2023 Nominees for Board, Nominating Committee, and Minister Search Committee
NOMINEES FOR BOARD
Jen Bellot is a resident of Roxborough and joined USG in early 2020. She is the wife of Marissa and mom to Sage, Lior, Isabella & Justice. In her professional life, Jen is the Associate Dean of Academic Practice Integration at Jefferson College of Nursing. Her best days are focused on integrating nursing into the greater community of advocacy, population health and working with vulnerable populations. Jen is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children involved with the foster care system and has experience working with affordable housing and family homelessness in Philadelphia. In her spare time, Jen loves to laugh, cook, read and is strongly in favor of a good nap.
Carla has found a wonderful community and space for doing social justice work at USG since joining in 1991. She taught religious education classes in the past when her kids were young and was a member of the Ministerial Committee. She’s been a member of the Ending Racism Committee for close to 20 years and is currently the Co-chair. Other activities (past and present) include the Covid Task Force, Stewardship Committee, Reparations Committee, Shaping Justice Council, and PIHN (now Family Promise) coordinator. She is a retired pediatrician and public health professor, and currently teaches environmental health at Drexel University’s School of Public Health as an affiliate professor. Her passion is preventing childhood lead poisoning and ensuring children’s environmental health. She is married to Ron Ross and mother of Katie Noble and Anika Ross, who were raised in the church. She is honored to serve on the Board.
Phillip grew up in Arkansas where he worked as an organic farmer, urban gardener, and baker before moving to Philadelphia to attend law school. He and his wife Brandi have lived in East Mt. Airy for 16 years and have three children: Fox (11), Edith (9), and Ash (6). Phillip works for the City of Philadelphia Law Department, negotiating IT contracts for software systems. He enjoys home renovation projects, camping with his family, and hanging out with friends.
NOMINEES FOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Since joining the church in 2006, Norman has been a past member of the USG Board, has sung in the Choir for years, and has served for many years on the Sullivan Assistance Fund Committee. He is an accomplished attorney with extensive experience in immigration and asylum litigation, employment discrimination issues, environmental laws and regulations, and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. He is an active citizen in the wider community as a Judge of Elections in Ward 9 District 9 for 14 years, a member of the Weavers Way Board, as well as a current Board member of the Life after Trauma Organization. He created an Affordable Housing Program in Southwest Philadelphia. His love of music has led to more than just membership in the USG Choir: he is a member of the Temple University Night Owls Community Band, as well as the Penn Flutes of the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Community Mass Choir, and Jazzlab.
Craig is a lifelong Unitarian. He was dedicated, married in and served on the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair in New Jersey. He was a member of that congregation’s Undoing Racism Committee and participated in anti-racism trainings.
Craig received a bachelor’s degree from U. Mass. Lowell in liberal arts with a concentration in music. He worked for many years as a portrait photographer before going back to school to earn a M.Ed. from The College of William and Mary. He is currently in his 16th year as a K-6 school counselor in the Council Rock School District. Craig serves on two DEI committees for the district as well as the district’s safety committee. He is also a union rep.
Craig and his family joined USG in 2007 after they moved to the area from Virginia. He co-taught religious education classes for several years, including co-teaching “Neighboring Faiths” twice, and served on the Ending Racism Committee. Craig was honored to have served on the Board of USG from 2013-2016. He stepped back from participating in USG activities during the pandemic and is now looking forward to getting involved once again.
Linda was born in Washington DC during the Eisenhower administration. Her family lived in Washington in the mid-1950’s where her father worked for the federal government, which he believed, with his help, could reorganize the country physically to make good places for everyone to live. Her mother, on the other hand, came out of an immigrant family in the Mid-West whose life revolved around the church. Growing up, Linda attended services at a series of Episcopal churches in Chicago and Baltimore. Linda says that the two ways of seeing the world presented by her parents — the rational and the mystical — are so inherent in her own makeup that it is only recently that she has started to appreciate them as gifts. Undoubtedly, she says, it was this rich combination of influences that led to her choice of architecture as a life’s work. Linda started attending Sunday services at USG in 2003 and signed the book in 2004, sixteen years after marrying her husband, Tom Purdy, here. She entered fully into the life of USG and feels she has gotten much more than she gave in terms of new perspectives and treasured friendships. Linda started with committees on Membership, Adult Spiritual Development and Building + Grounds, and moved on to the Strategic Planning and Master Plan Implementation committees, the Ministries and Program Council and the Board of Trustees from 2010 through 2015. Having lost touch during the pandemic, she is pleased to move more actively back into the life of USG.
Mary Kalyna has been an activist for justice and human rights for most of her life. She was born in upstate New York, where her parents had migrated as Ukrainian refugees displaced by World War II. Mary attended Cornell University on scholarship, then moved to Philadelphia and worked as a social worker in child welfare, observing firsthand the destructive impact of racism, sexism and poverty in the lives of women and children. Mary worked in nonprofit advocacy organizations in Philadelphia while getting a Master’s Degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is recognized as an activist and spokesperson in the Philadelphia Ukrainian community. Mary began attending USG in 2011 and joined in 2013, glad to find a spiritual home compatible with her values. She was a member of the USG Choir for 10 years and has taught in the “Breathe” meditation program. Mary is coordinator of the “Black Lives Matter” Vigil and the “We Stand with Ukraine” Vigil at USG. She is also one of USG’s representatives to the POWER Interfaith Coalition, where she works with the Live Free Campaign on public safety and criminal justice reform.
Nominees for Minister Search Committee
From Susan: This [minister search] is such a decisive effort for a congregation I know and love and have served for 20 years. I would like to help. I have worked in many leadership positions–Board, Program, Annual Dinner, Archives, and others. I feel I know the church at many levels. I’ve also researched this church’s history (for the Unitariana Collection, for the service commemorating members who supported the Voting Rights Amendment in 1920, for its stained glass). Comments: Susan brings a multi-faceted perspective and experience. I commits to reading the results of research that has been developed by current committees and listening to congregational demands and concerns at periodic meetings during the search process.
Carolyn T. Cotton
I have had the privilege of serving the USG community in variety of capacities. Currently active on Buildings & Grounds, Auction Committee, Archives Committee and staff Rental Coordinator. Past activities include board membership twice and President of the Board of Trustees. My daughters grew up at USG. We are a strong community and I look forward to the future. In private life, I am a retired realtor and an artist.
Dennis Brunn has previously served as a member of the Nominating Committee, as a USG Board member, as chair of Social Action, as a member of the Ministry Program Council, and as chair of the 2007 Strategic Plan Committee. He recently retired from his position as Director of UUPLAN. He has been a USG member since 1975.
Sam Stormont – Sam began attending USG in 1993 when his children were young and became a member in 1997. He was an RE (now CSD) teacher for several years and served as RE chair. He also has served on the Board multiple times, including as Board Secretary. He has been a member of the Nominating committee. In addition, he has served as Service Auction co-chair.
Rick Rodes has been attending USG since 2009 and became a Member of USG along with his wife, Judy, in 2012. Several years ago they joined the choir. Additionally, since his retirement in 2012, Rick has participated on several church committees and is presently active on the Stewardship committee.
Emily Joy Goldberg