Meet the 2016 Unity Santa Fe Board of Trustees. Standing from left to right: Norm Morrison, Treasurer; Ralph Huber, At Large Trustee; Deborah Caswell, President; Mark Siurek, Vice-president; Bill Glaser, Assistant Treasurer; Peg Durkee, Secretary. Seated from left to right: Leslie Davidson, Alternate, Assistant Secretary; Rev. Brendalyn Batchelor, Minister; Connie Salles, Alternate At Large Trustee.
Board of Trustees Bios
Deborah Caswell, President
I am surprised and honored to have been asked to run for the Board of Trustees at Unity Santa Fe. I am also grateful to have an opportunity to serve this community that has become by spiritual home.
My current employment is as a Nurse Practitioner in the Christus St. Vincent's Regional Wound and Hyperbaric Center. I have lived in Santa Fe for almost 3 years. Before coming here I lived in Southern California where I got my graduate degree at UCLA, was employed and eventually retired from that fabulous academic institution. During that time I also had 2 very handsome, talented and intelligent sons (not that i am biased at all) who are now 27 and 24. I live in Santa Fe with 4 dogs, 2 cats, a bird and 3 horses.
My road to Unity began an un-named number of years ago when I was a little girl in rural West Texas. My father was a Southern Baptist preacher, as well as a farmer and rancher. I grew up hearing the Bible taught from the viewpoint of the baptist doctrine almost every day of my young life. Even as a child I recognized the incongruities of those teachings. As I grew older and left home I began to search for a comfortable spiritual practice that I could embrace without reservation. I have been preparing for this experience at Unity for quite some time (unbeknownst to me) by reading the words of Eckart Tolle, Marianne Williamson and others whose spiritual philosophies became a guide for my life. I know this is an overused expression but finding Unity Santa Fe was truly like coming home. I am grateful everyday of my life for being led to Unity Santa Fe and I look forward to being more involved in the Unity Community.
Blessings to you all and thank you.
LESLIE DAVIDSON, Alternate, Assistant Secretary
I became a member of Unity Santa Fe in the spring of 1997 when we were still meeting at the Women's Club on Old Pecos Trail! I served on the Board of Trustees for three years starting in 2000 just after we had moved into our present church building. I am a candidate for the Board of Trustees this year because I believe that it is time for me to again serve in this capacity...to help Unity Santa Fe live out our first two core values of God First and the Awareness of the Spirit of God within us.
I am a retired Physical Therapist and also an artist. I designed and made the banners for the Twelve Powers that were displayed in the sanctuary for many years. I am married to Dan Davidson, my husband of 29 years. My son and his wife and two grandchildren live in Austin, Texas. Dan and I have an old dog, Marko, who has been with us since my board service in 2000. He is a very special blessing.
I am presently serving as a Prayer Chaplain and this enriches me with the fellowship of the other prayer chaplains and gives me the opportunity and privilege to pray with church members and others. To me this is a very special service. Over the years I have been a part of many different classes and programs. Unity Santa Fe has enriched my life and continues to allow me to grow in the Christ Spirit.
PEG DURKEE, Secretary
Peg's first introduction to Unity was in 1976, in Dallas Texas. Unity has been the foundation for her Spiritual journey throughout her life. She knew the minute she heard that Jesus was the Great Example, not the great exception that she was home. She moved to Santa Fe in 1989 and attended the incarnation of Unity Santa Fe at that time.
She began attending Unity Santa Fe with Rev. B in 2000. She became the Church Administrator in 2003, leaving in 2008. She has been a Prayer Chaplin, Worship Assistant, and Events Coordinator and has given the Sunday message in Brendalyn’s absence. She is married to Tim Durkee and has one son, 18 year old Noah.
For the past 5 years, her classroom has been the La Montanita Coop, where she must practice the principles of Love and Forgiveness on an hour by hour basis as the Front End Manager. She is currently serving on the Events Team and hopes to serve in any way needed by Unity Santa Fe.
BILL GLASER, Assistant Treasurer
Bill Glaser and his wife Adele have been members of Unity Santa Fe for 15 years. Their daughter Emily lives in Santa Fe where she has an Ayurvedic Health Clinic, "Agni
Ayurveda”. Bill is a former Unity Santa Fe Board Member and a former Prayer Chaplain. After closing his construction business in 2006 he taught Math at Santa Fe High but is now retired from teaching also.
