Slate of Candidates for Election in June 2023 to fill Elected Committee Positions
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Beth Cliff (2nd term – 2026)
Beth has been an involved member since April 2019. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees, sings in various choirs, is active at the Beardsley School and serves on its Committee, knits with the Shawl Ministry, is a member of the Leadership Development team, and has been active on the Year Round Stewardship team and with Adult Faith Formation programs. Since 2019, Beth has headed up Membership and Communications as a “staff volunteer.”
Beth and her husband raised their family as UUs in Massachusetts; earlier she was active in Congregational and Presbyterian churches. She and her husband Gordon are both retired from various corporate and consulting positions, and live in Easton. Their two adult daughters are in NYC and DC.
Jennifer Gerometta (1st term -2026)
Jennifer has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport since 2015. She has served the church since that time as a Religious Education and Faith Formation volunteer teacher. Most recently, she assisted as a volunteer leader to the Youth Group, and as a chaperone on the 2022 Alaska Youth Service Trip. Her two sons (ages 9 and 16) are active in Faith Formation and Youth Group. Jennifer is Chair of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Iona University and serves as the Chief Research officer for ULUstory.
Ravi Sankar (2nd term – 2026)
Ravi grew up in India in a Hindu household that held secular views and was exposed to multiple religious faiths in India. He became a member of TUUCW in 1994 and has been an active member since then: he spent over 6 years running RE classes; is a certified instructor of OWL; spent 20+ years leading classes on Hinduism; has been an active participant in social justice programs, and a member of the Finance, Immigration, and Membership Committees, as well as the Board of Trustees. Ravi has been a Pastoral Chaplain since its inception. Professionally, Ravi has over 30 years’ experience in Operations, Consulting, and Technology, working on domestic and international projects, and is currently employed as the Director of Digital Transformation at Wipro. He is married to Sudha Sankar, with two adult daughters, Amrita and Shrutika, who grew up in the church.
COMMITTEE ON MINISTRY
Melanie Allen (completing term 2026)
Melanie has been attending the Unitarian Church for the past 27 years. During that time, she has participated on many committees, including the Music Committee, The Rainbow Coalition, has been a Pastoral Care Associate, an usher, and has worked with the Youth Group. The attraction to UU Westport was the music and this has been her main contribution to the congregation: singing in the Men’s & Women’s Choir, the Special Project’s Choir, and the Gospel Choir. Melanie is also active in the TUCWomen’s Group.
Melanie was raised in the Presbyterian Church; however, it was the service to Social Action & Social Justice that spoke to her values and drew her in. She lives in Norwalk and is retired, after working in packaging for Consumer Goods companies, and now spends time volunteering at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk.
Lisa Donahue-Olivieri (2028)
Lisa has been coming to The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport since moving to CT in the summer of 2012. She became a member in 2017 after previously having been a member of Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, NJ. At TUUCW, she has helped facilitate Faith Formation classes and has participated in the TUCWomen’s Black Lives Matter Committee as well as the recently formed Social Justice Council. She was raised Catholic but had attended a Unitarian service in third grade with a friend and when she found her way back in 2005, she felt right at home. Lisa lives in Norwalk with her teenage daughter, Nina, who is active in the Teen Choir and Youth Group. She works as a therapist, with a background in Art Therapy and specializes in treating trauma and addiction.
Terri Laug (completing Term – 2024; will be eligible to run again in June 2024)
Terri first discovered TUUCW in 1989 while newly engaged to Rob Laug and looking for a progressive minister to marry them. Both were raised Catholic, but their families divorced and left the church. They immediately fell in love with the building and property. They were married in 1990 by the beloved Rev. Frank Hall, then became members of the congregation the following year. Terri has proudly raised two Unitarian sons (Zach & Jason) at TUUCW. For 15 years, she was active in RE and loved the experience of learning how to become a Unitarian while teaching the kids in church school.
Terri has been a financially contributing member of this congregation for over 30 years. She also has had a long career in the arts as a graphic production artist/manager and is currently working for Helen of Troy on the OXO and HydroFlask brands in NYC. She and her husband, Rob, live in Norwalk. Her two sons are currently living in Philadelphia, post college. She is an avid chef, frequent hostess, and gardener who loves to create flower arrangements from her perennial garden. When she’s not tending to the garden, you’ll find her listening to music and exercising or meditating.
Ken Vogel (2028)
Ken has been a member of TUUCW for 18 years. In that time, he has served two stints on the Board of Trustees, for a total of 11 years, including 6 years as Treasurer and two years as Board President. He is also active in Small Group Ministry. His wife, Jerusha, is also an active member, and both his children went through the youth program and OWL. .
David Raymond (2025)
David is a long-time member of The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport, having joined over 30 years ago with his wife, Therese, and two sons, Jason and Matthew. During their time at the church, both of his sons participated in the youth programs, and his wife taught some of the children’s classes. David himself grew up in the Congregational Church in Westport, but has found his spiritual home at TUUCW.
Throughout his career, David owned and ran a successful design-build company, which he has now passed on to his son Jason. Now retired, David has discovered a new passion for turning wooden bowls and is excited to explore this hobby further.
As a member of TUUCW, David has found a sense of purpose and belonging that has enriched his life in countless ways. He is grateful for the friendships he has made, the opportunities for personal growth, and the chance to be part of a community that shares his values.
Emily Sherwood (2025)
Emily has been a member since she became a mom in 2010 and wanted to make sure her son (Dylan) was going to know the importance of social Justice, community, and loving all. Since then, she has had a second son (Crosby) while continuing to teach 4th grade in Wilton. Emily enjoys helping with anything related to kids, music, or helping to make the world a better place. She has worked with Faith Formation on numerous family activities and looks forward to continuing to build more connections at TUUCW, together with her mother, Sheila Sherwood, and her sons, Dylan and Crosby.
Jerusha Vogel (2025)
Jerusha has been a member of TUUCW since 2005 when she moved here with her family from Massachusetts. She sang in the Women’s and Special Projects choirs for about 10 years. She has taught Religious Education from 2nd grade through youth group, was an active member of the RE Committee from 2006-2018 and chaired it for several years. Now she is on the Family Faith Formation Advisory Committee, supporting our DRE. She helped start the student minister program at the church when she and her husband funded a scholarship through Meadville Lombard Divinity School. She was a member of the Student Minister Committee for all four student ministers. Jerusha has been part of a Small Group since 2007 and has been co-chair of the Cranbury Neighborhood Circle for about 10 years. She is currently on the Appreciative Inquiry Committee. Jerusha has been a very active UU her entire life and her mother was a UU minister in West Virginia. She lives in Wilton, CT, with her husband, Ken, and has two sons (Duncan and Matthew) – both now in college. She teaches Chemistry at Greenwich High School.