Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees & Officers 2020-2021

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 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.

Interested in serving First Unitarian as a Trustee?  Trustee Job Description – Revised 3/2020.

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 (Immediate Past 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 (Co-President) – 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 (Co-President) – 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.

 

Class of 20-23

Megan Munroe is from northern New York and has been a member of First U for five years. She has worked as a baker, a crime reporter, and an interpreter in a cemetery in the Czech Republic, but these days she is a regular businesswoman working in medical translation services and technology. At First U, she has served on the membership committee, lay worship team, participated in small-group ministry and helped to launch the Bible study covenant group. Baptized at age 30, Megan also dabbles in local Quaker prayer meetings, and typically spends her free time cooking/baking, weightlifting, and watching horror movies, often fighting for couch space among her three cats.

 

 

Andrea Parkinson began attending First Unitarian with her husband in 2010. Since then, she and her family have grown deep roots within the community. For the past several years, Andrea has volunteered as a teacher for religious education classes, eventually joining the Religious Education Committee. Andrea currently works for the NYC DOE as a middle school dance teacher. She is also a dancer/ choreographer, and fitness professional with over two decades of experience bringing movement and wellness to older adults. In her limited free time, Andrea has been learning how to write a novel. She is grateful for the strength of community in First Unitarian, and its commitment towards social justice.

 

 

Matt Robinson started attending First U in 2015 and became a member in 2016. Originally from Indiana, he was raised primarily in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, attending a variety of churches throughout his childhood. After nearly two decades without a spiritual home, Matt is happy to have found one in the First U community. Matt has a background in visual art and carpentry, and he now helps to run the Brooklyn-based Beam Center, a nonprofit organization that combines those interests with youth development. Matt lives in Kensington with his wife, Clare, and their son, Lucas. He is excited about the opportunity to serve First U in a deeper way

 

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

Pat Steele is originally from Colorado and spent a number of years in Illinois as well. Pat has an MBA from Rutgers University and served as the Asst. Superintendent for Business in Mundelein, Illinois District 203. The Steeles started out in Brooklyn. They raised their children in Montclair, New Jersey and were long-time UU members there. After their stint in Chicago, they moved back to Brooklyn in 2004. When Ana came to First U, they came along with her and have been active ever since. Pat has been the Treasurer of virtually every group to which she has belonged , including her co-op in Brooklyn and most recently the Women’s Leadership Alliance at First U. She is the immediate past President of that group. She has also been a member of the Finance Committee at First U.

 

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 Meagan 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. 

 

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

Board of Trustees 2019-2020

Vonda Brunsting
Andrew Bongiorno
John Carroll
Cara Haft – Co-President
Dale Ho
Laurel Lesio-Eisenstadt
Amit Lucia Mehta
Sam McKelvie – Co-President
Colleen Olson
Dawn Elane Reed – Co-President

Officers
Bruce Wilde, Clerk of the Society
Mike Alcoff, Moderator
Lake Wise, Treasurer

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