Our board of Trustees is nominated by UUJMCA’s Leadership Development Committee to three-year terms. If you are interested in serving on the board, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorella Thomas Hess is a second-generation Unitarian Universalist and a longtime lay leader at the Conejo Valley UU Fellowship. She is a recent law school graduate and works as an immigration attorney in Ventura, CA. She is drawn to UUJMCA for its emphasis on empowering individuals and congregations, and believes that people amplify our effectiveness when we connect with one another. Lorella discovered the wider world of our faith through the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, for which she was the original curator of the Global Chalice Lighting series. Along with her husband, she is a member of the UUA’s President’s Council and the UUSC Stewardship Circle.
The Rev. Bob Klein (UUJMCA Board Treasurer) grew up in the Chicago area, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, contract major in Religious Studies, earned a Master of Divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary and entered United Methodist Ministry, mostly serving churches in Montana. A quest for personal renewal led him to Matthew Fox’s Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality, then at Holy Names College in Oakland, CA., where he earned an M.A. in Culture and Spirituality. Bob has shared in raising 3 children, and is amicably divorced. Bob worked several years in Child Protective Service during the process of becoming a Unitarian Universalist Minister. He served UU congregations in Pennsylvania, Southern California and Little Rock, Arkansas before coming to Serve 1st UU Church, Stockton, CA in 2013. He has been active in Peace and Justice efforts in many locales.
Tom Loughrey has been an active UU since 1975 and is active as a member of Orange Coast UU in Costa Mesa, CA. Tom has served previously as a board member of the Pacific Southwest District and as a board member and president of de Benneville Pines. Tom was also elected as the trustee to the UUA Board and served for four years as the Secretary of the UUA. He is recently retired from a career in health care administration where he most recently served as the executive director for compliance of one of the nation’s largest non-profit hospital systems. Tom has carried on some of that work as a trustee of the UUA Employee Benefits Trust. He is drawn to the work of the UUJMCA for its commitment to bring together resources, programs and opportunities for justice work to UUs throughout California. He believes we are most effective when we are working together to bring the talents, passion and commitment for justice to our communities, congregations and individuals.
Rev. Dr. Betty Stapleford (UUJMCA Board President) has been a UU for over 50 years. After graduation from seminary at the Claremont School of Theology in California in 1995, she served as the minister of the Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Thousand Oaks for 12 years, being named their Minister Emerita in 2010, and the UU Church of the Verdugo Hills for 5 years. She is now the Affiliate Community Minister for Social Justice at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula and serves on a number of non-profit boards, including the UU Justice Ministry of California.
Reverend Doctor Karen Stoyanoff is serving on the board of UUJMCA for the second time! She previously served from 2009 – 2015. A longtime worker for justice Karen began her activism in Chicago while she was in seminary and for 2 years afterwards. She was active with other UUs in work to assist those who were homeless and, most notably, in anti-racism work. When she moved to Southern California in 1998 she continued this work as well as a focus on interfaith activities in the area. She first became involved with UUJM [then UULM] during the months before the 2008 election when she spearheaded a major phone bank campaign against Prop 8 [which would put an end to same gender marriage in CA]. She has been active with many other justice oriented groups in the area and currently serves on the Board for the Orange County Human Relations Foundation [she is Vice President], and OCIN [Orange County Interfaith Network], as well as The Sheriff’s Interfaith Advisory Committee, and the Interfaith Leadership Council of United to End Homelessness. She is frequently seen standing with those who need economic support as an active member of CLUE [Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice].
Karen was the senior minister at the Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Costa Mesa for 13years, and the senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim for over eight years. She was named minister emerita at both congregations. She currently is the Affiliate Community minister for the UU Congregation in Fullerton, CA, and is delighted to be working with UUJMCA as part of her continuing justice work.
Rev. Sonya Sukalski joins the UUJMCA board after 5 years serving the UU Fellowship of Tuolumne County and counting. She learned of UUJMCA in 2005 when on a break during seminary she called all California congregations to engage them in sending valentines urging Gov. Schwarzenegger to support marriage equality. In 2010 she was hired to help the Young Leaders Project develop and ran the Spiritual Activist Leadership Training (SALT) for young adults aged 18-35 to live into their faith and justice next steps. Several of our SALT Fellows went on to justice oriented careers including ministry since then. In 2014 Sonya hiked over 400 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern and Central California while blogging about water issues (during the drought), and contemplated water sources and such questions as how does one live on 6 litres of water a day. She is excited to help justice ministries around the state take next steps and work together strategically to deepen our faithful stance in the world.
Karen Urbano (UUJMCA Board Secretary) has been a UU for over 40 years in several congregations. She is now at the UU Church of Davis where she has served in many positions. While in New Jersey she volunteered with the Center for Central American Refugees and also worked for Legal Services of New Jersey. She served on the board of UU Ministry for Earth for eight years. She is honored to be serving on the board of UUJMCA.