Volunteer Nominations GA 2023
The Nominating Committee submitted the following slate of nominees to the Board of Trustees on March 15, 2023. The election for these positions will take place at General Assembly (GA) 2023.
This page will be updated with photos and biographies for each candidate as they are received.
Board of Review
- Rev. Jennifer Hamlin-Navias - position #2 (fulfill 4-year term ending at GA 2027)
Rev. Jennifer Hamlin-Navias is a retired minister living in Central New York. She has served as a pastor and as a religious educator along with being a Family Therapist. Previous service to the UUA includes 8 years serving on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.
- Rev. Shana Lynngood - position #3 (fulfill 6-year term ending at GA 2029)
Rev. Shana Lynngood is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist (UU) who grew up in suburban Philadelphia. Shana has been a parish minister since 2001, serving three congregations (small, large, and mid-sized) as solo, associate, and co-minister over the years. In addition to serving parishes, Shana has been committed to denominational/associational service both in the US and Canada. She served on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) from 2012 to 2020 including two years as Vice Chair and one year as Chair. Currently, Shana serves as Minister Observer to the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Board of Trustees. She is deeply committed to the work of having our lived faith reflect our highest aspirations of beloved community. She serves as Co-Minister of First Unitarian Church of Victoria, BC, Canada with her wife, Rev. Melora Lynngood. They have two children, ages 17 and 10. When not immersed in ministry, Shana is nurtured and inspired by music, art, poetry, and decades-long friendships.
- Sheri Phillabum - position #4 (8-year term ending at GA 2031)
Dr. Sheri Phillabaum has enjoyed a 20-year career as a UU religious educator and is credentialed with the Unitarian Universalist Association at the master level. She recently retired after fifteen years as Director of Lifespan Religious Education at First UU Church of San Antonio. She is currently the coordinator of the “Adult Digital Literacy through Language Education” initiative at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
- Charles Williams - position #6 (fulfill 4-year term ending at GA 2027)
Charles Williams is a native of Columbus, Ohio, a veteran of the Vietnam War, and 1974 graduate of Boston College Law School. He is a founding principal in the firm of Williams & Strohm, LLC, Attorneys at Law. He is a member of the Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations, and is admitted to practice in all Ohio courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Williams focuses his practice in the areas of condominium and homeowners association law and real estate law, generally. Mr. Williams is a past Chairman of the Real Property Law Committee of the Columbus Bar Association, past President of the Central Ohio Community Associations Institute, and was a contributing drafter of the condominium reform act of 2004 and the first Ohio homeowner association legislation passed in 2010. Mr. Williams is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and has been a frequent lecturer on subjects concerning condominium and homeowner associations. Mr. Williams is co-author of Ohio Condominium Law, published by Thomson Reuters, and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Williams has served as legal counsel to his church, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, for 43 years. He served as Board Chair for his church in 2007-2008, and has served on the Board as a member twice, for a total of 5 years. He has been a member and chair of various committees in the church over his years of affiliation.
- Kim Diana Connolly - position #7 (fulfill 6-year term ending at GA 2029)
Kim Diana Connollyis a UU, mother, friend, activist, lazy gardener, practicing lawyer, tenured law professor, and has been a vegetarian since 1982. A committed UU for decades, she has raised both of her human offspring in the UU faith, one of whom is a Young Adult and one of whom is an active Youth. For over six years, she has been active regionally, and since 2021 has been involved nationally through service at the UUA General Assembly. Kim Diana has training and experience both as a lawyer and a restorative practitioner. Her day job is working as a law professor in the #UBLawResponds clinical program at theUniversity at Buffalo School of Law at the State University of New York. There, she teaches and supervises students performing service-learning for clients who would otherwise be without a lawyer, and works every day toward an antiracist world thatprovides access to justice for all.
