First Universalist Church of Minneapolis is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees. The Board meets on the third Thursday of each month except July. Board meeting materials can be found here.
Additional documents and information related to church governance, such as annual reports and church finances, can be found on the Church Governance page.
Contact the Board: firstname.lastname@example.org
2017–2018 Board of Trustees
Eric has been a member of First Universalist since 1994. He previously served two terms on the First Universalist Foundation Board and chaired that Board for four of those years. He has served on the Stewardship Committee, the Pledge Team, the Internship Committees for Ruth MacKenzie and Laura Smidzik, and has been a regular Habitat for Humanity volunteer. After dedicating a significant amount of volunteer time over the past four years as an officer of the Hennepin County Bar Association, Eric has enjoyed re-engaging with the leadership team at First Universalist. He joined the Board of Trustees in the 2014-2015 church year. For the past seven years, Eric has operated a solo law practice devoted to representing lawyers regarding legal ethics issues. Eric credits his Unitarian Universalist faith for guiding his work with his clients. Prior to opening his own law firm, Eric helped implement the settlement of a class action lawsuit by black farmers against the US Department of Agriculture and worked as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. Eric is married to Katie Oberle. They have two daughters in college. Emma goes to Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, and Claudia attends Emory University in Atlanta.
Richard joined the Board of Trustees in the 2014-2015 church year. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, he moved to Minneapolis to attend Augsburg College. He has worked as a social worker at Hennepin County for over 35 years. Richard and his wife, Kayci Rush, and son, Zo Spratt, have been attending First Universalist since 2012. Shortly after visiting First Universalist, Richard found himself joining a Circle and he has never looked back. He has served as a Worship Associate and then became active with the Racial Justice leadership team. After completing the first round of training for Racial Justice, Richard joined First Universalist in December 2013. Richard has been a participant in the ‘People of Color Circle’ and a Racial Justice Circle, in addition to completing the Racial Justice Train the Trainer series. Throughout his career, Richard has worked to develop community capacity in North Minneapolis and now at Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. He is looking forward to his continued work on Racial Justice and hopes to work with the Senior High youth. Richard looks forward to bringing his life experience to his work as a Trustee while continuing to learn more about our church community.
Dick and his wife, Joan, have been members of First Universalist since 1975. They raised their three children in the church. He served as a Foundation board member in the 1980s and more recently as a leader of the Day of Service project at Tubman for three years, a member of the Cummins Internship fundraising group and as facilitator for the 2002 long-range planning. He retired after thirty-four years as senior vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota; one of his responsibilities included serving as chief compliance officer and staffing the board governance committee. After retirement he served as interim president of his alma mater, Beloit College, and continues as a member of its board of trustees. He has served on non-profit boards including the American Red Cross national board of governors, the YMCA of Greater St. Paul general board and the boards of Tubman, Walk-in Counseling and the Minnesota State Community Colleges. On these boards he frequently served as chair or vice-chair, and has extensive experience on governance and audit committees. Dick believes he can serve the church as a member of the board of trustees through his financial and governance expertise as well as a commitment to teamwork and consensus building.
Christa Anders and her partner, Tom MacLeod, joined First Universalist in 1996 when they were expecting their first child and looking for a faith community in which to nurture their young family. Over the years, Christa has served the church in a variety of roles—many of them involving Religious Education—including multiple years teaching RE; serving on the RE Council and the All Church Council as the RE Council rep (pre-Policy Governance days); co-leading the RE-Vision discernment in 2001–2002; being part of the hiring committee for the director of Religious Education in 2004; and buying all the food for the RE bike trip for three years. By the third year, she figured out that the kids really did not like all the vegetables she thought they should be eating. She was member of the Pledge Team for two years, starting in 2009 and working with then newly-arrived minister Justin Schroeder. Most recently, she enjoys serving on a Welcome Team. In her professional life, she is a partner in a small public policy consulting firm focused on improving the lives of low-income children and families in the Twin Cities. She is trained as an attorney and policy analyst and has experience working with nonprofits and government organizations. She and Tom have raised their three sons at First Universalist. Christa is grateful for the many ways the church has nurtured her family over the years and is passionate about ensuring ongoing opportunities for all families.
