The District Executives of the four districts are part of the Central East Regional Group Staff Team.

Andrea Lerner

Andrea Lerner serves as the District Executive for the Metro New York District. Previously, she was their Program Consultant.  Andrea is a graduate of Penn State University and attended graduate school in psychology at Fordham University. Before joining the UUA District Staff, she served three congregations, ranging in size from 250 to 700 members, as Director of Religious Education and also served as a mentor to several religious educators from small congregations. She served on the board of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) for five years and on LREDA's Professional Standards Task Force and its Integrity Team, which worked to dismantle institutional racism and oppression. She has been a UUA Renaissance trainer for nine years and was also trained to facilitate the Covenanting process.  Andrea has completed the Alban training course, Consulting for Vital Congregations, as well as the Healthy Congregations training course.  Andrea is also well-known for her use of social networking to relentlessly promote Unitarian Universalism.

 

To contact Andrea Lerner, email her at alerner at uua.org

Rev. Chris Neilson

Rev. Chris Neilson serves as the Congregational Life Consultant for the St. Lawrence District and as the Stewardship Consultant for the Central East Regional Group. She started in her new position on July 1, 2012. Previously, Rev. Neilson has chaired the Ohio-Meadville District's Commissioned Lay Leader Committee and served as Annual Program Fund representative and president of the UU Ministers Association chapter in that district. She was the minister of the Southwest UU Church in North Royalton, OH. During her ten years at SWUU, the congregation has seen significant growth, had a very successful capital campaign, and purchased a building.  Rev. Neilson holds an M.Div from Starr King School for the Ministry as well as degrees in Nursing and Theater. 

To contact Rev. Chris Neilson, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rev. Dr. Richard Speck

Rev. Dr. Richard Speck serves as the District Executive for the Joseph Priestley District. From 1991-2000 he was the parish minister in Vero Beach, Florida. Richard holds the Doctor of Ministry degree (1990) from Meadville/Lombard Theological School. He has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Memphis and an M.A. in Health Administration from the University of Illinois, Sangamon. He is a certified Healthy Congregations(R) trainer of trainers and a certified Bridgebuilder(R) conflict process consultant.  He also has studied Policy Governance(R) directly with John Carver.  He is currently working on a biography of Vincent Brown Silliman.

To contact Rev. Dr. Richard Speck, email him at rspeck at uua.org

Rev. Joan Van Becelaere

Rev. Joan Van Becelaere serves the Regional Lead as well as the District Executive for the Ohio-Meadville District. She has served in this position since July 2007. Previously, Rev. VanBecelaere was Vice President for Student Services at Iliff Theological School in Denver, CO where she also taught Unitarian Universalist history and polity classes. She has extensive experience with Unitarian Universalist congregations including serving as the Settlement Representative in the Mountain Desert District. She has previously served on the Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association (UUMA) executive committee and on the UUMA's Center Committee responsible for the continuing education of ministers. She has been teaching leadership development for almost a decade including service at two of our Unitarian Universalist leadership schools. Her BA is in Theater and Communication Arts from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, her MPA in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Colorado - Denver, her M.Div from Iliff Theological School. In her spare time she loves to perform Dr. Seuss stories.   

To contact Rev. Van Becalere email her at jvanbecelaere at uua.org.

 

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