- Dr. Anthony Y. Stringer - position #8 (8-year term ending at GA 2031)
Dr. Anthony Y. Stringer is a retired neuropsychologist and is Professor Emeritus in the Emory University Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, where he previously chaired the Division of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology. In his professional life, he has been honored by being named a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology, and has won many professional awards for his research and teaching. Dr. Stringer is the first African American to become board-certified in neuropsychology and the first to be elected president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Stringer is the author or editor of eight books and 65 scientific articles and abstracts in his professional specialty. He also is the author of a forthcoming Skinner House book on creating Unitarian Universalist rituals inspired by the cultures of the African Diaspora. Dr. Stringer has been a UU for 35 years. As a lay leader, he served on the Board (six years as President) of the Mountain UU Camp and Conference Center, and co-founded a UU African Percussion Choir that performed at a United Nations Festival and in the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Olympics. For eight years, Dr. Stringer served as a psychologist on the UUA Ministerial Fellowship Committee, including two years as part of the Executive Committee. Dr. Stringer is currently a lay minister and is the Lead Lay Liturgist for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. In retirement, he enjoys a broad range of leisure interests including reading, writing, nature photography, art collecting, crossbow target shooting, flat water kayaking, bicycling, chess, and jazz. He lives with his wife of 46 years in Georgia and is the proud father of a daughter who is a UU religious education professional and a granddaughter who is a UU youth leader.
Board of Trustees
- Rev. Amanda J. Weatherspoon - position #1 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
For the last 5 years, Rev. Weatherspoon had the joy of serving River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, MD as their Associate Minister. Her time on the UUA Nominating Committee (2015 - 2020) allowed her to work closely with the Board of Trustees as well as UUA staff and leadership, giving her insight to the care, dedication, and faithfulness needed to serve our Beloved Community. UUs are diverse and multifaceted, and as our shared faith grows and changes, so do we (or is it the other way around?). Serving on the UUA Board of Trustees will allow her to be connected to those changes — bearing witness to the beauty of evolution and transformation unfolding before us. Rev. Weatherspoon is excited for what our shared faith has to show us and for the ways that we get to shape our faith, together.
- Barbara de Leeuw - position #2 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
Barbara de Leeuw is honored to be nominated for a second term on the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees. She enjoys working with the Bylaws Renewable Team as well as the Governance Policy and Values Alignment (finance) teams. These and other Board teams aspire to work collaboratively with staff in the positive imagining of the UUA. Barbara is inspired by local UUs, who are sharing our message of Beloved Community and caring for each other so each may thrive.Barbara has been President and Vice President of two Rochester, New York congregations, First Unitarian Church, and First Universalist Church. She has experience in organizational restructuring, including bylaw revisions and rewrites, board policies and best practices, and evaluation. She has also served on membership, nominating, audit, Race Advisory, Race, Racism, and Relationships committees.Barbara’s past community work includes The Community Foundation of Rochester and the 8 County Region (nominating chair), Planned Parenthood of Western New York (treasurer) and YWCA (local president, national nominating) and currently as board member of Geva Theater Centre.Barbara finds joy in the collective work of good governance. She is the current Moderator of First Unitarian Church Rochester New York. She is also a member of “Building for our Future Together” and facilitates a People of Color (POC) Soul Matters group.
- Bill Young - position #3 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
Bill Young (he, him) joined the UUA Board of Trustees as a trustee at General Assembly 2020. He also currently serves as UUA Secretary. A UU since 1981, Young has been a member of three congregations including the UU Society: East in Manchester, CT, the Unitarian Society of Hartford in Hartford, CT, and the UU Meeting of South Berkshire in Housatonic, MA. Young has served in numerous congregation and district lay leadership roles. Most recently, before joining the UUA Board of Trustees, he was a member of the UUA Appointments Committee since 2017. Prior to that, Young was President of the Clara Barton District. He has also been a member of the EqUUal Access leadership circle and board of directors since 2013. He is a member of the UU Addiction Recovery Ministry Team. Areas in which Young has been most directly involved and is especially interested include congregation-level planning and management, disability matters, lay leadership development, and anti-oppression/anti-racist transformation initiatives.
Young is a Connecticut licensed professional counselor (LPC) and national board-certified counselor (NCC). He currently works with a number of nonprofit behavioral health organizations with a focus on clinical and administrative effectiveness, quality, technology, and governance. Young also serves as chairperson of the board of directors of a large Hartford, CT based nonprofit community health center organization, with a focus on mental health and addiction recovery. Originally from Chicago, Young is married to Martha Page. Martha and Bill share their space with two energetic dogs and senior cat. Bill is a person in long-term addiction recovery and active in community recovery work.
