The Board of Trustees meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Agenda packets can be downloaded from the Church Documents page.

 

Beth Pollard
(term 2019-22)

 

Beth Pollard (President)

When I joined UUCB in 1989, it was because it sparked that part of me that was seeking community and spirituality. In the years since, it has not failed to provide me with connections and growth opportunities that both pull me into the comfort of belonging and push me to the outer edges of my comfort zone and beyond. And now – being on the Board of Trustees – I’m drawn in curiosity to ideas yet to be known, analyzing and evaluating what is and could be, and figuring things out collectively with other leadership and the congregation.

It has been my honor to be involved in UUCB in various ways over the years: Coordinating Team, Stewardship, Finance, and Interim Minister Search Committees, Chalice Circles – to name a few. Far and away the most rewarding was being on the Minister Search Team that led to calling the Revs. Kristin and Christian Schmidt.

Being part of community governance has been my vocational passion. So much so that I obtained a master’s degree in public administration, and have worked in local government for more than 35 years. Whether it’s being a city manager or an agency director, I like exploring what is desirable and possible and working with others to make it happen. Now, being a Trustee, I get to tap into what I’ve learned from my work and challenge myself further in my faith community.


Helen Tinsley-Jones
(term 2020-23)
 

Helen Tinsley-Jones (Vice President)

I am very pleased to be part of UUCB’s Board of Trustees! In 2016, my husband, Sheldon, and I had the good fortune to find and join the church. Since then, I have appreciated the warm, compassionate camaraderie and the opportunities for spiritual reflection, including my participation in Chalice Circles. I have joined in partnership with others to take on social justice issues. As a member of the Social Justice Council, I take part in the Literature, Film and Drama Contingent and in the People of Color Caucus. Along with my SJC cohorts, I developed and co-facilitate the POCC. My social justice work also includes organization of the 2018 Multicultural Fair and of social justice film and discussion events in 2016 and 2017.

I am a mixed-race woman, who, along with my husband, have raised six children in a blended family, and we now have eleven grandchildren. Before retiring as a clinical psychologist, I worked for Kaiser and had a private practice. I’ve served as member and chair of the City of El Cerrito Human Relations Commission and have been part of the Read Aloud Program for a decade.

UUCB is my spiritual home, and I am invested in supporting its Mission and Covenant and in working hard to grapple with the challenges and decision-making necessary in promoting the health of the community. To this end, I think it’s important to work collaboratively, making space for a diversity of our voices.


Bill Brown
(term 2021-24)
  Bill Brown

Bill’s Vision for UUCB: Honestly, I am not sure. We are in a transitional period and I am willing to explore all possibilities.
What strengths does Bill bring to the Board? I am loud! (In the military, they call this a “Command Presence”) I have a low tolerance for B.S. and will do my absolute best to ensure everyone remains in Covenant. Ooh, and Sarcasm. Lots and lots of Sarcasm. 😊 What valuable experiences does Bill have at UUCB? The most impactful experience I’ve had at UUCB was Kristin’s 2019 sermon on why it’s OK to be wrong. Such a simple concept, but one that has evaded me and many others for so long. That sermon allowed me to realize that it is OK to make mistakes and allowed me to give myself permission to change. I think I’ve listened to it at least a dozen times since that day.

Participating in the Social Justice Chalice Circle for 2.5 years really gave me perspective on a lot of issues that I had not considered or even been exposed to before. I grew up in the Salinas Valley, in a community of conservative produce growers who talked about the United Farm Works Union the same way they did Al Qaeda… Talking about the role of unions with a former lawyer for the UFW was an awesome experience for me. So many different perspectives, many of which I have never experienced before.

What would Bill like to bring to the Board? Smoked Tri-Tip? Tiramisu?


Randall Hudson
(term 2021-24)
 

Randall Hudson

From that very first Sunday service in 2014, Sylvia and I knew we had found a ‘home’ — a place where we could congregate together. Since we come from distinctly different religious and non-religious traditions, the shared values at UUCB provide solid ground to explore our spiritual growth and be part of a loving community. The eclectic nature of UUCB programming is a smorgasbord of light, love, and wisdom that deserves to be supported and nurtured. As a candidate for the UUCB Board of Trustees, my deep personal desire to keep UUCB strong, supported by my professional background in social work, social service policy, finance, systems integration, and data analytics, brings a considerable breadth and depth to an already talented Board. As we move beyond these challenging times and look towards the future, UUCB is poised for a great renaissance of growth and prosperity. I firmly believe that “staying on the hill” provides for a necessary stability and the best strategic opportunity from which to reach out and serve the many diverse peoples of the East Bay. My goals for UUCB are for us to fortify our financial outlook, explore creative ways to encourage spiritual growth and community engagement, and grow into the powerful force of peace, love, justice, and joy. Our church at One Lawson is the aggregate from which we launch our future and I want to be a part of this exciting opportunity.



