I grew up with a father who is a music producer, which translates to major project manager, and a singer-songwriter mother who maintains a full backing band. I grew up witnessing both my parents managing creative, often volatile people into doing their work well, while also gently coaxing them to innovate based on their unique talents. In my early teens, I began my own work in administration and project management, starting in the music business and progressing through film/television and then the non-profit sector.
I have a tendency to be a perfectionist, which I have tamed over the years into a benefit when it comes to handling details, as opposed to a hubris which slows down any organization, and especially a congregation. I have learned to embrace creative messiness. I believe in the transformative model of leadership, and I focus on helping people under my supervision discover and articulate their strengths into their work.
My time as a chaplain in UUA Pacific South West District camping ministries, along with some of my professional positions before ministry, has helped me grow as a conflict negotiator, encouraging people to speak truths to each other in loving, constructive ways. When I worked with both Grammy in the Schools and the Nashville Screenwriters Conference, I was the organization liaison to many celebrities and high-ranking executives, and became adept at handling high expectations and large egos.
During my internship at First UU Nashville, I had a ministry portfolio equivalent to a full-time Assistant Minister. My supervisor, the Rev. Gail Seavey, trained me take over all her duties as lead minister while she is on sabbatical for six months, including staff supervision, and expects me to become a lead minister in my own right along my career path. Since August 2016, I have been FUUN’s acting lead minister and chief of staff, for a congregation of 498 members and a large professional staff.
I see differentiation and delegation as necessary to the role of a chief of staff. I enjoy hooking together all the many parts of an organization to work better together. By strengthening relationships and keeping focus on the larger mission and vision, our ministry grows outward.