- John B. Newhall - position #5 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
John B. Newhall is currently finishing a Master of Divinity degree at Boston University School of Theology. John entered this program after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies and film studies from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Their primary academic focus is on research related to religion in early America. As a life-long Unitarian Universalist, John participated in a great number of the Unitarian Universalist Association programs for youth and young adults. Some of these experiences include serving as Worship Coordinator on Youth Caucus staff and participating in programs like Summer Seminary and Meaning Makers. In college, John attended Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Appleton, Wisconsin and interned at the UUA in the Office of Outreach. They also formed and ran a campus ministry club for Unitarian Universalists and was a member of the search committee hiring the first Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life at Lawrence University. John is currently a member of First Church in Salem, Massachusetts and has served in a variety of functions from Religious Education instructor to Worship Associate and Board member. They are also a member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), Trans Religious Professional Unitarian Universalists Together (TRUUsT), and the Unitarian Universalist Studies Network (UUSN). On the UUA Board, John has served as Vice-Moderator, liaison to the Commission on Social Witness, on the Governance Working Group, and on the moderation team for General Assembly (the ModSquad). John lives in Salem, Massachusetts with two cats (Loki and Steinway), and works as a used bookseller while pursuing their graduate studies.
Commission on Appraisal
- Rev. Carol Thomas Cissell - position #4 (fulfill 2-year term ending at GA 2025)
Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel (CTC) is the Minister of Social Justice & Congregational Development at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA), in Arlington, Virginia. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion and a Master of Science in Nonprofit & Association Management from the University of Maryland, University College. Before joining the UUCA congregation, she served UU congregations (as a Settled and Interim Minister, and in other roles) in Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, Washington, Oklahoma and New Jersey. Rev. CTC is currently the chair of the UUA Commission on Appraisal and serves her colleagues as the treasurer of the Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association (UUMA). CTC is passionate about interfaith activism, seeking justice, crafting exuberant worship, prophetic preaching, travel, and small-batch bourbon. A fan of thrillers and contemporary poetry, she also loves day hikes and live music in small venues (blues, folk, classic rock, and a bit of country). Rev. CTC finds joy in collecting the masterworks of Native American and First Nations Peoples artists, rooting for the Washington Nationals, parenting two amazing adult children, and stealing kisses from her delicious grandsons as often as she can. Here are a few pieces of her writing: Saving Democracy, Words Matter, and An Awful Magnificent Truth.
- Rev. Meg Richardson - position #5 (6-year term ending at GA 2029)
The Rev. Meg Richardson, PhD, is the associate dean of the faculty and associate professor of Unitarian Universalist history at Starr King School for the Ministry. She received a certificate in theology from Manchester College of Oxford University, and is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Harvard Divinity School, and Durham University, where she earned a PhD in theology and church history. Richardson was raised in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Her fifth great-grandfather was a circuit-riding Universalist minister mentioned in Joseph Priestley’s memoirs; she also has long roots in Unitarianism, including ancestors admitted to membership in the First Church in Boston in 1633. Richardson’s pronouns are she/her/hers and she lives on the unceded land of the Miwok in San Ramon, CA, with her husband Paul, a biopolymer physical chemist, their daughter Rebecca, and their rescue dog Opal. Another daughter, Abby, is a graduate student in Theoretical Chemistry in Manchester, UK. Hobbies Richardson pursues, with more enthusiasm than talent, include knitting, volleyball, and Zumba. Richardson has won recognition for her volunteer advocacy for special education in California.
- Dana N. Moore - position #6 (6-year term ending at GA 2029)
When not nurturing her two beautiful children, Dana N. Moore is committed to being a social justice warrior through her ministry work with youth and young adults. Dana is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair and Professional Religious Educator at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit. In her daily work Dana journeys with visionary leaders and business owners helping them to overcome leadership challenges and build strong teams and systems for success. As an M.Div student at Starr King School for the Ministry, Dana is a St. Lawrence, John Buehrens, and Mason Family scholar. She delights in studying feminine leadership and world religion.
- Rev. Monica Dobbins - position #8 (6-year term ending at GA 2029)
Rev. Monica Dobbins (she/they) is the assistant minister of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, Utah. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Rev. Monica had careers in education and management before answering the call to ordained ministry. She lives in downtown Salt Lake with her spouse and teenager, and you can often find her with her nose in a book or her feet on the city sidewalks, though not at the same time. She loves knitting and nerding out about religion.
- Rev. Lucas Hergert - position #9 (fulfill 4-year term ending at GA 2027)
The Rev. Lucas Hergert (he/him) is the Minister of the North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Illinois. He grew up in a Unitarian Universalist congregation and first heard his call to the ministry in high school. Lucas holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion. This is his second ministry, having previously served the Unitarian Universalist Church in Livermore, California. Lucas has also taught ethics at Meadville Lombard Theological School. His interests include yoga, Shakespeare plays, biking, liberation theologies, fantasy novels, interfaith work, and humor. He lives in Deerfield with his husband, Evan.
