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.
Meredith Graham is a member of Emerson UU Church in Canoga Park. She has been a UU since 1995 and has been involved with UUJMCA in various volunteer capacities since 2007. Her first campaign with UUJMCA, then UULMCA, was to defeat Prop 8. She is currently honored to be a member of the Board of Directors since early 2016, and President since mid-2017.
Lorella Thomas Hess is a long-time member of the Conejo Valley UU Fellowship. She has served in various leadership positions for her home congregation, including on the Board, Worship Committee, and Ministerial Search Committee. She is drawn to UUJM 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.
After raising three children amidst lots of volunteer church work, Lorella went to law school at Pepperdine and now works as an immigration attorney at Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza in Pasadena. She has also supported veterans’ access to justice through a post-bar fellowship at the Ventura County Public Defender.
Lorella is a second-generation UU. Her father, the Rev. Chuck Thomas, is a retired UU minister who served congregations in Dayton and Lima, Ohio. A UUA scholarship honoring her parents supports lay leaders who are answering the call to ministry.
Karen Urbano 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.
Rev. Dr. Betty Stapleford 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.
The Rev. Bob Klein 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.
Jack Shu has been a consultant on diversity strategies for organizations and community involvement programs. He has developed and presented many types of programs over the past twenty years, meeting the needs of law enforcement, national and state agencies as well as assessment tools for organizations to track their progress in moving forward on diversity. He has 29 years of experience with California Department of Parks and Recreation primarily as a Parks Superintendent working on community involvement programs
As an advocate for environmental justice and wilderness protection he has been active on regional land use issues and transportation planning. As president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Mr. Shu is outspoken about building better cities with solutions that address economic justice and health disparities. He has served on the UUJMCA board since 2013.