Executive Committee Members
Steven Hirsch, President
I have held positions as a product development leader within the financial services industry for more than four decades. I currently work for Charles Schwab and manage a team developing technology-based solutions for our institutional clients and the front-line professionals serving them. I joined MDUUC in 2010 – along with my wife Marianna Laurence – and have chaired the church Stewardship Committee, served as Youth Advisor in the Coming of Age and YRUU programs and sing in the choir. I have a BA from Oberlin College and enjoy literature, the performing arts, solving puzzles and working out.
Michele Carroll, VP / Communications Chair
MDUUC has been a north star for me. This community and its programs helped me raise my children with guiding values, comforted me through loss and change, and more recently opened my eyes to the magnitude and impacts of economic inequality and racial injustice. I’m grateful to serve on our board as we grow and transform into the exuberantly multicultural community we envision and make a loving difference in our world. Professionally, my company Carrollco Marketing Services has helped 500+ companies with US market entry and accelerating international growth. firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Chris Carter, Treasurer
My husband Peter and I have been UUs since joining a Sacramento congregation in 1991. We joined MDUUC in 2015 after moving back to the Bay Area. I most value the strong community at MDUUC, which helps me to grow, allows me to recover from my mistakes, and generally guides me to being my best self. I recently retired from a deeply satisfying career with the University of California, where I last directed the systemwide financial aid program. Retirement has brought many opportunities, including dedicating more time to MDUUC, our two-year-old grandson, and being outdoors hiking and camping.
Ron Ahnen, Secretary
I have been a member of MDUUC since 2006. I taught for eight years in the religious education program from tiny tots through eighth grade. I have also served on the racial justice committee. During the day I teach in the Politics and Global Studies Programs at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga where I offer courses on international relations, politics of other countries, just war theory, and politics of incarceration. My life partner, Angela Canestraro, and I have three children with whom we enjoy traveling and outdoor activities.
As UU’s in Pennsylvania, Don and I sang, taught, ran auctions, held dinners and I served on numerous committees including communications, search, endowment and the board. Elsewhere, I reported for the Cleveland Press, served on the school board, steered the creation of a domestic violence shelter, and was a State Farm Insurance agent for 30 years. In 2013 we moved to Walnut Creek where we enjoy watching our two grandsons grow up, singing in a large chorus, traveling and being among UU’s at MDUUC where are inspired, challenged and comforted and have been involved in greeting, communications and stewardship.
In October 2013 I happily joined MDUUC. I have served on the membership committee, the Coffee Committee, Co-chaired the Kitchen Committee and helped organize the Fellowship Dinner. I directed early childhood programs for thirty years, serving on the Board of Directors for two non-profit preschools in the East Bay. My husband Pete and I live in Lafayette with two grey cats. Our son Paul and his family live in Fremont. Our granddaughters light up our life.
When I arrived in 2008, I was attracted to many things at MDUUC – fed by the message in the pulpit, reading the UU principles, the presence of people of color, including the minister, and those from different faiths, in one place, forming community. I have witnessed courage at the border and in the streets, conviction, celebrations of life and respect for the many ways we love ourselves and others. On my UU spiritual journey, serving this community, this whole community, has been very important to me: Worship Associate and Chair, summer sermons, Winter Nights, Beloved Conversations Retreat Leader and MDUUC facilitator, Chair of the Beloved Commitments Task Force, Restorative Practices -Conversations on Death, and semi-annual co-host to a Halloween fundraiser (!) As a member of your Board, my commitment continues – to highlight the multiple perspectives that make us UUs.
MDUUC has been part of my life for nearly ten years. I’ve actively participated in the Membership Committee and coordinated Winter Nights breakfasts. Our services rejuvenate me. I am committed to our Make It So 2020 goals and am encouraged by the possibilities of Beloved Commitments. I live nearby with my wife and teenage daughter who is an enthusiastic member of YRUU. I work as a Business Systems Analyst and like to play with yarn and thread, hike, watch birds, garden, read, and recently I’ve taken up tennis.
I am a Northern California native and MDUUC member since 2007. It’s the fellowship of our open and welcoming community that draws me to MDUUC. Services are great; I like focusing on the betterment of life today. I’ve developed many friendships in various community circles and volunteered with ushering, coffee service, greeting, fund-raising events. A graduate of Cal Poly SLO (Business/ Computer MIS), I started my career as a computer developer and analyst, and over the years, found myself in IT leadership positions. Currently retired, my hobbies include old cars, home projects, camping and traveling.
Paul and I joined MDUUC in 2008 after relocating to Lafayette from Massachusetts. Long time UUs who raised three now-grown children in the denomination, we have been actively involved in leadership in MDUUC and previous churches and districts. At MDUUC I chaired the membership committee (2009 – 2014), have volunteered in various events and as a mentor in the coming-of-age program. Church year 2019- 2020 will be my 6th year on your Board of Trustees. I will be the board liaison to the Personnel Committee and Social Justice Council. I work for Kaiser Permanente as an operations director for the Northern California Telemedicine Unit. I enjoy traveling, reading, and visiting friends & family.