Unitarian Universalist leadership, to help inform the nominating process.
What Is the Nominating Committee Looking For?
In order for UUA committees, commissions, and boards to function as effectively as possible, each candidate needs to have the requisite skills, as well as the ability and time to follow through on their tasks and commitments. In addition, the Nominating Committee strives to equip committees, the board, and commissions with people who can offer a variety of cultural competencies and life experiences, with the belief that this will help these working groups to make more effective decisions.
The Nominating Committee is particularly interested in identifying qualified candidates who also have connections to, and understanding of, ethnic communities other than those of European descent, youth and young adults, and people with disabilities. The committee does not believe that one must personally be a member of a particular group in order to have developed such cultural competencies. Work and volunteer experience, travel, and study are examples of avenues through which people can develop cultural competencies and sensitivities outside of their own ethnic, age or cultural community.
The Nominating Committee also strives to create working groups which include the participation of people of varied genders and sexual identities, who also represent people from a variety of geographies.
Those seeking our nomination should already have demonstrated their leadership skills in their local congregation, district, UUA, theological school, and/or other affiliated Unitarian Universalist organization.
To communicate directly to the Nominating Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org.