Candidates announced for 2013 UUA elections

Candidates announced for 2013 UUA elections

Nominating Committee releases slate of candidates; individuals seeking to run by petition must file paperwork by February 1.


The Nominating Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association has unveiled the slate of candidates who will be up for election at the 2013 General Assembly in Louisville, Ky.

People interested in running by petition have until February 1 to announce their candidacy. A list of all the candidates, along with candidate statements, will appear in the Summer 2013 issue of UU World and online at

Board of Trustees

For seven seats on the newly reconfigured Board of Trustees, the committee nominated seven candidates. Two are currently on the board and were nominated for one-year terms: the Rev. Clyde Grubbsof Revere, Mass., and Natty Averettof Arlington, Va. Also nominated for one-year terms on the board are the Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs of St. Paul, Minn., and Susan Weaver of La Jolla, Calif.

The Nominating Committee selected three candidates for three-year terms on the board: Michael Sallwasser of Long Beach, Calif.; Julian Sharp of Craftsbury Common, Vt.; and James Snell of Dallas, Tex.

The 2011 General Assembly approved changes to the UUA bylaws that reduced the size of the board from 26 to 14 members starting in June 2013. Those changes also shorten the terms of office for the 11 at-large trustees from four to three years. Beginning in 2014, one-third of the at-large trustees will be elected by each General Assembly. (Two members of the board—the UUA president and moderator—will be elected to single six-year terms.)

The transition delegates approved in 2011 authorized the current board to appoint four current trustees to the new board. The board appointed Donna Harrison, Lew Phinney, the Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, and the Rev. Sarah Stewart to two-year terms.

Financial Advisor

The 14th member of the board is the financial advisor. Ed Merckof Tiverton, R.I., was nominated for a three-year term in that role. In addition to serving as a member of the board, the UUA’s financial advisor serves on the board’s executive and finance committees, and as a member of the UUA Investment Committee, Audit Committee, and Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. He or she also serves as a trustee of the UUA Employee Benefits Trust, which oversees the UUA Health Plan.

Presidential Search Committee

The Nominating Committee put forth five candidates for the Presidential Search Committee, which will select at least two nominees for the 2017 election of a new UUA president—the first under new bylaws that shorten a president’s term from two four-year terms to a single six-year term. The candidates for that committee are: the Rev. Wayne Arnasonof Rocky River, Ohio; the Rev. Matthew Johnson-Doyleof Rockford, Ill.; the Rev. Michael Tino of Peekskill, N.Y.; Elandria Williams of Knoxville, Tenn.; and Jacqui Williams of Albany, N.Y. The Board of Trustees will also appoint two members of the seven-member Presidential Search Committee.

Board of Review

There are two candidates for eight-year terms on the Board of Review, which hears appeals from ministers or credentialed religious educators who have had their final fellowship or credentialing status terminated by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee or the Religious Education Credentialing Committee. The candidates are the Rev. Orlanda Brugnolafrom New York, N.Y., and Maris Cornellfrom Lebanon, Conn.

Commission on Appraisal

For the Commission on Appraisal, there are four open positions. Three people were nominated for six-year terms: Lucy Bunch, from Sacramento, Calif.; Nathan Hollister, from Carrboro, N.C.; and the Rev. Myriam Renaud, from Chicago, Ill. John Hawkins, of Westfield, N.J., was nominated for a four-year term. The Commission on Appraisal reviews any function or activity of the association which, in its judgment, will benefit from an independent review, and reports its conclusions to a regular General Assembly.

Commission on Social Witness

The two candidates for four-year terms on the Commission on Social Witness are the Rev. Christina Sillari of Portland, Maine, and Kiera Wesley of Woodinville, Wash. The commission engages individuals, congregations, and districts in an ongoing process of study, action, and reflection on pressing social issues and manages the UUA’s social witness resolutions process at the General Assembly.

General Assembly Planning Committee

The Nominating Committee named four candidates for four-year terms on the General Assembly Planning Committee, which selects sites, speakers, and content for the association’s annual meeting. Two candidates who have been serving as board-appointed members of the were nominated for first elected terms: Debra Gray Boydof Columbus, Ohio, and the Rev. Chip Roush, of Traverse City, Mich. Bart Frostof New Orleans, La., was nominated to a second elected term. Mary Alm of Asheville, N.C., was nominated to a first term.

Nominating Committee

Lastly, there are three candidates for three-year terms on the Nominating Committee itself. They are the Rev. Sofia Betancourt of New Haven, Conn.; Abhimanyu Janamanchi of Clearwater, Fla.; and Ken Wagner of Marlborough, Mass. The Nominating Committee nominates candidates for all positions elected by the General Assembly except for president and moderator.

President and Moderator

In addition to these candidates, the Rev. Peter Morales is running for reelection as UUA president. Jim Key and Tamara Payne-Alex are running for moderator, in the only contested race so far.

To run by petition in the 2013 elections, a prospective candidate must file paperwork with the UUA secretary by February 1, 2013. For more information on running by petition, contact

Related Stories

Related Resources


Correction 1.4.13: An earlier version of this article did not make a distinction between two nominees for election to the General Assembly Planning Committee who are currently serving as board-appointed members and one nominee who is not currently serving on the committee.