Commission on Social Witness
- Rev. C. Nancy Reid-McKee - position #1 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
Nancy is an older, white, heterosexual, cis-gender woman who is currently serving as a minister at the Northlake UU Church in Kirkland, Washington. She has been active in justice issues with UUs for years, both as a lay-person and minister. She is a trained Community Organizer (through the Industrial Areas Foundation), was a co-founder and then President of the Arizona State Action Network (UUJAZ), Vice-President of the UU Women's Federation, and has been involved in the Commission on Social Witness for many years. Last year she was the lead author of the Action of Immediate Witness: "We Do Not Consent". Nancy is currently interested in exploring cooperative decision making processes, and how we advance our national justice agenda.
- Dr. Sharon D. Welch - position #2 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
Dr. Sharon D. Welch is a social ethicist and lifelong activist, who has worked within the peace movement and the women’s movement, and is now working with others to address the challenges of systemic racism and rising explicit racial violence and white nationalism. Welch was Provost and Professor of Religion and Society at Meadville Lombard Theological School from 2007-2017, and has held faculty positions at the University of Missouri from 1991-2007 and at Harvard Divinity School from 1982-1991. At Harvard Divinity School, Welch worked with multiracial teams involved in the creation and expansion of Feminist, Womanist, Black, and Liberation theology. At the University of Missouri, she was part of multiracial teams that defined and expanded the scope of multicultural education across the university, and worked with the Religion and the Professions initiative that brought to the schools of business, law, and medicine greater understanding of religious diversity in the communities that they served. She joined the board of Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2001, and then became provost in 2007. As first a board member and then as provost, Welch was part of a team that was committed to preparing students for the artistry of multiracial and crosscultural partnerships and leadership. In this process, she worked with the Engagement Scholarship Consortium in order to understand how to change the Meadville Lombard educational model so that it served socially just, mutually beneficial community engagement. Welch is the author of six books, her most recent being After the Protests Are Heard: Enacting Civic Engagement and Social Transformation (NYU Press, 2019). She is also the author of Communities of Resistance and Solidarity: A Feminist Theology of Liberation (Orbis Books, 1984, Wipf and Stock, 2017), Real Peace, Real Security: The Challenges of Global Citizenship (Fortress, 2008), After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace (Fortress, 2004), and A Feminist Ethic of Risk (Fortress, 1989 and Revised Edition, 2000). She is a contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics (editors George DeMartino and Deirdre McCloskey).
- Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum - position #3 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum was raised UU in the Birmingham (Michigan) Unitarian Church, and currently serves as the minister of the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton in Stow, Massachusetts. She has been in the UU ministry for 21 years, serving congregations in Texas, Michigan, and Massachusetts, as well as doing student, summer, and intern ministry in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York. Having a personal belief that part of the work of ministry is giving back to her faith, her service to our faith has included numerous roles with the UU Ministers Association, including Chapter President, Good Officer, and CENTER (Continuing Education…) Committee Member; a year on the MidAmerican Region Board; and various roles in her ministerial study group, Ohio River Group. She currently serves on the UUMA Nominating Committee and the Southeast UU Summer Institute Board. Cynthia’s work in social justice has been mostly at the local level. While in Michigan, she was deeply involved in passing an LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance and working with other colleagues, and then in the MidAmerica Region, to pass a regional social justice statement which led to the 2016 Action of Immediate Witness “Build Solidarity with Our Muslim Neighbors,” something which had been important to her since her ministry started, right before 9-11. During this process, she learned to greatly appreciate the work of the Commission on Social Witness and the nuance it brings to our social witness work as a faith. In her spare time, she’s an avid Zentangler, board game player, and dystopia reader, all of which came in handy during the pandemic.
- David Stewart (fulfill 5-year term ending at GA 2028) David Stewart completed an MBA from the University of Tulsa with a Finance and Portfolio Management concentration. He worked in manufacturing related to his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering for over ten years and subsequently in academia for a time after completing a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology in 2010. A UU since 2000, he has volunteered in many aspects of the congregations he has been part of, including Youth Advising, Ministerial Selection, Ministerial Intern Evaluation, Endowment, Worship Associates committees, congregational Board of Trustees, and congregational President. He served on the Socially Responsible Investment Committee for the UUA for eight years and concurrently on the UUA Investment Committee for four years. He currently manages his family business of rental real estate and lives in Atlanta with his three sons and wife of 25 years.