The community of Unity remains a rich and exciting experience for Bill and he feels that he would like to increase his connection and participation through board service. Unity’s teachings and the many relationships within this loving community are a continuing source of spiritual growth for this long time member.
RALPH HUBER, At Large Trustee
Ralph has been a member of Unity Santa Fe for fifteen years. He has served on the Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2006; from 2011 to 2013 and is currently serving on the board. In addition, he has participated on various teams at Unity, most recently on our Home Free Fundraising Campaign. Ralph has also conducted classes at Unity and delivered Sunday messages.
Ralph’s attraction to serving on the board for an eleventh year (And he vows to keep on serving until he gets it right!) is in supporting Unity Santa Fe to live ever more powerfully its vision and mission. Also, Ralph comes to the board at this time with a much deeper appreciation for the mystical teachings of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore: Ralph hopes to bring more vividly alive at Unity the faith which the Fillmore’s held so passionately that God is our source and help in every need.
Ralph has been a teacher, corporate trainer and management consultant. He has a Ph.D. in Humanities Education from NYU. For the past seventeen years, Ralph has been a member of Hummingbird Community in Mora, NM, which aspires to be a living laboratory for the evolution of consciousness.
NORM MORRISON, Treasurer
I graduated from the University of Manitoba as an agrologist and later on studied at College and Brandon University in the departments of mathematics and computer science. In the mid 80’s I worked for the federal government at an agricultural research facility. Subsequent to that I joined with two other partners to form a software development company which I managed until 1995. I also spent 5 years as a college instructor teaching accounting, business and computer courses. In 1999 I created an aquaculture facility where I raised tilapia full time until a tornado ended that operation.
Prior to moving to Santa Fe I lived in the metro Washington DC area of Northern Virginia. It was during this period that I became involved with Unity of Fairfax and participated on a number of committees, became a prayer chaplain and served on one of the worship teams. I’ve studied a variety of energetic modalities including Theta Healing and Reconnective Healing. I have also been involved with and participated in the Access Consciousness program for 3 years.
I’ve had almost 30 years’ of combined experience sitting on a variety of boards in both the US and Canada. Most recently I was the board president of the North American Fish Farmers Cooperative based in North Dakota. I have also sat as a board member and president for a retail cooperative, two corporations and economic development agencies both local and regional. Currently I work for a property management company, provide videography services and periodically build websites. When not doing those activities I love to hike in the desert. If I’m not working or hiking you’ll most likely find me in a coffee shop reading a book or visiting with friends. I look forward to contributing to Unity of Santa Fe.
CONNIE SALLES, Alternate At Large Trustee
A member of Unity Santa Fe since 2001 and a devoted student of metaphysics, Connie has participated in many Unity classes and workshops and attributes enhancement and support of her spiritual growth to friends and teachers in this open and loving spiritual community. Enjoying a variety of service opportunities including bookstore and events team, she presently serves on prayer chaplain and healing teams. Formerly an R.N. and with an MS degree in adult education, she has worked in varied leadership positions, education and mentoring.
She currently co-manages a local artists' co-op in Truchas, the mountain village where she lives. Connie had the honor of serving on the Board of Trustees 2007-2013, focusing on visioning and putting effort into making Unity Santa Fe a thriving center of inspiration, education, transformation and healing.
MARK SIUREK, Vice-president
After my introduction to Unity in Houston beginning in the 1990's, I soon found Unity Santa Fe after my partner and I (together with our dogs) moved to Santa Fe in 2011. After officially joining Unity Santa Fe in 2013, I was elected to the Board in 2015 and am now up for re-election in 2016.
As many of you know, I am currently in residence approximately half-time (returning to Houston to my law practice) but have been fortunate to continue to meet a good many of you through my Board service and various activities at Unity Santa Fe. Most recently, I am co-facilitating a book study group entitled Animal Grace by Mary Lou Randour as part of the Guardians of Being Small Groups Ministry. I am particularly excited about continuing to integrate animal awareness and compassion into our Unity Santa Fe spiritual experience and specifically, to realizing our Unity Santa Fe statement to "celebrate the one and divinity of all creation."
Since my arrival on the Board of Trustees in 2015, I was nominated and elected to fill the vacant position of Vice President. As Vice President (as well as a practicing attorney), I take seriously my responsibility as a steward of Unity Santa Fe and am committed to maintaining a prosperity consciousness while overseeing our financial realities. My first year on the Board continues to remind me how integral Unity Santa Fe is to my personal growth and, in that spirit, I hope to continue on its Board of Trustees.