Board of Trustees
Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees. Board members are elected each year for three-year terms in office and assume specific responsibilities for the duration of their terms. The Senior Minister, Minister of Faith Development, Director of Operations and Director of Membership and Engagement serve as ex officio members of the Board.
Board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8pm at Unity Temple Community Center (the administrative office at 1019 South Blvd., Oak Park). NOTE: Until further notice all meetings are held virtually. The Board can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com. The president of the Board of Trustees can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Meeting Agendas and Notes
2021 Board Members
2020 Meeting Agendas and Notes
2020 Board Members
Aisha Ellis (she/her)
I’m a mother, music maker, and animal lover. I was born in Iowa and moved to Chicago to become a teacher. I’ve always worked with children and spent ten years teaching in North Lawndale. After staying home to care for two boys for about six years, I now teach at a Reform Jewish preschool. My passions include canning, camping in our 20-foot RV, Weimaraners, oceans, and advocating for important issues and people. I’m a member of the fabulous Unity Temple Choir, the Worship Committee, and I also write cards to those who share during Holding Each Other in our Hearts, among other things. I live in Chicago with my wife Lori, our two spirited boys Henry and Abram and our two dogs. Our family joined Unity Temple in 2007. You probably didn’t know that I spent a year at a boarding school in the Himalayan Mountains in India, with students from 38 different countries. I love scuba diving and have dived over 100 feet, but have only seen sharks a couple times.
Ed McDevitt (he/him)
At UTUUC I am a tenor in the Unity Temple Choir, a member and past Chair of the Music Ministry Committee, and also Chair of the Community Center (1019) Front Desk Team. I was a member of the Ad Hoc Planned Giving Committee and am a member of the Schubert+ Festival planning team, which has so far included the 2020 Festival and the 2018 event.
In a former UU incarnation, I was two-time board president at Unitarian Church of Hinsdale and a multiple-term member of that church’s board. I have also been a board member and president of several other volunteer organizations. I am a docent at Chicago Architecture Center, where I am a member of the Docent Council, the body that governs the docent program at the Center, which has over 400 active docents. I am also a member and Recording Secretary of that organization’s Tour Committee, which vets, approves, and monitors all tours given by the Center. I am also tour director or co-director of 9 of the Center’s tours. I have served there on several ad hoc committees, most recently one that, with substantial marketing and competitive data, changed the nature of the Center’s tours so that they are substantially more engaging. I am also the head of a small organization that has been documenting Chicago’s public art.
What you probably don’t know about me is that I have been called a computer geek (because I am one), that I’m an avid birder, and that I played the accordion when I was younger and the 12-string guitar when I was older, careers cut tragically short by significant lack of demand and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Erik Wise – Secretary (he/him)
I started attending UTUUC in 2006 but only got seriously involved when we had children starting in 2009. This was my first exposure to Unitarian Universalism. My involvement has included teaching various grades of RE, 1st and 8th Grade OWL, and service on the RE Committee. I also have been a facilitator for several sessions of the Pathways membership classes. Most importantly I have played the role of Easter Bunny for the past six Easters at Unity Temple! I have spent almost my entire life in the Chicagoland area and my wife Jung and I have been in Oak Park since 2004. We have a 10-year-old son Wyeth and an 8-year-old daughter Iseul.
Professionally I am an Engineering Manager at a consulting company and spend much of my time on the road visiting customers and my teams of engineers across the U.S. In my free time, I enjoy cycling, camping, dealing with fixing things in an old house, and playing on the Unity Temple softball team.
Something you may not know about me is that I am an amateur potter and can make various tea bowls, tea pots, plates, and vases.
Julie Willoughby – Vice President (she/her)
I have lived in Oak Park for 15 years with my husband Tom, and our growing family – sons Owen and Jude, and daughters Iris and Jane. We joined Unity Temple in 2014. I have taught Religious Education for most of my time at UTUUC, and recently began serving on the board of the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation. I have spent the majority of my career in sales, service, and sales management and am currently a member of the senior leadership team at Morningstar, Inc. in downtown Chicago. In addition to spending quality time with my immediate family, friends, and extended family, which is indeed extensive, I love to read, see movies and travel. One thing you may not know about me is that I speak Italian and studied and worked in Italy before having children. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this community.
Kimberly Brumirski (she/her)
I joined the Congregation in 2004 along with my husband, Dave, shortly after the birth of our son, Mitch. At the time, we were living in Chicago, but we have since moved to Oak Park. Being a member of Unity Temple has enriched my life to an immeasurable extent. Over the last 16 years, I have participated in a wide variety of activities at Unity Temple. A long-time member and former chair of the Religious Education Committee, I have taught almost every grade of Religious Education from Kindergarten through 8th grade. I have served on the All-Congregational Retreat Committee and have attended every year for the last 9 years with my family. I may be best-known among Retreat participants as the creator of the Scavenger Hunt Activity. I have also participated in the Women’s Retreat, Chalice Circles, and Bell Choir. I am an attorney with a part-time general law practice in River Forest. I still reside in Oak Park with my husband, son and our dog, Archie. I am almost always up for playing a board game or solving just about any type of puzzle.
Something you might not know about me: I am a founding board member of (and sometimes performer with) the Echo Theater Collective, a community theater in Oak Park.
Lynne Hensel – Treasurer (she/her)
When I was in college, my mother dragged me off to a Unitarian service in Milwaukee. It was then I realized that I was born a Unitarian, but it had just taken me a while to recognize it. However, it took the birth of my daughter to motivate me to get out of bed Sunday mornings and join a UU church in the Detroit area where I was living.