- Ben Gabel - position #2 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
In October 2019, Ben Gabel was selected to serve as the lay community minister Co-President for the UU Society for Community Ministries. He is active in community ministry doing community organizing involving racial, LGBTQ, and disability justice. Ben is a past Steering Committee member of DRRUMM (2015-2019). He has served as a member and co-chair of the Journey Towards Wholeness Transformation Committee (2012-2020). Ben is currently serving on the UUA Nominating Committee, Advisory Panel for the Congregational Conflict Engagement Team: Hope for Us, as well as an Advocate for the Safe Congregations. Professionally, Ben currently serves as the Congregational Administrator for the Northwest UU Church in Southfield, MI. He lives with his husband, Bret, and Labrador retrievers, Grover and Copper.
- Tim Atkins - position #3 (fulfill 1-year term ending at GA 2024)
Tim Atkins (he/him/his) serves as the Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration for the First Unitarian Church in Oklahoma City. He has previously served as the Director of Lifespan Religious Education at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, MD and the Morristown (NJ) Unitarian Fellowship. He previously served as a UUA Trustee, as director of Social Media of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, and as a youth advisor and Religious Education teacher at his former home congregation in Atlanta. He spends his spare time writing, playing board games, trying to change the world, and attempting to reason with his cats Teddy and Dorothea. He has served on the UUA Nominating Committee for the past two years in a two-year elected term, and is being nominated for a vacant one-year term in order to stagger the Nominating Committee appropriately.
- Kathy Charles - position #4 (fulfill 2-year term ending at GA 2025)
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Kathy moved to Houston, Texas in 1988. Very soon after arriving in Houston she joined Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church. She was a small business owner for about 35 years. She began volunteering in my congregation immediately and found herself feeling very satisfied with the work. At her local congregation, she served on the Membership Committee, the Religious Education Committee, taught the New UU class for six years, and served two terms as secretary of the Board of Directors and President of the congregation. Kathy enjoyed her volunteer work at the district level serving as the director of the SWUUSI youth camp, SWUUSI Family Camp, and as the chair of the Camps and Conferences Committee. She also served two terms on the Board of our very special landed camp UbarU. In 2009, she was honored to receive the von Stilli award in the Southwestern UU Conference. She is a member of the RCMA (Religious Conference Management Association) and has attended the annual conference. She has attended Leadership School (2007) and several AR/AO/MC trainings. She also served on the General Assembly Planning Committee and completed her term as co-vice chair. She teaches a beginner quilting class twice a month and enjoys working with beginners who are so excited about their craft. After several years as a volunteer, planning events in the SWUUC, she began working in the Southern Region UUA as an event planner in June 2012 and enjoyed the challenge and excitement of a new career. After 10+ years of loving the work for the UUA, Kathy retired in August of 2022 and now enjoys time with her grandchildren, traveling in her RV, and volunteering for her local UU church and local elections. She loves to read, knit, quilt, cook, and plan events, and she looks forward to serving on the Nominating Committee for the UUA where she believes that her relationship building skills will help her in this work.
- Carrie Stewart - position #5 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
As the Owner and Principal of One World Consulting, Carrie has served various communities and organizations in their quest for greater understanding, inclusion, and appreciation of diverse individuals and groups. She brings over three decades of experience in equity, inclusion, and diversity through training, facilitation, coaching, dialogue convening, and leadership development. Additionally, Carrie is an advanced trained Mediator, and works in conflict transformation and community and family engagement to find common ground. As an Intercultural Communication Consultant, she is a knowledge expert on navigating through cultures and for the last seven years has applied this to the Global Mobility Industry supporting relocating employees. A lifelong UU, Carrie has been a child, youth, member, and friend of 13 congregations in 6 districts. She served as a Southwestern UU Conference (SWUUC) and Southern Region Consultant, specializing in anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism, conflict transformation, leadership, Compassionate Communication, and Healthy Congregations, and was awarded the James T. Brown Antiracism Award. Additionally, she served on the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee of the UUA (garnered the President’s Award for Volunteer Service 2021), UU Allies for Racial Equality Steering Committee, SWUUC Board, and was a Dwight Brown Leadership Experience (SWUUC) Staff member for several years. She currently serves as the Chair of the UUA Nominating Committee, the Racial Equity Task Force and Adult Ministries Council of First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and Advisory Council member of the Texas UU Justice Ministry through the First Dallas Social Action Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Smith College, and a master’s in Communication from Rutgers University. Carrie and her spouse, Fred Ditmars, are empty nesters, having raised two, third generation UUs, now a professional artist and medical school student, in Colleyville, Texas, where they enjoy community activism, books, movies, theater, music, hiking, and travel.
