Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees & Officers 2018-2019

The Board of Trustees is the primary governing body of the congregation.  The Board is made up of 9 voting members of the congregation who serve three-year terms.  Three members roll off and three members roll on every year.  Trustees are elected by the congregation from a slate presented by the Leadership Development Committee at the Annual Meeting held on the third Sunday in May.  The Board elects its own president.  The Clerk of the Society is elected by the congregation for a one-year term.  The Clerk keeps Board minutes and has additional administrative responsibilities as needed throughout the year.  The Treasurer is appointed by the Board. The Treasurer insures that fiscal policy is followed.

Class of 2019

Patrick Gunn (co-president) – Patrick has been attending First U with his wife Laura and their children since 2006, during which time the congregation has become an important part of his family’s life.  Patrick has volunteered as an RE teacher, was certified and has taught OWL classes for two different age groups, has served a term on the Committee on Ministry, and most recently has been chair of the COM appointed Conflict Management Team to develop and implement a revised Conflict Management Policy for the congregation.  Professionally, Patrick is a managing partner in a private investment firm that focuses on media and entertainment.  He has spent over twenty years in various roles throughout the film and television business, as a producer, studio executive, and manager of content libraries. 

 

Cara Haft (co-president) – Cara is an English teacher at a NYC public middle school. Cara has been coming to First U with her family since 2001, and has found more to love about the community and ways to be a part of its growth each year. Ethan and Charlie, Cara’s two teen aged sons, have grown up in our RE program, participated in the OWL and Coming of Age programs, and are now members of the Youth Group, with Ethan bridging this year. Cara began by volunteering in the RE nursery and classrooms, leading our Passover Seders, and participating in small group ministry. She joined the Worship and Music Committee, which she has chaired for the past two years. She also enjoys occasionally singing with the choir, flipping pancakes for fundraisers, and creating spiritual and social opportunities to deepen our congregation’s connections to one another. 

 

Waciuma Wanjohi – Waciuma has attended First U since moving back to Brooklyn in 2014. He has served as a Sunday School teacher and a Coming of Age mentor. He currently serves on the Adult RE Forward First Team and previously served as a Lay Leader. He grew up in a Presbyterian church for which he served as an elder on the Session. Waciuma has worked as a New York City Teaching Fellow in Harlem, as a teacher at the American School of Bombay, and as a founding teacher of the Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School. He is currently studying Computer Science.

 

Class of 2020

 Dale Ho – Dale has been a member of First Unitarian since April 2016, and is currently serving as a Lay Worship leader this year.  He lives in Prospect Heights with his wife Caroline Sharman and their two children, Madeleine and James.  He’s originally from San Jose, California.  Dale works as a lawyer at the ACLU, where he is the Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project.  He is very happy to have found a spiritual home at First U, and hopes he can be of service to this community as a member of the Board.

 

Laurel Lesio-Eisenstadt – Laurel lives in the Cobble Hill area and is a private school music and dance teacher by profession. She and her husband, Bert, have been attending First U since the spring of 1996 and became a member a few years after that, teaching in the RE program and serving as a member of the RE council. Laurel currently teaches in the OWL program and is a new member of the choir. She raised her now grown children, Amy and Ben, here at First U and is grateful for the community, and for the strong spiritual and ethical home that First U has been to all of them. Laurel would be proud to serve on the board.

 

 Dawn Elane Reed – Dawn Started attending First U in the fall of 2007. She became a member right away and started singing in the choir.  Soon after signing the membership book, Dawn’s son, David, was dedicated in our Sanctuary. Dawn has served on the Religious Education Council, taught regular RE and Owl Classes and attended a Unitarian Universalist Association District Assembly meeting as a Representative for First U. She Co- directed and performed in the Mother Wove the Morning Theater project, was a mentor for the coming of age program and served on the committee on ministries for three years. Dawn is looking forward to putting her faith in action as a Board Member.

 

Class of 2021

Vonda Brunsting - Vonda is the program manager for the Just Transition project at the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before that she was the Director of the Capital Stewardship Program at SEIU. SEIU created the Capital Stewardship Program as a center of excellence for engaging the capital markets and financial institutions in innovative ways. Vonda came to SEIU through Local 615 in Boston, working on the Justice for Janitors Campaign after spending many years as a community organizer in Chicago, New York and Boston with the Industrial Areas Foundation. In addition, she founded the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security and serves on the Board of the Responsible Endowments Coalition. Vonda has been a member of First Unitarian since 2006. She can often be found in the kitchen making and serving soup as part of our Sunday Soup and Sandwich ministry. 

