At the request of Unitarian Universalist Association President Susan Frederick-Gray, the UUA Board of Trustees on May 13 approved Carey McDonald as the UUA’s Executive Vice President. McDonald has been serving as the acting chief operating officer since August 1. A member of First Parish in Malden, Massachusetts, and First UU Church of Columbus, Ohio, McDonald, who identifies as biracial, served as the UUA’s outreach director from 2014 until his appointment as acting COO.
Former UUA President Peter Morales introduced the role of chief operating officer after Executive Vice President Kay Montgomery retired in 2013, at which time Morales appointed the Rev. Harlan Limpert to the new role. The UUA bylaws recognize an executive vice president as an officer of the association. Since 2013, the board has recognized the chief operating officer as effectively serving the role of executive vice president.
Also at its May 13 meeting, held by teleconference, the board appointed Chelsea Hendrix, a member of Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, as a youth observer to the board, to replace outgoing youth observer Bailey Saddlemire. Delegates at the 2018 General Assembly, June 20-24 in Kansas City, Missouri, will vote on a proposed bylaw change that would add two voting Youth Trustees to the thirteen-member Board of Trustees.
The board also held a conversation with the Rev. Leslie Takahashi, chair of the Commission on Institutional Change, about the commission’s ongoing work of examining structural racism within the UUA and UU congregations. The board said that it will be sending a letter to congregations soon to update them on the work that the board and the UUA are doing in this area.