Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees & Officers 2021-2022

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 2022 

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.

Carolyn Ellis has been an active member of the Congregation for over twenty years, serving in various capacities, including President of the Board and head of the Finance Committee.  Currently, she is a member of the Committee on Ministry and the group renegotiating the shared space agreement with Imagine, the church’s long-time tenant.  When she had a day job, she was a lawyer with the NYS Attorney General’s Office.  She is looking forward to the reopening of the Sanctuary on Sundays for congregational worship and an end to the languishing that afflicts so many of us.  On the bright side, over the last year, she has spent wonderful time with her children and grandchildren who inspire her to work for a better future for our world.  Carolyn is finishing the term of Andrew Bongiorno.

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 (C0-President) 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

 

Class of 21-24

Mary Huhn (Co-President) was raised a Unitarian, having attended the Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, Pa., with her mother. After a gap of several decades from being a member of a congregation, she discovered the joys of First Unitarian, where she has made many friends, worked at UniFairs and auctions, and participated in several discussion groups, such as “Walking and Talking with God,” a history of UU with Ethan Loewi and a discussion of “No Other Gods,” as well as one about Christian Unitarian Universalists with Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason. She is now facilitating her first small group on “Soul Matters.”.  Mary has worked to make the world better — engaging in turn out the vote, participating in climate-change marches, and joining groups such as Weaving Social Justice. She is a somewhat retired journalist who spent most of the last year in the Catskills with her husband and teenage son, but returned to Brooklyn in the early spring, full of hope. Mary is the president of the PTA at her son’s middle school as well as president of Brooklyn Alliance of Neighborhood Gardens. She has experience with being on an executive board, budgets, and working with community members. 

Judith Sedaitis joined the congregation in 2017 a few weeks after Trump’s election, looking for a place of solace and solidarity. She wrestled with the ways in which the UU tradition departs from the more orthodox Christian teachings so important to her and her ethnic enclave in Chicago. Her parents’ families fled the Soviet invasion of the Baltic during WWII and their Protestant church was a lynch pin for their life in the US.  Judith formally joined as a member two years later in the fall of 2019. She has since been an active in our Membership Committee and in Weaving Social Justice, recently helping to lead the effort getting First Unitarian’s support for Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP). She is currently a mentor to a COA youth and has also worked on UUA campaign efforts last fall and with our own congregation’s phonebank to Florida. An avid participant in our adult RE program, Judith led a book discussion in the Sacred Studies Program, and is a member of an ongoing support group meeting monthly.  She teaches sociology at City Tech and lives in Brooklyn with her spouse and two cats.

Jay Sheth began attending First Unitarian in November 2016, when he and his wife Andrea were searching for a new spiritual home. At First Unitarian, Jay has contributed to the efforts of the Green Team, Coming of Age, the Immigrant Solidarity Committee and Weaving Social Justice. He has spent his professional career as a software engineer and, more recently in leading the protection of healthcare data.  He has volunteered as a co-op board member and values the insights he gained from that experience. Jay is an avid gardener (in search of a garden!) and enjoys documenting the wonders of nature as part of the iNaturalist community. One of his majors in college was International Business, and he maintains an active interest in sustainable investing. One of Jay’s favorite things is cooking lentil soup for the congregation. Jay looks forward to the opportunity to serve as a Trustee at First Unitarian and is committed to investing his efforts and experiences in this service.

Clerk of the Society

Elees Woods – was raised a Congregationalist but became a Unitarian 40 years ago.  I have been attending First U for 6 years; becoming a member 2 1/2 years ago.  She has volunteered at Uni-Fair and the spring auction and dinner  and participated in the Beloved Conversations, enjoyed the congregational Thanksgiving dinners, and loved being an usher.  Elees served as a cottage meeting host during this year’s Stewardship Campaign and is working as a canvasser for the Capital Fund Campaign. 

 

TreasurerPat 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 2020-2021

Vonda Brunsting
Andrew Bongiorno (resigned mid-year)
John Carroll
Sam McKelvie
Amit Lucia Mehta(Co-President)
Megan Monroe
Colleen Olson (Co-President)
Andrea Parkinson
Matt Robinson

Board of Trustees 2019-2020

Vonda Brunsting
Andrew Bongiorno
John Carroll
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