2018-2019 Board of Trustees

Our congregation is self-governing. The overall management of congregational activities is supervised by an elected board of trustees acting in accordance with established bylaws. The board delegates management of specific activities to lay leaders, committees or other groups. Ministers are chosen by the congregation. Ultimate authority resides in the members of the congregation.

Board meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month. They begin at 6:30 PM in the Board Room, and are open to all.  

 

Meet The Board:

NATALIE BRUNDRED, PRESIDENT

Natalie Brundred

Now a coach working with adults with ADHD, I have been a life coach, a hypnotherapist and a Voice Dialogue practitioner for 12 years, working with people both 1-on-1 and in groups.  Prior to opening my own practice, for 25 years I was a staff member and seminar and program leader at Landmark Education.  

Though I was born in Texas, I spent my entire life in the eastern half of the United States.  I moved to Santa Rosa, found Unitarian Universalism and joined our congregation in 2011.  Now, I am a Music Coordinator and a service musician, as well as singing in the choir.  In the past, I’ve been on the Membership Team, the Stewardship Team and the Music Committee.  And I LOVE being your board President!

 


SEAN FREESE, VICE PRESIDENT

I was born and raised in Southern California, but I’ve also lived in Berkeley, New York City and New Orleans.  I was raised in the Science of Mind (now the Center for Spiritual Living) tradition as a child and young adults, but was drawn in by the focus on social justice work of Unitarian Universalism while living in New Orleans.  My wife and I moved to Sonoma County in 2011, and we have two young children.

I am the director of Technology at Sonoma Academy, where I also enjoy being the adviser for the Queer-Straight Alliance.  I am passionate about working with youth, and am glad to be a voice for families at UUCSR.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading the New Yorker, riding my bide and playing with my kids.

 


MICHAEL RANDOLPH, TREASURER 

After moving to Sonoma County in 1991, I became a member of UU when we were at our old Stony Point address. I retired last year following a 30+ career as a fee-only financial planner. I’m currently on the Finance and Endowment Committees, so becoming treasurer seemed like a logical fit.

 I have been actively involved in Sonoma County, as past president and treasurer of the Council on Aging as well as Board Emeritus and former treasurer of the Sonoma County Museum. I enjoy travel, music, art and walking in our beautiful county. I’ve recently taken up drawing and dabble in photography. Time to begin using the other side of the brain!

 


Cathie Wiese, CORPORATE SECRETARY

I am happily retired now from a career as a Special Education teacher, but find myself busier than ever following my passions, including music, hiking, working on my Spanish fluency and volunteering as an ESL teacher.  And, of course, being an involved member of UUCSR is right up at the top!

I first visited the UU Fellowship of Sonoma County (as we were called back then) in 1992 with my 2-year old son in tow.  I had moved recently from Long Beach, and it was time to connect and find a spiritual home for myself and my child.  I immediately felt welcomed.  The sermons were inspiring and challenging, and the RE program gave my son a place to explore religious ideas.  Soon, I found myself knee-deep in the life of the congregation:  Women Together, the Service Auction, Thanksgiving potlucks, teaching RE, and a long and fulfilling tenure as a Worship Associate.

I am amazed and filled with pride at how we have grown and who we are now.  I have no doubt that our future will be no less amazing.


GRETCHEN PARADIS

I’ve been a member of UUCSR for almost 20 years, joining just before our move to downtown.  In the years that have followed, I have enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful folks in the myriad activities our congregation has provided.  I’ve served as head of the Welcome Table team, been a TIE facilitator, am co-leading our hiking group, and also work in the office on the order of service announcements and calendar insert.  It’s a great honor now to contribute by serving on the board.    

 

 

 


SARA JONES

Born in Memphis TN, I came to Sonoma County in 1977. With an MFT license, I have worked as a psychotherapist for over 20 years. For 13 of those years I also worked at The Family Connection program leading teams of volunteers who mentored homeless families. In 2012, I was 59 when that program closed and I was laid off. That closure, along with the ability to start receiving SS widow’s benefits at age 60, allowed me to retire, and opened the door for me to join UUCSR.

Since I had lots of time and a need to  contribute, I immediately jumped fully into congregation life. I quickly recognized that I had found my spiritual home. I’ve enjoyed my many involvements, and joining the Board seems like an exciting next step in learning more about our congregation and serving my spiritual family.

 

 


GRETCHEN VAP

I was born in Boston and grew up in Pasadena. I first joined a UU congregation at age 27 in Costa Mesa, Ca. Not so active as a UU until retirement from a demanding career as Nurse, and later earned an Master’s Degree and became a Nurse Practitioner. I am a mother of 4, grandma to 8 (plus 6 by marriage) and great-grandma of 3. I’ve lived in Sonoma County since 1977. I joined UUCSR in ’06.

Most recently I chaired the Saturday Breakfast for our Neighbors Program for several years. Also I’ve been active in many aspects of the Membership Team (Welcome Table, Ushering, Getting to Know UU, & Meet the Minister). I love travel, reading, friends, and being out-of-doors. I look forward to serving our growing congregation as a board member.

 


Joe Como

I have been a member of UUCSR since the early 1990s.  Over the last 25 years, I have participated in various supportive roles to help develop our congregation and its physical space, including work for various building maintenance and operations committees, religious education, Worship Associates, and past Board of Trustee membership.  My wife Lucia and I have enjoyed raising our three daughters within the nurturing environment of UUCSR to become the socially responsible and caring adults they are today.

Although mostly retired now, I have worked as a public interest attorney, representing the interests of energy utility customers, and disadvantaged communities in environmental justice disputes.  I currently serve as a member of the Sonoma Clean Power Community Advisory Committee and as an advisor to the Center for Climate Protection in Santa Rosa.  I also have a degree in environmental engineering and prior to my years as an attorney, I had a long career restoring environmentally damaged properties.   

Although I was born and raised in New York State, I have spent most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area.  And I’ve gotten back to playing tuba, something I hadn’t done since I graduating from high school!

 


Karen Simmons

It turns out I’ve always been a Unitarian Universalist!  I just didn’t realize there was a religion that fit my way of thinking until I went, kicking and screaming, to my first UU service in 2003.  Wow!  Open-minded, accepting and loving people all under one roof.  Where had this been my whole life?  I was hooked!

At this point, I am retired from the work world.  When I was working, I did quite a few different things.  I enjoyed and was most drawn to my landscaping business and teaching art.

I’m so happy to be able to serve on the board of this wonderful community.  I look forward to keeping the open-minded and loving spirit flowing in our halls, out our doors, and into our world.

 


JOHN JAFFRAY 

My wife Mary Louise and I joined UUCSR in January 2007. I’ve been very involved with keeping our church running as a member of the Operations Team, Maintenance Chair. I co-ordinate the monthly Saturday Work Parties, volunteer in the office, and am on the Advocates for Social Justice Committee.

 

 

 

 

 


SUSAN THOLLAUG, RECORDING SECRETARY