Bryana French has been a member of First Universalist since May of 2015, and serves on the Racial Justice Leadership Team. She is an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas’ Graduate School of Professional Psychology where she specializes in multicultural counseling and social justice psychology. A native of Minneapolis, returned to the Twin Cities after 11 years, leaving for graduate school at the University of Illinois’ and then working in Maryland and Missouri. She considers herself a social justice educator, having trained mental health professionals and consulted locally and nationally about diversity, inclusion, and equity. She brings this lens and her experience as a leader to the Board of Trustees and is excited about First Universalist’s commitment to racial justice.
Cindy and her husband, Wendell, joined First Universalist in 2005. Cindy joined the Board of Trustees in the 2013-14 church year and has served on both the Board Governance and Finance Committees and as Board President. She served on the Faithful Action Leadership Team during the 2014-15 church year and leads our faith in action work and partnership with Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA). Cindy chaired the Nominating Committee from 2009–2013, served on the Search Committee that recommended we call Reverend Justin Schroeder, and served as a group facilitator for Mission Possible and Strategic Planning. She also participates in Circle Suppers, Wellspring, and small groups. Cindy is a psychologist who retired in 2013 after 31 years of service at Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a global leadership solutions consulting firm. At PDI, Cindy held several executive leadership positions including President. Her consulting practice at PDI focused on leadership assessment and development, executive coaching, and board effectiveness. Cindy currently serves on the Board of a financial services company, and previously served on the Board of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Cindy and Wendell enjoy film and arts events, gardening, biking and travel, along with family activities, frequently involving their dear nieces.
Lillie began visiting First Universalist Church in 1990. Last spring she decided to become a member. Lillie has been an educator for 35 years. She has taught first graders to seniors in high school. After attending college in Pennsylvania she taught in the inner city of Milwaukee, southern California, Chicago and Tokyo. Returning to Minneapolis, she worked as a teacher for the Minneapolis district for 10 years. After receiving her administrative license she became a principal in Minneapolis and has served in that role for 15 years. Lillie is committed to social justice issues. She is excited about the work the church is doing in the area of social justice. Lilllie has been a SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Trainer. She is on the Executive Board of MESPA (MN Elementary School Principals’ Association) and is the Secretary of the Principals’ Forum. She is a member of the RJLT (Racial Justice Leadership Team). As an administrator, Lillie understands governance. Lillie lives in Minneapolis with her spouse Catherine. They have two daughters, Jillian, a senior in college, and Maria, a senior in high school. She is happy to be a member of this life-giving spiritual community.
Caitlin Rogers has always looked up to her older sister, Laura Johansson. So when Laura started attending First Universalist some fifteen years ago, Caitlin tagged along. After a decade of adventures in Richmond, Indiana (Earlham College), Chicago, and New Zealand, Caitlin was delighted to return to this community five years ago with partner Conrad Carlozzi. They live near Powderhorn Park with their dog, Winfield. Caitlin works as the Productions Director of Next Day Animations. Caitlin is passionate about the great things happening at church. She has served as a greeter, small group facilitator, made pledge thank you calls, and on the Membership Committee. She is a mentor for Coming of Age and last year completed the 24-Hour Racial Justice training.
Karen was elected to the Board of Trustees in the 2012-13 church year and served on the Governance Committee. She joined First Universalist in 1977 and has been a member for most of her adult life. She has served First Universalist in many different capacities, including as an RE teacher, previous Board of Trustees member, Unity Summer and Youth Cultural Exchange volunteer, congregational President, and as a member of committees on ministry, personnel and finance. Most recently she co-chaired the congregation’s Sesquicentennial celebration. Karin has also served as a Prairie Star District/UUA Compensation Consultant and as a member of the Twin Cities President’s Roundtable and the Midwest Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy. Karin practiced law for over 30 years, most recently with the law firm of Briggs and Morgan. She has worked with the boards and staff of several non-profit clients on strategic and policy issues in her practice and as a volunteer. Karin and her husband Mike have 4 children and 6 grandchildren; her daughter serves a UU church in Massachusetts. Karin ‘s interest in the Board of Trustees is grounded in her desire to continue to give, receive and grow at First Universalist as our Strategic Plan is defined and implemented. She brings keen problem solving skills and a strategic perspective to the Trustee role along with her wealth of experience.