Board President nominee Paul Cohen started coming to UUCR with his wife Romney Wright in 1979 shortly after moving to Northern Virginia. They currently live in Great Falls. Paul currently serves as UUCR President , he has also served as R.E. Committee Chair, Social Justice Committee Chair, and co-chaired a Ministerial Search Committee. He has also served on the Stewardship Committee and taught several RE age groups.
A career Navy Engineering Duty Officer, Paul is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has graduate degrees from the Naval War College, University of Rhode Island, San Diego State University, and an executive MBA from the University of Southern California. Paul and Romney’s two grandchildren are active in UUCR children and youth programs.
Board Vice President nominee Richard “Dick” Shields was a member of UUCR for several years in the early 1980s. At that time, he served on the Finance Committee, served as the church’s first choir director, and was a member of the Board as Vice President. Following a long hiatus, Dick rejoined the church in 2017. Dick has been serving as Vice President since being elected to the Board in 2018.
After receiving a degree in Government from the University of Massachusetts, Dick joined the Peace Corps and spent two years teaching in Liberia. He earned graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and American University and continued working in the field of education as both a teacher and administrator until retiring in 2008.
Board Secretary nominee Barbara Okerson first joined UUCR in 1985 when she and her family relocated to Reston. Her son Kristopher and daughter Stephanie were both dedicated at UUCR. Barbara served as the director of religion education before accepting a position with Fairfax County Public Schools.
After forty years of working in schools as a classroom teacher (K-University), central office administrator, and school based administrator in both public and private sectors, Barbara now teaches yoga. In that seeming blink of an eye, her two children have grown into their own persons, her first husband died, she has dared to fall in love again and married David Okerson in 2002. They both joined UUCR in 2016 and serve as co-chairs of the LLE Committee. Barbara volunteered to fill a vacancy on the Board and serves as secretary for the current Church year.
When not at church, Barbara enjoys practicing yoga, T’ai Chi, QiGong, meditation, and walking her “grand”dogs, Kealey and Rafi, along the paths and lakes of Reston where she and David have lived for 34 years.
Board Treasurer nominee Greg Ratta has been associated with UU communities for more than 30 years. He has been participating at UUCR since he moved to Reston in 2014 to support of NASA’s directorate for space communications and navigation. He is married to, and enriched by, long-time UUCR member, Annie Simpson. Greg served as one of the youth group advisors for several years. He also served as a member of the UUCR Board from Spring 2015 through June 2018, including as Vice-President for the last 18 months of that term.
Board Member-At-Large nominee Nadine Lesiowski, along with her twins Izzy and Graham, have been members of UUCR since spring of 2016. Nadine is currently a member of the Worship Committee and is an assistant teacher for the Building Bridges RE Class.
Nadine originally hails from Indiana but moved to Reston 12 years ago after serving five years in the Army. She has a Bachelors Degree in German and International Relations and a Masters Degree in Peace Operations. She continues to work for the Department of Defense and enjoys cheering on the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in her free time.
Board Member-At-Large nominee Nonnie Mullin is a life-long Northern Virginia resident who joined UUCR when she moved to Reston with her partner in 2015. She was raised UU and previously attended UUCF as a child. Nonnie has loved being an RE teacher for over 2 years and appreciated the opportunity to be involved with Scot's Internship Support Committee and the Racial Justice Task Force. She graduated with her Bachelor's from UVA and currently works as the Department Administrator for George Washington University's Biology Department.
Leadership Council Member-At-Large nominee Bill Thomas has been a member of UUCR since 1994. He served on the Board previously in 1999-2002, and was Board President in 2000-2001 and Treasurer in 2001-2002. Bill is currently a member of the Finance Committee and is currently serving as Board Treasurer.
Bill and his wife Anne live in the Lansdowne neighborhood of Loudoun County. When not doing UU work, Bill is a stamp collector and plays clarinet in the Loudoun Symphonic Winds.
Nominating Committee Member-At-Large nominee Julia Norrgard has been a member of UUCR since 1982, although she and her husband were out of the country for fifteen years. During 2015 and 2016, she led our Ministerial Search Committee. Julia was elected to the UUCR Board in 2016. Following the resignation of the Vice President, Julia became Vice President. After the resignation of the President in December 2019, Julia became President. Julia has been active in Adult Religious Education as a class leader.
Julia has a Masters Degree in History from George Mason University and spent eleven years teaching at the American University in Kosovo. She and her husband, Lee, have two children and four grandsons.