Julia Beckman – President
I have been a member of UCH since 1966 and served in many capacities; President of the Alliance, RE Chair, Fundraising Chair, Clinic Escort. But, I’m most proud that I founded and still direct the Celebration Singers who enrich many church services throughout the year. In the community, I’m serving my 5th term on the Community High School 99 Board of Education, home of two large high schools located in Downers Grove, and was board president for 10 years. Professionally I have over 20 years’ experience in human resource management and am currently enjoying being a Job Coach with Challenger, Gray and Christmas, the oldest outplacement company in the U.S. I approach the job of president of our congregation with great humility, a love of this church and a desire to help all of its members and friends minister to each other and to the community.
Karen McDowell – Vice President
Although raised basically as a Unitarian in the Rockford church, there’s a little Methodist indoctrination, with a Christian Science-reared mother in the mix. To marry a Catholic, I took instruction, which made me appreciate my roots all the more. My career was teaching English, speech, and remedial reading and directing high school musicals. I found UCH in the late 70′s when I sought RE for my daughter, and attended for 10 years, then took a hiatus, returning in 2004 after retiring . I joined the choir immediately, was secretary on the Board from 2005 – 2008, have co-chaired Holiday Harvest since 2006, led a chalice circle for three years, am a founding member of Green Sanctuary, and helped with the AWR revitalization. I admire the dedication of the many members who step up and “get ‘er done” for the good of the church, and will, with so many others, work to continue to build a strong, caring community.
Beth Staas – Secretary
Reared Lutheran by devout German immigrants, church attendance provided an excellent education, exposing me to serious poetry and classical music in the form of hymns, and the discipline of deductive logic found in Sunday sermons. This, along with its spiritual nourishment, has kept church important to me. So when intellectual honesty demanded that I reject traditional theology, I still felt the need for a church home. Newly married, my husband and I found it at Third Unitarian Church in Chicago. Soon corporate gypsies that followed my husband’s paycheck, we moved across the country, finding a welcoming Unitarian home each and every time. We were even involved in building several Fellowships into bona fide churches. Hinsdale Unitarian is the twelfth congregation I’ve joined and am pleased to say that my five children are still Unitarian. Over the years I’ve been active in Religious Education, chairing committees and teaching as well as serving two short stints as DRE during baby-boom years when volunteers did everything. I was active in Women’s Alliance, sang in the choir and spent several years writing a church newsletter. I have been on two different Minister’s Advisory Committees, have conducted occasional lay-services and plunged into the demands of organizing and running a church library. Now widowed and retired from teaching, I spend my time writing in whatever venue strikes my fancy.
Mike Pabian – Treasurer
Recently retired from in-house attorney position with Exelon (ComEd) and previously with Ameritech. Originally from Detroit. Raised Catholic but “ran away” (i.e., did not “fall away”) after the light went on in college. (“In Humanae Vitae” helped a great deal in that regard.) Began regularly attending services at UCH about 20 years ago, after several years of coming for the “ritual” at Christmas. Taught RE (K-1, Haunting House) periodically for a number of years. My first students are now well past college age. Live in Western Springs with long-time spouse, Janelle. Adult kids – Daniel, David, and Sarah – are all RE alums.
Tiff Bohn – Trustee at Large
Portfolios: Faith in Action
Portfolio: Religious Education
As a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and a 12-year-member of UCH, I am dedicated not only to this church but to the denomination. A few years ago, I served on the board for 2 years (managing the Communications portfolio), and over the years I’ve been involved in the Religious Education program, teaching, mentoring for Coming of Age, and serving on and, for 3 years, chairing the R.E. Committee. I have co-edited the Touchstone for several years as well. I’ve been involved in several other local non-profit organizations, such as Girl Scouts, PTA, our school district’s Band and Orchestra Association, our school district’s Foundation for Educational Excellence, and Constance Morris House. I have a PhD in English and teach part time at College of DuPage. My husband, Jeff, and I have two daughters, 20 and 15, who have both enjoyed our wonderful R.E. program. I think our church is entering an exciting time with lots of potential for development and growth, and I look forward to contributing what I can during the upcoming transition.
Deb Stillman – Trustee at Large
Growing up in New Orleans as a Reform Jew, I never thought that I would belong to any other denomination. Then in 1991, when my husband, Tom, and I with our two young children moved to the Chicagoland area, we were in search of a more encompassing religion. Since this was pre-internet, Tom discovered UCH in the phonebook and began attending Sunday services. I followed shortly thereafter with our children, Dara, now 25, and Slater, now 22. The strong RE program, the people, and the wonderful music that filled the sanctuary every Sunday were the draws for us. We joined the congregation in 1994.
We have been attending UCH off and on since then. During the “off” times, my husband’s career has taken our family to the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area, Ottawa, Ontario, and Denver where we have been affiliated with other Unitarian churches. During those years, I have served on RE Committees, chairing two of them, and taught several RE curriculums. Since our return to UCH in 2009, I have been a mentor for the Coming of Age class, am currently serving on the Membership Committee. This year, I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Holiday Harvest and serving on the Board of Trustees with the Membership portfolio. I am looking forward to serving as a Board of Trustee with the Membership, as we move forward into a new era for the congregation.
Steven Trout – Trustee at Large
I grew up attending Paint Branch Unitarian Church in Silver Springs, Maryland, where my parents have
remained active members for over 40 years. Since moving to Chicago 23 years ago, I first attended
the Second Unitarian Church of Chicago. Later, I joined the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist
Congregation, after Athena and I married and moved to Elmwood Park over 20 years ago. We
discovered the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale over 8 years ago, shortly after moving to Western Springs.
Since joining UCH about 5 years ago, I have gotten increasingly involved, helping with business
solicitations for Holiday Harvest, a Chalice Circle group that meets Saturday mornings twice a month,
and with special projects, such as installing insulation in the Sanctuary attic. While getting involved
takes time, Athena and I find that doing so offers an enriching opportunity to learn, grow, and make
friends and connections to the UCH Community.
Dana White – Trustee at Large
Portfolio: Buildings and Grounds
Raised in the Methodist church, I began to question my beliefs while in college. I became a UU while living in Peoria after graduating from college. Became trustee and sang in the choir like I do at UCH. Moved away from Peoria in 1972 and didn’t rejoin the a UU group until 2007 when I started coming to UCH. I now wish I had been active in the UU as my kids were growing up.
I am a retired manufacturing engineer and currently drive a school bus for something to do. Live in Darien with wife Shirley. Two of my sons live close with their families. My daughter and her family live in Minneapolis area. I really enjoy the non-fiction book club and choir. I’m a fix-it guy and have restored a 1969 Mustang which I take to car shows and cruise nights throughout the summer.
Dan Bennecke – Trustee at Large
Bio to come