Executive Director, Tess Snook O’Riva
Tess Snook O’Riva (she/her) has served as the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley since July 2019. Prior to answering this calling, she owned a consultancy business helping nonprofits do their good work with intention, purpose, and responsible stewardship. For over 15 years, she held a variety of executive positions within the Contra Costa Health Services Department. Her broad volunteer experience includes Chair of the Contra Costa County Arts & Culture Commission (AC5), Community Liaison for the Art of Health & Healing, CCHS PRIDE Initiative, President of Carquinez Middle School PTA, and innumerable service clubs.
Tess brings extensive experience in operations management, information technology, communications, and organizational development to her leadership style. She received her Master of Public Administration from California State University, East Bay, and her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of California at Davis. In her spare time, she hosts a loving and diverse community of hearts full of people, pets, and (suspected) extraterrestrials.
Office Administrator, Alisa Gould Sugden
Alisa has been the Office Administrator at UUCB since 2000. She was raised Unitarian by parents who helped found the UU Church in Davis. She delights in clarity and order, cats, living in CoHousing, farmer’s markets, walking with friends and family in the East Bay and in Southeast England, and singing in the Women’s Antique Vocal Ensemble (WAVE).
Alisa provides general administrative functions for the office. She oversees the maintenance of the office space and informational areas. She provides administrative support to various leaders and standing committees. She maintains the database, and oversees the maintenance of the office equipment and supplies, and the system for administrative volunteers.
Charis Domador, Connections Coordinator
Hola! I first want to say: what a time to join the UUCB team– shortly after moving to California, and two weeks before a shelter in place order! Though I haven’t met you in person, I am so lucky to have landed amongst you all. I am blessed to work with good people at a place with values that align with my own.
I am from Caracas, Venezuela, and have lived in Florida, Arizona, D.C., Virginia, and now California. Throughout my professional career, I have always gravitated to fields that connect people. My life’s purpose is serving humanity however I can.
Through my work in communications and as a yoga teacher, I strive to cultivate a world where curiosity yields connection and stewardship among us, recognizing the oneness of humanity. I possess a holy curiosity, and fully support independent investigation of truth and the divine. I believe in human rights for all, banishing prejudice of every kind, the harmony of science and religion, the abolition of extreme wealth and poverty, and accessible education for all.
I thoroughly enjoy cake and cooking. I love to laugh but take myself, and life, way too seriously. Spanish is my native language, and I pronounce my name CHAD-ees (rhymes with PATTIES).
I hope my work will enhance and amplify the amazing efforts of UUCB, and I truly cannot wait to meet every single one of you soon.
Antonio Toro, Facilities Manager
Hi there. I’m a San Francisco native turned animator, screenwriter and burgeoning graphic novelist, but it’s my years of carpenter and handy person skills that led me to renovating places, usually taking them back to their original design, or building other rooms out of whole cloth, hence now I’m the Facilities Manager here at UUCB.
I’ve learned in my life there are more similarities than difference between people worldwide, that everyone has a story to tell, or a point of view to be learned. That human connection is vital in a thriving community.
I love cooking, live for older films (and the odd histories or trivia within that realm), am thrilled at learning things. I accumulate old books at an alarming rate and I read constantly. My father and his side of the family have been bullfighters, horse-trainers and cattlemen. Upside? I am genetically predisposed to be very good in a crisis. Downside, I feel I’d been born a century too late. I’ve been a chimney sweep, an undercover op for a detective agency and I’ve been an onstage supernumerary for the S.F. Opera, wherein I got to puppeteer a life-sized horse. I road-tripped through the winter desert to stand on the sands of Roswell. I paid homage to Elvis in Graceland. I went to Archer City, Texas, where Larry McMurtry had turned his hometown into a used bookstore.