February 10, 2014

Dear MidAmerica Region Board of Trustees and Delegates:

The MAR Nominating Committee (members listed below,) is pleased to submit the following Committee Report, including a proposed slate for consideration at the 2014 Regional Assembly Business Meeting.

This was the first year of the committee’s existence, following the consolidation of the Heartland, Prairie Star and Central Midwest Districts into the newly formed Region. As some members of the committee were new to a District or Regional nominating process, we spent time discussing various strategies and processes, and developed a nominee questionnaire in order to effectively collect consistent information among all potentially interested individuals across the region, with a particular emphasis on diverse identities. The committee met monthly via conference call beginning in the fall of 2013, with significant e-mail conversation in between meetings. Per our charge in the Regional Bylaws, we reviewed pending vacancies on the Board of Trustees, Nominating Committee, and Midwest UU Conference (MUUC) Board of Directors due to term limits or other reasons. We also made contact with individuals whose terms are ending but would be eligible to continue in their current or different positions.  After circulating a Call for Nominations through Regional Communications, and contacting Congregational Ministers, Board Presidents, Midwest Leadership School participants and other lay leaders for their recommendations, the Committee conducted reference checks as well as phone interviews with potential candidates. In addition to experience and personal background, the Committee committed to continued consideration of geography and size of congregations as factors in creating the slate.

It should be noted that last year’s inaugural slate included shorter terms for some positions in order to stagger the turnover and avoid all positions becoming vacant at once. To maintain consistent leadership during the transition, all three of last year’s District Presidents agreed to sit for at least one term on the Regional Board. We appreciate the dedication and commitment of those leaders in ensuring stability and progress for the board. Similarly, the Nominating Committee included the previous chairs of the Nominating Committees from each district, who had worked together last year to create the original MAR slate. That led to a smooth transition for this year’s process as well.

Board of Trustees

Of the three one year terms ending this year, all members at large, none of the individuals were interested in new terms. The Committee thanks Kathy Burek, Erin McElroy, and Amy Taylor for their service in this year of transition.

To fill these vacancies, we submit the following nominees for new three year terms (2014-2017).

Kyrie Block, Unity Temple UU Congregation, Oak Park, Illinois, Member-at-Large
Doug Cauble, UU Church of Bloomington, Indiana, Member-at-Large
Janis Cheney, Bismarck Mandan UU Fellowship & Church, Bismarck, North Dakota, Member-at-Large

Nominating Committee

Four members of the Nominating Committee were elected to initial one year terms. Of these four positions, one individual is interested in continuing, leaving three vacancies.

The committee submits the following nominees, including one incumbent (I) and three new individuals (N), for two year terms (2014-2016)

(I) Rev. Barbara Child, Church of the Larger Fellowship, Nashville, Indiana
(N) Katherine Daniels, Unitarian Church of Quincy, Illinois
(N) Kees deWitt, UU Congregation of Fort Wayne, Indiana
(N) D’Ann Prior, Michael Servetus Unitarian Society, Fridley, Minnesota

MUUC Directors

The Midwest UU Conference (MUUC) was formed to manage assets from when Midwest Universalist and Western Unitarians merged. More recently the major emphasis of MUUC has been to increase capital and provide a reliable revenue stream to the member districts, including the Mountain Desert District and the previous Central Midwest, Heartland, and Prairie Star Districts.

There are two vacancies on MUUC at this time, due to term limits. One vacancy was held by a previous Heartland District representative and one a previous CMWD representative.  

To fill these vacancies, we submit the following nominees for new three year terms (2014-2017).

Rae Jane Araujo, Heritage UU Church, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jeffrey Reed, Open Circle Unitarian Fellowship, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Respectfully submitted,

MidAmerica Region Nominating Committee
Tammy Lemmer, Chair
UU Church of Greater Lansing, Michigan

Diana DeWeese, Vice Chair
Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Springfield, Illinois, and Church of the Larger Fellowship

Jamie Boyce
Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Oak Park, Illinois

Rev. Barbara Child

Church of the Larger Fellowship, Nashville, Indiana

Carol Jean Larsen
Bismarck Mandan UU Fellowship & Church, Bismarck, North Dakota

Jim Laughlin

Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City, Iowa

Marty Sozansky
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, Minnesota