Board and Officers

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Overview of Board of Trustees

Under our church bylaws, a nine-member Board of Trustees is the governing body of the church. New board members are elected at the Annual Congregational Meeting in April, May or June each year and serve three-year terms. The minister is an ex officio member of the board.

As noted on the Church Governance page, a reorganization of the church’s organizational structure assigns to the board the primary responsibilities for making policies, effectuating the church’s vision and mission as articulated by the members, providing resources, and evaluating programs, while responsibility for supervising staff members and volunteers in the work of the church’s ministries is assigned to the minister.

The board generally meets at church on the third Thursday of each month in the evening. All board and board committee meetings are open to all friends and members, except that the board may close portions of its meetings under its policy on executive sessions, and the Committee on Ministry is authorized to close portions of its meetings when sensitive personal matters are discussed.

The board has designated the President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer to constitute the Executive Committee, which may exercise the board’s authority to the extent provided by board resolution.  The current President chairs the Executive Committee. The Minister also participates ex officio in the Executive Committee’s deliberations.

We welcome the participation of our members in the ministry of our church through any of our committees, teams and ministries, and as board members. Members interested in participating should contact the Minister or Church Administrator (see Contact page).

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2019-20 Board of Trustees Members and Officers

The terms of the members of the 2019-2020 Board of Trustees officially began on July 1, 2019.

Members and Term Expiration Dates

Terms Expiring 6/30/20 Terms Expiring 6/30/21 Terms Expiring 6/30/22

Sam Buffaloe
Gretchen Maune
Barbara Rupp

Mark Johnson
Elaine Martin
Mindy McPherson

Jeremy Duke
Rebecca Graves
Michela Skelton Birk

Officers for 2019-20

President: Mindy McPherson
President-Elect: Michela Skelton Birk
Secretary: Sam Buffaloe
Treasurer: Jeremy Duke

Board Members and Email Addresses


Mindy McPherson

Mindy is serving as President in 2019-20. She was selected by the board to complete the third year of a term that expired June 30, 2018 and was elected to a full three-year term beginning July 1, 2018. She began attending UUCC in January 2013, and along with her husband Josh joined in January 2017. Their children, Axel and Anja, are in our religious education program.

Mindy is an assistant professor in the Columbia College Department of Physical and Biological Sciences, where she specializes in Forensic Science.



Barbara Rupp

Barbara Rupp is in her third year on the board and served as 2018-19 President. She joined the church in 1997 and has been a UU most of her life. She served previously on the board in the early 2000s and has participated in activities at the church such as Room at the Inn.

She is a retired college administrator.



Mark Johnson

Mark is in the second year of his second three-year term on the board. He has been a member of UUCC since Oct. 6, 2013.

Mark brings significant experience as an officer of several congregations in Kansas, as well as nine years as a national board member of a 5,000+ member hobbyist organization with an annual budget of approximately $500,000.

Mark is employed as a computer security analyst.



Sam Buffaloe

Sam Buffaloe is in his third year on the board and served as Secretary during his first two years. He will continue as Secretary in 2019-20. He and his wife Crystal joined UUCC in 2013.

For the past four years, Sam has sung in the choir and has regularly performed with the UU Worship Band during services.

He works as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Boone County.



Gretchen Maune

Gretchen Maune is in her third year on the board. She began attending UUCC in fall 2014 and became a member in March 2015. She has served on the Social Action Team and volunteered her time with other church groups including R.E., the Grounds Team, and the Honduras Service Project. In 2017 she began co-chairing our Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team.

Her work experience includes community organizing and project management for such groups as GRO (Grass Roots Organizing) and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. Gretchen currently works as a governmental relations consultant at the Missouri NEA.



Elaine Martin

Elaine is in her second year on the board. She has been a member of UUCC since Feb. 16, 1997. She has served in a number of volunteer capacities, including stints as member and chair of both the Finance Committee and the Audit Committee. She is currently volunteering as a substitute usher and teller when needed. Elaine has also been an officer and volunteer in community organizations.

She works for the University of Missouri as a human resources analyst and has worked in the finance and analysis fields.



Jeremy Duke

Jeremy is the 2019-20 Treasurer. He is in his first year on the board and has been a member of UUCC since 2001. In the past he was active in RE including teaching the Junior High OWL class for many years. He is currently a Chalice Circle facilitator and looks forward to becoming more involved in the church now that he and his wife Kyna Byerly are “empty nesters.”

Their three children, Eli, Jacob and Rachel, grew up in the church and always look forward to attending when they are in town.

Jeremy works as a counselor in private practice in Columbia.



Rebecca Graves

Rebecca is in her first year on the board. She has been attending UUCC since 1999 and has been a member since 2001. She has been a member of the Worship Associates since 2012 and has served as chair for the past two years. Before that, she was a member of the search committee for our minister. She also served as a Worship Associate during Rev. Bill Haney’s tenure.

Rebecca had prior experience as a Board of Trustees member from 2001 to 2004 and was president the final year of her term.

By day, Rebecca is the education librarian at the MU Health Sciences Library.