 

John Carroll – John has attended First Unitarian since 2015 with his husband, James. His involvement at First U includes two years of service on the Internship Committee, during which time he helped support and develop our Ministerial Intern. He works as a high school ESL teacher at a public school in Brooklyn. In his free time, John enjoys learning and speaking foreign languages (he is currently working on Arabic), playing the accordion, and spending quality time with his cat, Murray. John is thankful to have found a warm and caring spiritual community here at First Unitarian.

 Sam McKelvie - Sam has been a member of First U for 5 years and has been active in Weaving the Fabric of Diversity, Small Group Ministry, Leadership Development Committee, Forward First, and Beloved Conversations (and jumps in wherever else she’s needed). In her day jobs, Sam has had extensive experience organizing, fundraising, and building teams. Currently, she runs operations at a start-up. In her limited spare time, you can find her at racial justice events, volunteering as a crisis counselor, or hanging out with her dog/soulmate, Ted.

Clerk of the Society

Bruce Wilde – Bruce is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. He joined First U promptly after moving to New York in 1990.  Bruce sings in the choir and serves on the Forward First Governance Team. You’ll also see him working on UniFair and the Auction. He also helped his wife Coco launch First Acoustics, the folk music concert series that began as a part of First U but has since developed into an independent not-for-profit. Bruce and Coco have raised their daughters Vanessa, Vivian and Vera at First U.

 

Treasurer

Lake Wise -  Lake is a longtime member of the Congregation who values the Unitarian tradition of ethical and religious inquiry. He lives in Cobble Hill with his wife and fellow church member, Carolyn Ellis, their children now out of the nest.  Professionally, he is a lawyer and director for an institutional securities broker-dealer in Manhattan.  

 

 

Moderator

Mike Alcoff – Mike has been a member of First Unitarian Congregational Society for the past twenty years. He and his wife, Sara, have been active in the congregation throughout much of that period. Both of their children were raised in First U’s religious education program. Mike has served as President of the Board of Trustees, on the Finance Committee, and on the Committee on Ministry. He is most proud of serving on two search committees that resulted in Ana Levy Lyons becoming our Senior Minister and Meaghan Henry becoming our Direction of Educational Ministries. Mike and Sara have lived in the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn since 1999. He has worked for the NYC Department of Education for the past thirty years, including the past three as a high school Superintendent. 

 

Board of Trustees 2017-2018


Roger Cooper, President
Sean Fischer
Patrick Gunn
Cara Haft
Dale Ho
Laurel Lesio
Lee Pardee
Dawn Elane Reed
Waciuma Wanjohi

Officers
Bruce Wilde, Clerk of the Society
Lake Wise, Treasurer
Alfred Blanco, Warden
Olive Hoogenboom, Historian

Board of Trustees 2016-2017

Roger Cooper
Liz Davis
Sean Fischer
Patrick Gunn
Cara Haft
James Goward
Mary Most 
Kurt Steele
Lee Pardee, President

Officers
Sarah Morgan, Clerk of the Society
Lake Wise, Treasurer
Alfred Blanco, Warden
Olive Hoogenboom, Historian

Board of Trustees 2015-2016

Roger Cooper
Liz Davis
Sean Fischer
James Goward (appointed to fill the position of Jeff Muller)
Elaine Macken
Mary Most
Rachel Michael
Jeff Muller (though Dec, 2015)
Kurt Steele
Lee Pardee, President

Board of Trustees 2014-2015

Michael Alcoff, President
Thomas Check
Devin Judge-Lord
Liz Davis
Elaine Macken
Mary Most
Jeff Muller
Rachel Michael
Kurt Steele

Officers
Christine Lloyd, Clerk of the Society
Mitch Major, Treasurer
Alfred Blanco, Warden
Olive Hoogenboom, Historian

Deacons
Alfred Blanco, Senior Deacon
Thomas Check
Liz Davis
Edwin Lord
Olive Hoogenboom
Constance Newsom
Peter Norling
Lee Pardee
Bruce Wilde
Nancy Wolf