MidAmerica board 2015 09 11MidAmerica Region Board 2015 16

Back row: Tom Sommerfeld, David Lauth, Kyrie Bock, Janis Cheney, Eric Huffer

Front row: Doug Cauble, Ellen Germann, Ian Evison, Dawn Cooley, Dave Martin
PHOTO ON RIGHT is the Board at their meeting in September 2015 - includes retired Congregational Life Consultant Nancy Heege (in blue striped shirt)

Ellen GermannEllen Germann

UU Church of Lafayette, West Lafayette Indiana
At-Large Trustee (2015-2017)

Ellen Germann has an eclectic background. She has worked in corporate settings, as the director of three nonprofit organizations, as adjunct faculty at a university, as a self employed consultant and as a District Executive in the Mountain Desert District of the UUA. She currently owns a small weaving studio where she teaches weaving and provides a community environment for weavers of all skill levels. Ellen holds a BS in Physics and Math from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Southern NH University. She also completed Masters level work in Career Counseling at Rivier College. Her volunteer work has focused on children, covering areas of reading skills, learning disabilities, foster care and abuse. She was a founding board member for a small nonprofit that focused on providing ergonomic solutions for indigenous craft workers, is currently serving on the board of a charter school in Lafayette, Indiana, and has held several positions of leadership on UU church boards. In 1994, Ellen was among the first UUA Compensation Consultants, helping to move our congregations to becoming fair employers. During her 20 years in this role, she served four very different districts – New Hampshire/Vermont, Mountain Desert, Pacific Southwest and Heartland. In 2007, she co-authored the book "Big Ideas For Small Congregations" which has led to many consultations and workshops helping the smallest of our churches across the country. Ellen is the mother of three, grandmother of four, stepmother of two and step grandmother of three wonderful human beings. Her husband is a professor of Planetary Science at Purdue University

Rev. Dawn Cooley

Rev Dawn CooleyFirst Unitarian Church, Louisville, Kentucky
At-Large Trustee ( 2015 - 2016)

Dawn Cooley is the minister of First Unitarian Church, in Louisville, KY. She believes that Unitarian Universalists are called to "Love the Hell Out of the World" and tries to practice this on a regular basis. Prior to coming to Louisville, she and her family lived in Minneapolis and she was very active in the Prairie Star District. She graduated from United Theological Seminary in 2004.  She and her spouse of 20+ years have two children and multiple furry pets. She briefly played competitive roller derby as "LivFearless" with the Derby City Roller Girls and is excited to be dusting off her skates to join a new recreational league.

Tom Sommerfeld

Tom Sommerfeld 2015

Northwoods UU Fellowship, Woodruff Wisconsin
Treasurer ( - 2016)

Tom Sommerfeld was born in Ann Arbor, MI, in July of 1948. He grew up in Ann Arbor; Stillwater, OK; and Chapel Hill, NC. Following high school, Tom returned to Ann Arbor where, in 1974, earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and met his wife, Elinore, who has been his life partner for 40+ years.

Tom retired from a career as a data communications specialist with the Railroad Retirement Board in Chicago in January 2000, and has been a “professional volunteer” ever since. Since moving from suburban Chicago to the North Woods of Wisconsin in 2003, Tom has been a volunteer on-air program host on WXPR, the local Public Radio station; board member and treasurer of a local performing arts group; a volunteer at the local public library; and a poll worker for elections.

After years of being un-churched, Tom and his wife, Elinore, discovered Unitarian Universalism in 1999 and joined the DuPage UU Church in Naperville, IL, in 2000. Tom was a member of the choir and vice-chair of the Music Committee. Following the move in 2003, Tom has served as volunteer music director of Northwoods UU Fellowship in Woodruff, WI, as well as 9 years as treasurer of the fellowship. Tom and Elinore have been frequent delegates from NUUF to CMWDA and to GA.

David Martin

Dave Martin Thumbnail

UU Society of Iowa City, Iowa
At-Large Trustee ( - 2016)

Dave Martin has been a member of the UU Society of Iowa City for over 30 years. During that time he has served in a variety of leadership roles, including Board Trustee, Treasurer, and Board President. He has taught OWL (Our Whole Lives - sexuality education) classes and been chair of the Stewardship Campaign. He served on the PSD Program Council and has been on the staff of the Midwest Leadership School. Dave was Vice President of the Prairie Star District Board and helped to draft bylaws for regional governance. He is head of the Business Library at the University of Iowa.


Nominating Committee

Rev Brian ChenowithRev. Brian Chenowith

(2016-2018) Rev. Brian Chenowith is currently serving as our minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, Kentucky. He is a lifelong Chicagoan and a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School. After serving a two-year part time internship at Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL, he spent one year as the full time intern at First Parish in Concord, MA.

He came to Lexington, KY in August of 2015 and is glad to be back in MidAmerica. He lives in Lexington with his partner, Dan, and they both enjoy comic books and the outdoors in their free time.

Rev Martin WoulfeRev. Martin Woulfe

(2016-2018) Rev. Martin Woulfe has served as the minister of the Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation in Springfield, IL since 2003. Originally from the Chicago area, Martin graduated from Meadville/Lombard Theological and served UUCC in Park Forest, IL as an interim minister. Martin has served on the Nominating Committee of the National UUMA, as Treasurer of the CMwD-UUMA, and as a member of what seems like a zillion other boards. Martin is married to Angela & they have one darling daughter.

Rev Barbara ChildRev. Barbara Child

(2014-2016) Rev. Barbara Child has been a Unitarian Universalist since 1963. A member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, she serves the MidAmerica Region as a Ministerial Settlement Representative (coach to ministerial search committees) and Good Officer (minister to ministers in difficulty), as well as completing a term on the Nominating Committee. She has served the UUA on the Commission on Appraisal and Commission on Social Witness, both   of which she chaired; she also served on the Steering Committee of the Interim Ministry Guild. She is retired from full-time ministry and now serves as a consultant to congregations.


DAnn Prior

Prior, D'Ann (Dorothea Ann) of New Brighton died November 14, 2015.

Born Aug. 14, 1936, in Flushing, Queens, NY.

D'Ann was a member of our Nominating Committee. An early, active, and continuing supporter of women's rights, LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter, and civil rights for all, D'Ann served terms as president of both MN NOW and WIS NOW, chaired the first National Lesbian Rights Conference, and worked on MN's "Vote No" campaign. D'Ann was an active member of Michael Servetus Unitarian Society (MSUS). She also served the larger Unitarian Universalist Association as a liaison to small congregations in the Prairie Star District (now MidAmerica Region) and helped to develop Stonetree, an online resource.

D'Ann leaves a legacy of generosity and support for social justice. Memorials preferred to MSUS, or the social justice charity of your choice.

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