Michela Skelton Birk

Michela has been selected as President-Elect for 2019-20, meaning she will be President in 2020-21. She is in her first year on the board and began attending UUCC in January 2016 and along with her husband Chris Birk joined in April 2016. Their children, Theo, 6, and Ella, 4, are in our religious education program. For the last two years she has served as co-chair of the Stewardship Team and regularly fills in as an aide in the Potter Class.

Michela is a community activist, having served as both a volunteer and officer in local organizations, and public speaker, and has also run for the Missouri House of Representatives twice.

She works as an attorney at the Columbia Family Law Group handling family and domestic law matters.


Rev. Molly

Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Our minister, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, serves as an ex officio board member, providing her perspective during board deliberations.

She began her tenure at UUCC in August 2012.



Email to all board members

Note: The Minister as an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees also receives messages sent to this address. The Church Administrator and Website Administrator also receive such messages for informational purposes.

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2018-19 Board of Trustees

No group photo was taken of the 2018-19 Board of Trustees.

Members were Barbara Rupp, President; Mindy McPherson, President-Elect; Sam Buffaloe, Secretary; Patty Daus, Treasurer; Todd Iveson; Mark Johnson; Peter Holmes (partial year until resignation from board); Gretchen Maune; and Elaine Martin.

2017-18 Board of Trustees

2017-18 board members posed at their retreat on Aug. 19, 2017. Rear, from left, Mark Johnson and Peter Holmes. Center row, from left, Todd Iveson, Jenny Bossaller, Barbara Rupp, and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon (ex officio). Front, from left, Patty Daus, Sam Buffaloe and Gretchen Maune. Not pictured is Mindy McPherson, who was later selected by the board to fill a vacancy.

Members were Todd Iveson, President; Barbara Rupp, President-Elect; Sam Buffaloe, Secretary; Patty Daus, Treasurer; Mark Johnson; Peter Holmes; Jenny Bossaller; Gretchen Maune; and Mindy McPherson.

2016-17 Board of Trustees

No group photo was taken of the 2016-17 Board of Trustees.

Members were Jeremy Milarsky, President; Todd Iveson, President-Elect; Steve Scott, Secretary; Patty Daus, Treasurer; Gregg Suhler; Mark Johnson; Janice Smith; Jenny Bossaller; and Peter Holmes.

2015-16 Board of Trustees

No group photo was taken of the 2015-16 Board of Trustees.

Members were Jeremy Milarsky, President; Steve Scott, Secretary; Gregg Suhler, Treasurer; George Bunyea, Jr.; Jeanne Murphy (completing the term of Past-President Mary Denson, who resigned to attend college out of state); Jan Swaney; Mark Johnson; Ramzie Siebuhr; and Janice Smith.

Ramzie Siebuhr resigned effective June 30, 2016, and the congregation elected Melissa Ensign-Bedford to complete the remaining two years of her term. Melissa later resigned, and the board selected Jenny Bossaller to fill the seat.

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2014-15 Board of Trustees

No group photo was taken of the 2014-15 Board of Trustees.

Members were Mary Denson, President; Jeremy Milarsky, President-Elect; Steve Scott, Secretary; Gregg Suhler, Treasurer; George Bunyea Jr.; Ene-Kaja Chippendale; Todd Iveson; Pack Matthews; and Jan Swaney.

Maria Oropallo started the year as a 2014-15 trustee, but resigned in November 2014 and was succeeded for the remainder of the year by Todd Iveson.

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2013-14 Board of Trustees

Front row from left: Ene-Kaja Chippendale, Secretary; Mary Denson, President-Elect; Mary Beth Schillinger; and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, ex officio. Back row from left: Steve Scott, President; Gregg Suhler, Treasurer; George Bunyea; Pack Matthews; Qhyrrae Michaelieu; and Maria Oropallo, Past President.

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2012-13 Board of Trustees

2012-13 Board of Trustees members gathered for a group portrait after dinner on the first day of their September 7-8, 2012 retreat. Bottom row from left: Secretary Rosie Anderson-Harper, Jenny Bossaller, Mary Beth Schillinger, and President Maria Oropallo. Top row from left: President-Elect Steve Scott, Past President Stephanie Dorman, Qhyrrae Michaelieu, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Treasurer Corinne Mann, and Gregg Suhler.

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2011-12 Board of Trustees

2011-12 board members gathered for a group photo after their official installation on October 2, 2011. Seated from left are Marty Patton and Qhyrrae Michaelieu. Standing from left are Paul Litton, Rosie Anderson-Harper, Corinne Mann, Gregory Brown, Stephanie Dorman, Maria Oropallo and Mehdi Farhangi.

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Gathering of Past Presidents

In the Fall of 2011, President Stephanie Dorman organized a gathering of past UUCC Presidents. Front row from left: Leslie Luchene, Fran Reynolds, Stephanie Dorman and Rebecca Graves. Back row from left: Alan Arnold, Larry Dorman, Walter Gassmann and Kevin Fritsche.

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