This group of experienced professionals will be working with John Turmelle and Rev. John on all aspects of the Capital Campaign project. We trust them to make the best possible decisions for the congregation as the project unfolds.
Jay Lubin. Jay has been a member of TUCW since 1998 and currently serves on the Facilities, Membership, Safer Congregation, and Year-round Stewardship Committees. He previously served on the Endowment Committee. Jay is a retired senior executive with New York Life Insurance Company and is a retired Captain in the US Navy. He is a licensed insurance professional and certified insurance consultant. Jay is an experienced facilities and program manager. He is also a certified facilities inspector for the Boy Scouts of America. Jay serves as President and Director of Friends of Redding, a non-profit citizens’ action group, and is Vice President and Director of Connecticut Yankee Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Diane Melish worked for thirty years in urban and economic development. Her career focused on creating, planning, and implementing projects and programs locally, nationally, and abroad. More recently, she worked as a landscape designer with organic land care accreditation. Ms. Melish is an active volunteer, centered on women, education, and immigration programs and issues. Her organizational involvement includes Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), Mercy Learning Center (MLC), and Fairfield Villages Wellesley Club (FVWC), as well as The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport (TUCW). Ms Melish has been a member of TUCW for more than a year. Her association with the church, though, goes back twenty years, when she was married there by Rev Frank Hall. Currently, she is a member of Immigration and Refugee Outreach, Shawl Ministry, and TUCWomen, as well as the Facilities Committee.
Sal Mollica holds a BA in Economics, an MBA, and retired recently from a 30-year career in international banking. A member of TUCW for over fifteen years, Sal has participated in social action activities. After 10 years, he continues to enjoy tutoring fourth grade students at Beardsley School. In 2011, as a TUCW Board member, Sal led the “Space Cadets,” a group of members who sought options for expanding the capacity of the Church. They met with the original architect to make certain any changes would maintain the building’s architectural integrity.
Ulla Surland began her career working as a fashion designer in New York. In 1998 she opened Ulla Surland – Essential Fashion, in Fairfield, designing women’s clothing manufactured here in CT. Adjacent to her boutique, she opened Ulla Surland – Gallery Eleven, a fine art gallery featuring local and regional artists. In 2010, she earned a degree in Interior Design from Fairfield University. She subsequently closed her retail location to focus exclusively on interior, furniture, and rug design, working out of her studio at the American Fabrics Arts Building in Bridgeport, CT. Ulla’s lifelong love and study of architecture adds versatility to her work as a designer. Ulla has served as a board member of the Fairfield Art Council and as a guest judge at the Westport Art Center. Ulla is a 2018 TUCW Leadership Academy graduate and currently a member of the Gender Equity Team.
Dan Valentine, a Licensed Structural Engineer, has been advising TUCW on our buildings and grounds for about 15 years. During the early part of his career he worked as the Head of Facilities for Teachers College, Columbia University. Shortly thereafter he became a contractor, first for various developers, and then for his own firm until the mid 2000’s, when he became a construction consultant for the Rye City School District. Now retired, Dan is a 30 year member of TUCW and, interestingly, provided excellent building advice on the placement of the book cases in the Beardsley School picture book library.