Director of Administration and Development
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As the Director of Administration and Development, Elizabeth Plummer is responsible for daily operations of the congregation. As a part of the Administrative Team, alongside the senior minister and minister of faith development, Elizabeth manages and oversees UTUUC's finances, fundraising, communications, building maintenance, archives, and volunteer coordination. For 18 years, Elizabeth has worked for nonprofit organizations in financial management, fundraising, marketing and communications, web design and event planning for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Chicago Foundation for Women, The American Verterinay Medical Foundation, The Institute of Food Techologists, and the Suburban Area Agency on Aging: AgeOptions. Elizabeth received her B.A. degree from Northern Illinois University.
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As Membership Director, Tina Lewis serves as the lead staff member for membership recruitment and retention, volunteer and leadership development, and congregational life activities. Prior to her full-time position, she served as our Interim Membership Director from October 2010 through June 2011. Tina and her husband Terry have been members of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 1999. As a volunteer, she served on the Religious Education Committee for eight years, three of them as co-chair. Prior to joining the staff at Unity Temple, Tina served a variety of schools and local organizations - including the Avenue Business Association, Parenthesis, and Girls on the Run - through event planning, fundraising and mentoring young people in the community, in addition to raising her two children, Ryan and Jillian.
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Conductor, voice teacher and artistic instigator Marty Swisher believes music is a near miracle of communication between performers and audience and that there is nothing quite so magical as the collective voice of a dedicated, unified chorus.
She previously served as principal conductor and music director of Chicago Children’s Choir, Jubilate Children’s Chorus, the DePaul University Community Chorus, the Northwestern University Women’s Chorus, and Les Petit Chanteurs in Leogane, Haiti. She has taught on the faculties of DePaul and Loyola Universities and the College of DuPage. She completed her Master of Conducting degree at Northwestern University, graduating in 2006.
Marty is a sought-after clinician who has led workshops in conducting, score preparation, choral warm-up, and interpretation for many choral groups in the Chicago area, as well as ACDA, MENC and UUMN. She has conducted, prepared choirs and/or performed in 23 productions of the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago and continues to serve on their board of directors – a true labor of love. But what she loves most of all is encouraging others to discover their fire within and never to stop stretching themselves as they reach to fulfill their artistic potential.
Rev. Colleen Vahey
Faith in Action Coordinator
Rev. Colleen Vahey was ordained as a UU minister in 2012. Over the past 20 years she has served as a hospital chaplain, a religious educator, a college lecturer, and most recently as Assistant Minister at Countryside Church UU in Palatine, IL. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Colleen has also lived in Australia, Switzerland, France, and Czech Republic. She and her partner currently live in River Forest with their three children and three animal companions. She enjoys reading, kayaking, and spending time in nature.
Kellie Kelly is a student at Meadville Lombard Theological School, steering committee chairperson of UU Class Conversations, and Unity Temple's incoming ministerial intern. Before seminary, she built a career in the staffing industry as a sales manager and technical recruiter. Kellie’s call to ministry began when she worked as a U.S. Navy family ombudsman and deepened during her time as a director of faith development. Kellie is from a white working-poor family of restaurant workers. As a third-generation single mother, she became the first person in her family to attend college, completing her undergraduate degree at the age of 41. Kellie also is an “out” mental health advocate, trying to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Kellie feels a strong commitment to work with and for the people society pushes to the margins, whether based on the color of their skin, their class, or their perceived disabilities.
Office & Finance Manager
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Susie O'Brien is responsible for assembling, editing and printing the information that goes into our weekly Order of Service and eBeacon and monthly newsletter, Connections. She also helps maintain and update the UT web site. A 25-year resident of Oak Park and a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, Susie has also been an editor at a local publishing business for many years.
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Lee Webster retired after 35 years as a Manager of Premedia Technologies from RR Donnelley and joined our staff as Administrative Assistant in the Fall of 2015. He holds a Masters degree in the teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Long time resident of Oak Park, he and his wife, Diane, have three grown children.
Peter Engel Storms
Peter Engel Storms joined our staff in September 2009. He began studying piano at age 5, and first played for Sunday services in junior high at a small church near his home in rural Northern Illinois. Peter studied English and Anthropology at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he accompanied classes and recitals and also performed with the Chapel and Collegiate Choirs as well as Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. Since moving to Chicago in 1996, Peter has established himself as a theatrical music director and sound designer, working with many equity and non-equity Chicago theaters. He also tours with Irish tenor Michael Londra. During the day, Peter is a database administrator for a non-profit organization in Chicago.
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In her role as youth coordinator, Heather Godbout plans and facilitates youth ministry activities in the congregation with a talented team of volunteer advisors, including Sunday morning programming for our ninth graders through the Coming of Age program, and most principally with our tenth through twelfth graders through our senior high youth group. Heather was a volunteer youth advisor at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Park Forest, IL prior to becoming the youth coordinator at Unity Temple in 2007. With almost two decades of youth ministry experience, Heather has also served on the District Youth Steering Committee of the Central Midwest District, and currently serves as a youth conference consultant for the MidAmerica Region. Heather is also the moderator of the MidAmerica Youth Advisor Network, and has been trained by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Leadership Development Conference facilitator. When not involved in youth ministry, Heather is the literacy coach at Crete Elementary School in Crete, IL. Heather; her wife, Amanda Thomas; and their daughter Briana Craig live in south suburban Homewood, IL.