Our Elected Leaders
Board of Trustees
July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018
Officers serve 1-year terms
President: Dave Anderson
Vice President: Leigh Shaffer
Secretary: Misty Bennett
Treasurer: Mary Ann Plant
Past President: Virginia Volker
At-Large Members serve 2-year terms,
with 2 elected each year
At Large Member: Susan Barrow (2nd year)
At Large Member Scott Naftel (2nd year)
At Large Member: Andrew Duxbury (1st year)
At Large Member: Gerry Garrick (1st year)
Religious Education Committee
Chair serves 1-year term
Our Board’s Gifts and Goals
President Dave Anderson says, “Having served on the board for approximately a year and a half at this point, I think I bring to the board a sense of continuity and experience. I hope we (as a board) can help transition to a more effective model of church governance over the coming year so that the incoming minister can effectively build on our interim ministry and continue to grow our community.”
Vice-President Leigh Shaffer has been a member since 2013 and was a member of the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship from 2008-2012. She considers our church her spiritual home, and the church community like family. On any given Sunday, Leigh serves as either greeter, usher, or service leader. She’s a member of the Worship Associates Committee, and chaired it for about three years, including a five-month period without a minister. Leigh is passionate about Small Group Ministry, co-chairs that committee and is co-leader of her small group, which has been meeting for three years. She considers small group ministry to be vital to the health of the congregation. Leigh joined the board as vice president in July 2017 and is excited to help lead the congregation as we navigate the interim period and welcome a new settled minister.
As an Alabama native who spent over a decade living on the west coast before returning in 2008, Leigh is glad to be home and grateful to have the church community in her life. She’s the sales manager at the Birmingham recycling processing facility and serves as vice president on the Alabama Recycling Coalition’s board. In addition to work and church activities, she enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
Board Secretary Misty Bennett is a professor of Art at the University of Montevallo and has been a member for 6 years. She and her husband have two children (ages 8 and 6) and live in Vestavia Hills. This is her second year as board secretary. Misty enjoys the work of the board because it feels meaningful and purposeful and supports the mission of the church in so many ways. Working collaboratively with other church members on the board has been a great experience, and she looks forward to getting to know the new members.
Mary Ann Plant, Treasurer, has been a member since 2000, with several years “out” when she lived in other parts of the country, returning in 2015. She values the inclusiveness, the exposure to stimulating and challenging ideas and causes, and warm friends. She served on our Board from 2004 to 2006. She is pleased to sing in the choir.
Mary Ann is retired. She worked in human service organizations and in direct clinical service, after taking a PhD in Social/Organizational Psychology and doing Clinical re-training. Her partner is a professor of Accounting at Birmingham Southern College. In lieu of children, they have 2 large Golden Doodles. She enjoys gardening, hiking, learning to play flute, and taking road trips.
As a member ofor nearly two decades, Andrew Duxbury, MD, has served in multiple church leadership positions and has been present for the many positive changes and growth that have happened in recent years. He hopes to help the church continue to grow and diversify and serve the multiple communities looking for a liberal religious home in the greater Birmingham area.
Scott Naftel has been attending our church for 6 years and has been a member since 2015. He and his wife have two children (ages 7 and 10). For three years he has served as an assistant teacher in elementary level Religious Education classes. He has a special focus on the education of children as a parent and as a researcher on education policy at a national think tank. He has recently joined the Board of Trustees and is excited about the opportunity to serve and build a stronger relationship with the church and its members.
Gerry Garrick has agreed to perform an internal review of our Financial Policies, Procedures and Practices. With nearly three decades of corporate experience developing and maintaining computer-based financial systems and procedures, as well as a master’s degree in mathematics and doctoral study in early childhood education, he is uniquely qualified for his goal of identifying obsolete, incomplete or non-existent ones, and facilitating revisions to bring them up to date.
Religious Education Committee Chair Heather Hunter has been an active member of the church since about 2009, and is currently chair of the Religious Education Committee. She has taught Religious Education classes for at least six years, and helps coordinate the Story for All Ages during the worship service. Heather started attending our church because she wanted her children to have a liberal religious education, but in the years she has been involved, the church has become an important part of her life both socially and spiritually. Heather says, “There is no better way to learn about what it means to be Unitarian Universalist than to teach religious education.” Outside of church Heather, who has a M.S. degree, manages a research laboratory at UAB. She has two school-aged daughters who keep her busy with sports and Girl Scouts. Heather enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters playing music, biking, hiking and camping.
Other Elected Officers
Endowment Fund Committee members
serve 3-year terms
Aggie Pollack (2nd year)
Marion Fintel (1st year)
Darryl Hunt (1st year)
Nomination Committee members
serve 2-year terms
Nancy Grove (2nd year)
Lynn Stafford (2nd year)
Angela Pruitt (2nd year)
Alice Lizee (1st year)
Paul Mancill (1st year)