- Rev. Zackrie Vinczen - position #6 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
Rev. Zackrie Vinczen (he/him) is the minister of Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church in Washington State. Zackrie holds a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry and Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Western Washington University. Zackrie has served on the Nominating Committee since July 2020 and is running for a second term on the committee. He has found a lot of meaning serving on the NomCom and hopes to continue serving our Association by matching individuals with opportunities to serve our larger faith. In his personal life, Zackrie enjoys improv classes, shape note singing, reading and writing poetry, hanging out with his two dogs (Skagit and Henry), and gardening. Zackrie lives in Suquamish, Washington with his husband, Elliott.
- Rev. Viola Abbitt - position #9 (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
The Rev. Viola Abbitt (she/her) is currently serving as the settled minister at Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Before that, she served as the half-time minister for two Unitarian Universalist congregations in New York State, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie and the First Unitarian Society of Westchester. While a seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School, she served on their President Search Team, and was the ministerial intern at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield in Massachusetts. She currently serves as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Committee on Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression and Multiculturalism, a board member of UU Wellspring, Inc., for whom she co-authored two programs, and Vice President of the Meadville Lombard Alum Society. She previously served on the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rev. Viola was also a contributor to BLUU Notes and the liturgical materials for the Promise and the Practice of Our Faith Campaign. Prior to ministry, Rev. Viola had a career in the legal profession and was the Director of the Office of the Ombudsman in New York State where she managed a state agency division responsible for advocating for the rights of incarcerated youth in the juvenile justice system. Before that, she was a Deputy Bureau Chief in the New York State Attorney General's Office where she supervised the prosecution of cases involving tax fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, and environmental crime. She was also a prosecutor in the Bronx District Attorney's Office in New York. When not engaged in ministry, she enjoys being creative, dancing, traveling, and spending time at the ocean.
- Dick Burkhart - petition candidate for the Nominating Committee (3-year term ending at GA 2026)
Dick is a life-long UU, Ph.D. mathematician, scientist, and citizen activist. He has served the Saltwater UU Church near Seattle, and later the Rainier Valley UU Congregation, in numerous capacities, such as Chair of Social Responsibility, Canvass, and Board. He lives in Seattle and took early retirement in 2002 from Boeing, where he had worked in applied mathematics and scientific computing. His second career became “UU advocate for justice.”He is a long-time board member of UUs for a Just Economic Community, a professional critic of economic theory and practice, and has participated in over 20 General Assemblies. He led the 2014 Congregational Study Action Issue on “Escalating Inequality” and the 2019 Action of Immediate Witness on the “Green New Deal”. He was on the board of Washington UU Voices for Justice for many years and earlier helped lead the PNWD Adult RE Committee.Dick and his wife, Mona Lee, promoted the Earth Charter on their “Bike for Global Democracy” on months-long tandem tours in India, Brazil, Europe, and North America from 2003 to 2006, organizing events at world social forums and other venues. This led to his leadership of the “Coalition for a World Parliament and Global Democracy”, now a non-profit called “Democracy Works.” Since then, he has worked with numerous local groups to advocate for limits-to-growth, peace and justice, tax equity, public transit, transit-oriented development, and affordable housing – especially for the homeless.Dick’s first marriage was Thai-American - from 2 years teaching in Laos. His African friendships include leaders from both Kenya and Somalia. Now he is a community activist in a splendidly multicultural zip code, coming from a family that played a key role in promoting racial justice in nearby Tacoma.Recently Dick has been reading widely, learning how cultural wars and identity politics have become divide and conquer tactics, disrupting our efforts to engage the existential earth crises of climate, ecosystems, natural resources, governance, and equity.
The only elected committee vacancies that do not have a nomination are the two Youth Trustee positions. The Nominating Committee feels that the processes around Youth Trustees need to be clarified as there were no applicants for the position.
Please note the differences in term lengths. Although many of these positions have a maximum term longer than what they are being nominated for, due to the large number of vacancies and how the bylaws mandate different staggered schedules, many of the open positions were to fulfill partially-vacant terms and not full-length terms, so the Nominating Committee adjusted accordingly.
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