In 2008, my husband Larry Kameya and I moved to Chicago. We immediately started visiting UU churches to find a new religious home. Unity Temple seemed the most welcoming, and we joined the following year. Since then, among other things, I have been part of an ongoing Chalice Circle, led a number of Pathways classes, canvassed for the capital campaign, and become treasurer.
Professionally, I taught mathematics and was an administrator at a college near Detroit, but retired when we moved to Chicago. I live downtown Chicago with Larry. We both are docents with the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), which can lead to some mighty geeky conversations over cocktails. I give several tours for the CAC, including the River Cruise and one of the Fulton Market district. And you probably aren’t aware that I am an avid bird watcher.
Rich Pokorny (he/him)
I joined the congregation in 1980, initially teaching RE classes for several years, with my late wife Ellen Wehrle. I served several times on the Fund Raising team, both recently and long ago. I served on the UT Board 30 years ago, as well as on the Personnel Committee. Active in church retreats, softball team, I attend Adult Ed programs, Mindfulness, and as much as I can take in from our congregation. Currently involved with Faith In Action/Restorative Justice/Community Renewal Society. I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology, as well as a degree from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy in natural healing. I had a 40-year career in manufacturing plant management (making pegboard), and have recently taken courses in Community Organizing and Interfaith Leadership. You probably don’t know that I am the second stupidest person ever to graduate from the University of Chicago. (My roommate said he was #1.)
Stephanie Kiesling (she/her)
I am a life-long UU who grew up in the UU Church in Bloomington, Ind. I began attending Unity Temple in 2008 and was fortunate to jump right into volunteering with the Religious Education Program as my two children were in Kindergarten and 2nd grade. My first teaching partner was Tina Lewis, and she not only recruited me to teach but to join the RE Committee–I have been on that committee ever since! I chaired the RE Committee for two years, including while Rev. Emily was on sabbatical. I am also an OWL teacher, UU General Assembly attendee, and I participate in a variety of other activities as well.
My husband, David, sons Matthew and Jack, and I have lived in Oak Park since 2002. I have been a stay-at-home parent for most of those years, which afforded me the pleasure and challenge of watching my two boys grow into young men (they are now 17 and 19). I am a licensed clinical social worker and spent many years using those skills as a community volunteer with organizations such as Parenthesis, CAST at Julian Middle School, and Leadership Lab with the OPRF Community Foundation. In March, 2019, I began working part-time as the Clinical Supervisor at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) which is has been a fabulous opportunity. I continue volunteering as a member of the board of New Moms (formerly Parenthesis), a facilitator with Oak Park OWL, and, of course, here at Unity Temple. You may not know that I am a big fan of Indiana University basketball and both Cardinal and Cubs baseball. Yes, it can be done! I love spending time with friends and family, traveling with my family, and playing the card games Euchre and Oh, Hell. I am so very grateful.
Theresa (Terri) Powell (she/her)
I joined UTUUC in 2015, just six weeks before our departure from Unity Temple for the renovation. In my first year I participated in Soul Connections, the Women’s Retreat and Family Retreat, helped with the 7th-8th grade RE program. As a board member, I have worked with the Nominations Committee and with the Planned Giving Committee on our new Planned Giving Policy. I’m originally from the East Coast (Virginia, New York and Florida), where I grew up on the Space Coast in the 1960s. I moved to Oak Park in 1976 and raised three sons and a daughter here. I was a CPS middle school teacher on the South Side of Chicago and served for a year as a Congressional Aide before raising a family. I helped lead the effort for the Equal Rights Amendment while I was home with small children. I worked in the corporate world and with non-profits and in administration at Alcuin Montessori and Dominican University before serving two terms as Village Clerk of Oak Park.
One thing you may not know about me was that I was a 1980 delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden, and brought my one-year-old son, Carl, with me.
Willa Shultz – President (she/her)
I joined UTUUC in 2013, and have had the good fortune to participate in Soul Connections, Older Adult OWL, Conscious Aging, and Beloved Conversations. Prior to serving as a trustee, most of my time and energy have been focused on Women’s Connection, and Welcoming All.
I am a retired educator. The last 22 years of my career were at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy where I taught French and served as Curriculum and Assessment Leader for World Languages, as well as Instructional Facilitator. My students were always my greatest teachers, and I especially appreciated the opportunity to deepen our mutual understanding of race and gender issues.
My husband, Lon, and I live in Brookfield. We have three sons, one daughter, and nine grandchildren. It’s a blast when we are all together! My favorite pastimes include playing with grandkids, reading, and camping.
You probably don’t know that my husband and I backpacked the Oregon wilderness for three weeks for our honeymoon. A few years later, along with friends and family, we built a log cabin in the Upper Peninsula, Mich., where we continue to enjoy time spent off the grid.
Constitution and ByLaws
Board Nomination Process
Each year, the Nominating Committee seeks candidates to serve on the Board of Trustees. The Nominating Committee select a slate of three individuals to serve 3-year terms. To apply, an individual must be a member of UTUUC for at least one year.
The Nominating Committee reviews applications and interviews interested members. Board candidates are presented by the Nominating Committee to the congregation at the Annual Meeting in December, where members may vote on candidates. An application form may be downloaded and emailed to email@example.com, or dropped off at the Unity Temple Community Center located at 1019 South Blvd., Oak Park.
- Application Form
- Board Covenant, newly adopted in 2018
- UTUUC – Responsibilites of Serving as Trustee
2021 Nominating Committee :: Alec Brownlow, Larry Kameya, Darby Rosenfeld, Dave Willard and Julie Willoughby