Elaine Miller
(term 2020-23)
 

Elaine Miller

I’m honored to be a member of the board of trustees. The church has meant so much to me my entire life. I grew up at UUCB and became a member in 1982, when I returned to sing with the choir. The biggest draw for me has been the magic of singing in the choir with my parents and sisters. I love being a part of our Sunday services, which regularly bring me to laughter and tears.

Here, I find support for my non-mainstream spiritual beliefs. As members, we are all responsible for supporting each other on our differing spiritual paths. I’ve had the privilege to serve in many ways over the decades: worked on the canvass, mentored an RE youth, spent the night at church during our Winter Shelter program, served lunch at GRIP, did construction work at Freestone, served on the Committee on Ministry with Barbara & Bill Hamilton-Holway, worked on church theater productions, traveled to our partner church in Homorodujfalu, participated in a Saturday work party, walked with the annual GRIP Harmony Walk, joined an Evensong group, and co-led a Chalice Circle.

I bring experience to the board from my non-church activities: six enjoyable years on a volunteer board, writer coaching in the public schools, and employment as a bookkeeper and administrator. I’m an improvisor, welcoming what I’m offered and improving upon it. My focus is on respectful communication and sense of connection.

I want all who come here to find what I’ve found: inspiration through music and the arts, encouragement for the development of social justice values, friendship, family, and fun!


Kerry Simpson
(term 2019-22)
 

Kerry (Maryann) Simpson

Kerry is the immediate past president of the Board. She has been attending UUCB for more than 30 years. She has served on many committees, including the ministerial search committee and the RE advisory council, and recently coordinated the ushers. Kerry is married to Cynthia and both of them are very proud of their daughter, Rev. Aija Simpson, currently serving the UU Church of the Cumberland Valley.


Cordell Sloan
(term 2021-24)

  Cordell Sloan

My interest in serving on the Board of Trustees of UUCB comes from my commitment to help enable UUCB to powerfully affirm and promote the principles of Unitarian Universalism. This involves a lot more than agreeing with them and merely speaking them. We together must increasingly involve ourselves and our resources in activities that teach, activate, develop, and protect those principles. We together must share responsibility for making them real in our society and world. This will require us to imagine strategize organize and implement programs to this end.

The movement that will be needed to see these principles steering our society forward through history will involve curating and creating programs that prepare our community and its members to be effective actors and agents in influencing the way “we the people” live in this world together. I hope to be engaged in architecting technology systems to support the planning and operationalization of our mission. I believe my IT skills complement the rich value systems we hold in our community and would empower our work and service.

I have a profound appreciation for the “will to be woke” character of our congregation which operates on every occasion and event. My confidence in our congregation’s ability to have meaningful impact has grown steadily.

I want to bring a “necessity is the mother of invention “ orientation to our board and community and thus am focused on the generation of new ideas and strategies, believing that a different future for our congregation and world will not emerge by doing the same things we did yesterday. We must seek in new ways and imagine with audacity to dream up our better brighter future.

Ariel Smith-Iyer
(term 2021-22)

Ariel Smith-Iyer

“Mystery is greater than all human knowledge”, that’s one of the notes I wrote on the printed order of service I kept from my first visit to UUCB in 2006. Sunday service has been an integral part of my week ever since. The joy of singing alto in the choir and experiencing deep listening in a chalice circle helped me decide to join in 2007. I have served as RE co-chair and many years as a teacher, as well as on the Community Ministry Committee and the Intern Minister Committee. I’ve been a part of several

Chalice Circles, including one that I co-led and have served the last three years on the Nominating Committee.

Aside from spirit and community, what keeps me coming back to UUCB are all the opportunities to learn. I understand the drive to do more, but I am also in regular awe of all that we do as a congregation. My vision for UUCB is for more people to see us as a resource for both personal growth and social justice activism. I also hold a vision for more love and trust within our membership. Personally, serving on the Board would give me an opportunity to live more in-line with our covenant and grow my connection to this place and you all.

This year, with so many of our members struggling to keep up with the demands of remote work and their children home too, I realized this would be a good time for me to step up.

Ex-Officio (Appointed, Non-Voting) Members
  Jessica Rider, Treasurer
  Ann Harlow, Secretary