Board Bios

Officers

Michael Mernin, President

Michael has been a member of the congregation for nine years.  He has taught RE at the toddler through second grade levels, was involved with the UU Theatre Group in its founding season, has chaired the annual auction for several years, and has completed the Harvest the Power program.  He has served on the board for five years, most recently as vice president.  Michael has lived in Montclair for twenty-two years, with his wife and three children, and is an attorney in private practice.

Sue Raufer, Vice President

Sue Raufer has been a member of UUCM since she moved to the area seven years ago. She became a UU eleven years ago after many years she and her family spent as friends of the UU congregation in Cherry Hill. Shortly after joining UUCM, Sue served a three year term as Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Currently Sue is a member for the Worship Committee and co-chair of the Membership Committee. She is a Senior Youth Advisor and a regular MESH volunteer. Sue is a member of a UUCM Book Club and the Food Democracy Covenant Group. Sue is interested in serving on the Board of Trustees to continue her involvement in the congregation and to assist in continuing to explore opportunities for collaboration with the Orange Congregation. She is the mother of two adult sons who live nearby, and Laura Stakiwicz, a UUCM young adult member who is off at college. Sue is a lawyer who works for a Homeland Security agency in Lyndhurst.

Trustees at Large – 3 years

Dottie Hiebing

I am pleased to be a candidate for the Board.   I have been involved in the following UUCM areas, among others, throughout the years: Participant in the Harvest the Power for one session and a trainer/facilitator for the following session; Member of a Cakes for the Queen of Heaven group; Helped set up and promote the Sing- a- longs; Member of the Membership Committee; Member of several covenant groups; Member of the Undoing Racism Committee. I am now retired, but my final job was as the executive director of a small non-profit in NYC.  Some of my responsibilities in that position will help me as a UUCM board member.

Mary Moriarty

Mary Moriarty is seeking a nomination to the Board of Trustees to serve UUCM as we navigate our transition in leadership and as we explore our relationship with the Essex UU.  She would also like to become more involved with our broader UU social justice movement.   Mary is a member of the Undoing Racism Committee, the UUCM Choir, and the “Writing as a Spiritual Practice” covenant group. She previously taught in the RE program and led a covenant group for parents who are raising children in the context of separation or divorce.  Mary’s journey to UUCM apparently began in Holy Name Parish, Springfield MA.   After a 30 year career as a union labor attorney, Mary now works as a High School Library Media Specialist and volunteers with the immigrant rights group “Wind of the Spirit” in Morristown.   She is the proud mom of 20 year old Denis and 13 year old Iliana.

Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (through 2017)

Teresa DeSousa

Teresa is the immediate past President of the congregation and has been a member of UU Montclair since 2004.  She had served on the Board since 2007 and is also a past Secretary and Vice President.  When she first joined the congregation, she was a senior youth advisor, which she did for the first several years before branching out in other areas of congregational life.  Most notably, she was one of the facilitators of the first Harvest the Power class, and she also started the UU Marketplace with other members of the congregation.  Teresa lives in West Orange and is the owner of the newly-launched K9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel of Madison.  Teresa is honored to be asked to join the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee.  She views empowerment as an essential ingredient to a happy and fulfilling life, and her involvement in the NLDC is a way for her to channel her energy into helping others realize their potential.

Dionne Ford Kurtti

Dionne Ford Kurtti has been attending the UUCM since 2005. For the past six years, she has volunteered as a religious education teacher, has written several plays for RE programs and is also a member of the Undoing Racism Committee.  A graduate of Fordham University with a degree in media studies, Dionne was a newspaper and television journalist before working as a freelance writer.  Currently, she is a Masters of Fine Arts candidate in the creative writing department at New York University.  She lives in Montclair with her husband, Dennis and daughters, Desiree and Devany.