Our 2021 Board of Trustees is comprised of:
Dodi Gunawardhana, Congregational President; Elaine Kirchner, Vice President, Dee Koehl, Secretary (and also immediate past president); Chris Tennant, Treasurer; Board members-at-large Debrah Roemisch, Marsha Wallace, and Judy Wertenberger; and Alternate Nastassia Snaden
I was raised a United Methodist and saw my dad be a lay leader for many years. He was always the last to leave the church and we joked that he had to “lock up” (we didn’t lock the church back then, that’s why it was a joke). While I can’t claim to be as hard of a worker as he was, I did learn from him the joy of service and of having a place to call home.
I left the church in early adulthood, but kept coming across the name of UU, and every time I walked by, I thought “that’s such a cool space, I bet there are really cool people inside”. And I was right! I knew I had found my spiritual home as soon as I walked in, and I have been a member since 2013.
I have served in the Elementary Classroom and as Worship Committee Chair. I love to sing in the choir with my husband, Mike Gugel, and occasionally we talk our son Zen into singing with us.
I am white, cisgender, heterosexual, married with 2 grown children. Fred Williams and I were married 6 years ago by Rev. Shelly. He has 4 grown children. We have 9 grandchildren together and are both retired. I am a native of Fort Wayne and grew up in a poor working class family with 10 siblings where I learned my work ethic and strong belief in the value of education. I graduated with a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 1977 from IU Bloomington, and worked for 40 years in Long Term Care facilities.
I have been a member of UUCFW since 1987 but I actually started coming in 1984. I didn’t become a member before that because no one told me how. Over the years I have volunteered in many ways: teaching in youth RE and directing the children in a choir for a short time; chair of RE committee; Volunteer coordinator of RE; worked on a couple of pledge drives, including directing a short play starring Dennis Shipley as Don Quiote; Nominating committee twice; I helped organized the Earth Spirit Circle for several years and led a Winter Solstice Ritual in the sanctuary; I have been singing in the choir for many years and worked on the music team to help bring our musician’s up to fair compensation; I have been a member of the Racial Justice Team and this is currently my second time on the Board of Trustees.
For fun I like to dance and sing. I also like to cook, especially soups, which I could live on almost year-round.
I enjoy reading the newspaper every day, listening to NPR, and walking with my husband, my 4 sisters or UU friends. I try to visit virtually with each of my daughters and grandchildren at least once a week and am working on more things to do with them by phone or video.
Way back, when my oldest daughter was around 8 yrs old (36 yrs ago!), she asked why we did not go to church like all of her friends at school did. I had been attending yoga classes that were held at our UU and had picked up some literature about the congregation. I decided this was a church maybe I could get along with, so joined not long after we started attending. I volunteered with the RE (Religious Education program) for several years, and helped start and facilitate the UU Earth Spirit group. I am married to John Ward and we have 3 daughters, 4 grandkids, and 2 great grandsons (and 1 cat and 1 granddog). I am a massage therapist and acupressurist; I love helping people to feel healthier and more relaxed. John and I love nature and outdoor activities and dancing and music. I look forward to learning more about how the UU works behind the scenes!
Jessica Marquart, Worship Committee Chairperson
Danny Swim, Buildings and Grounds Co-Chair
Jim Reeder, Building and Grounds Co-Chair
Cathie Rowand, Gallery Team Chairperson
Andy Candor, Finance Committee Chairperson
Lisa Esquivel Long, Nominating Committee Chairperson
Emily Schwartz Keirns, Endowment Committee Chairperson
An organizational chart showing all committees and describing how they function can be found here.
For more information on each committee, including responsibilities and activities, see the Committee Handbook.