Our Staff

Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, Senior Minister

ana@fuub.org, 718-624-5466 to make an appointment

Rev. Ana is Senior Minister at First Unitarian. She brings to her ministry a passion for social and environmental justice and a belief in the power of liberal religion to transform our world. She also brings a love of creative, embodied, music-centered worship from a previous life as a musician. More

Meagan Henry, Director of Education & Family Ministry

meagan@fuub.org, 718-624-5466 X113

Meagan has two decades of experience in Religious Education.  She studied World Religions in college and has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of TN, Knoxville. She was an adjunct professor at UTK for three years after graduation and taught several classes on Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. While attending the University and teaching religion classes, she served as the part-time Youth Ministry Coordinator at the Tennessee Valley UU Church. Meagan and her husband, James, were married at TVUUC and her daughter, Starling, grew up in the RE program. In July of 2006, Meagan and James moved to Alexandria, VA where she served as the Director of Religious Education (DRE) at the Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church for 6 years. Following that, she served as the DRE at All Souls Unitarian in Washington, DC for 15 months before moving to Brooklyn. More

Adam Podd, Director of Music

adam@fuub.org

Adam is a Vermont-bred, Brooklyn-based music director, pianist, organist, bassist, composer and arranger. His first connection to church music started at age eleven, when he played for a Christmas Eve service in the sleepy town of Holland, VT.

He has worked with some of the top artists and organizations in his field including The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, New York Pops, Houston Symphony, Idina Menzel, Megan Hilty, Darlene Love, James Monroe Iglehart, Frankie Moreno, Stephen Kellogg, Milton Delugg, Macy’s Entertainment and The Young People’s Chorus of New York City in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Symphony Space, New World Stages, and others.

As a pianist, Adam specializes in blues, jazz, and gospel. He plays every Sunday night at the Rum House here in NYC with his twin brother Matt, and their jazz and blues band Mimi and the Podd Brothers. He also plays keys, bass and music directs for singer/songwriter Dan Mills. 

Adam studied classical and jazz piano, organ, orchestration, conducting, and music production at The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, CT where he received his Bachelors of Music. 

Click here to watch videos of Adam’s work with the choir and musicians here at First U. Click here to read more about Adam’s approach to music in worship.

Garnett Losak, Director of Congregational Life

garnett@fuub.org, 718-624-5466 x105

Garnett has been a member of First U for more than a quarter of a century.  She raised her now grown children, Katie and Joseph Falzetta, in our Sunday school, and has served the congregation as a volunteer in more ways than she can remember.  Garnett is here to help newcomers find their way.  She loves hearing the many stories that our visitors bring with them.  Nothing makes her happier than when a newcomer connects deeply with our congregation and becomes a voting member.  Garnett Lives in Bay Ridge with her dog, McKenzie.

Christopher Johnson, Director of Facilities

chris@fuub.org, 631-816-4412

Chris Grew up in Nassau Country and has a grown daughter.  He was raised in an 1870’s Gothic Revival Episcopal church and has a deep respect for tradition and great affection for historic structures. He is a former merchant marine and boat captain.  Before coming to First Unitarian, he worked as a licensed contractor and estate caretaker.  Chris is a vibrational healer in private practice as a culmination of years of experiential spiritual study and initiation in both Christian and non-Christian based faiths.

Karen Madrone, Ministerial Intern

intern@fuub.org

Karen is a third-year student at Union Theological Seminary. She has completed one Clinical Pastoral Education unit (Chaplaincy) at Mount Sinai and a second unit through the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has also completed a field ed placement at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco.

Karen loves living in New York City with her wife, Michelle, and their dog, Letty. They moved here from Greensboro, North Carolina in August 2016 and are making the most of their time in the city.

In Greensboro, Karen was an active member of her home congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro. She served in lay leadership roles as a Religious Education teacher, choir member, and board president. Through serving in leadership, she felt called to serve the larger Unitarian Universalist movement and is thrilled to be serving as the ministerial intern at FUUB. Karen will be with us full time from August 2018 through June 2019.

Sara Gush, Women’s Leadership Alliance Seminarian

Seminarian@fuub.org

Sara will be working alongside Meagan Henry, Director of Education and Family Ministry, throughout the 2018-19 congregational year. She is a student at Union Theological Seminary and an aspirant to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry.

Sara is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina; where she worked in the public school system and served her home congregation as the Religious Education Assistant before coming to New York. She runs a UU summer camp in rural North Carolina and holds a deep commitment to children and youth ministry.

Sara lives in Manhattan with her sister, Savanna, and one of their family’s dogs, Barnaby. She is an avid consumer of fiction and coffee and has an appreciation for good pens. She loves games and looks forward to teaching and learning a few this year!

Nicole Tuszynski, Ceremonies Coordinator

nicole@fuub.org, 718-404-2348

Nicole comes to First Unitarian with a passion for event planning!  With over five years of professional planning experience for a renowned global legal advocacy organization, she looks forward to combining her expertise in event design and implementation with the creativity and joy inherent in weddings and dedication ceremonies.  Nicole has an MA from New York University in Human Rights Studies and a BA in Political Science from Stonehill College.  When she’s not at First U, you will find Nicole working on her latest DIY project or jogging laps around McCarren park with her pomeranian, Emmit.

Wendy Russell, Office Manager/Bookkeeper

office@fuub.org  718-624-5466 x108

 

Wendy is a working singer, songwriter, voice teacher, organizer, and bookkeeper. She is also a part time innkeeper who supports her mother’s B & B in the Berkshires on summer weekends.

In Wendy’s words, “I am a native New Yorker. I have 2 amazing daughters and 2 delicious grandchildren. One of my favorite places to have worked was Brooklyn Botanic Garden; walking through the gardens every day was heavenly and life affirming. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the First Unitarian Congregational Society.”

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  1. Shari Halliday-Quan will be our Intern Minister starting in September

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