Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees & Officers 2019-2020

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 officers.  The Clerk of the Society is elected by the congregation for a one-year renewable term.  The Clerk keeps Board minutes and has additional administrative responsibilities as needed throughout the year. The Moderator of the congregation presides at congregational meetings and insures that meetings are run according to the rules set forth.  The Moderator is elected by the congregation for a one-year renewable term. The Treasurer is appointed by the Board. The Treasurer works with the board and the finance committee to insure that fiscal policy is followed.

 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 (Co-President) – 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 (Co-President) - 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.

 

 

Class of 2022

Andrew Bongiorno  - Andrew was born in Brooklyn and raised Catholic, left the Church after confirmation and wandered the wilderness without a spiritual home until his soon-to-be-wife Becky Huffman introduced him to FUUB in 2006.   Andrew has served on the Finance Council and Weaving the Fabric of Diversity, has been a lay worship leader, occasional usher and frequent member of the cleanup crew at Unifair.  His day job is commercial loan officer at a bank in Midtown Manhattan and his most important job is father to his two beautiful children Daniel and Lily.  Andrew can be found reading non-fiction books, watching BBC nature documentaries and trying to learn some Spanish in his spare time. 

 

 

Amit Mehta – Amit was born in upstate New York to Indian immigrants who raised him Hindu. He grew up from the age of seven in the suburbs of Houston, TX. After a period of atheism, today he identifies loosely-spiritual Hindu-UU. Amit trained as a scientist, earned his PhD in Biophysics, and now works in managing machine learning efforts in banking. He commutes to work in midtown Manhattan on inline skates. Amit and his wife Marci live in Brooklyn with their mischievous twin daughters Artemis and Aranyani, now toddlers whose naming ceremony, which included Hindu and Unitarian Universalist rituals was held at First Unitarian Brooklyn, their family’s spiritual home. Amit is proud to be one of this year’s lay worship leaders.

 

Colleen Olson – Moving to Brooklyn in 2008 to be an active part in their grandchildren’s lives, Colleen and her husband, Dwight, have lived in ND, WY, OK and OH. Each location included a different religious affiliation and quest to learn and connect. She and Dwight have two sons and 4 grandchildren. Colleen has an MS degree in Child Development and spent her professional life working with children, families and teachers. At First U she joined the Woman’s Alliance book group and leadership board to promote the unique contributions and challenges of women. She coordinated the Women’s Film Series for two years connecting the series with the women’s studies/media department at St. Francis College. Since joining as a society member in 2015 she has helped with religious education, Phoenix Rising, Immigrant Solidarity and recently has focused on activism related to climate change.

 

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 2018-2019

Vonda Brunsting
John Carroll
Patrick Gunn – Co-President
Cara Haft – Co-President
Dale Ho
Laurel Lesio-Eisenstadt
Sam McKelvie
Dawn Elane Reed
Waciuma Wanjohi

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

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
Mike Alcoff, Moderator
Lake Wise, Treasurer
Alfred Blanco, Warden
Olive Hoogenboom, Historian

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
Robert Bero
Thomas Check
Liz Davis
Edwin Lord
Olive Hoogenboom
Constance Newsom
Lee Pardee
Bruce Wilde
Nancy Wolf