MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Our dedicated team is always on the ball, utilizing their unique skills and passion for moving the work of our Non-Profit Organization forward. We’re always pushing ourselves to stay ahead of the curve and striving to perfect our programs. Meet some of our incredible leaders below.
THE REV BARBARA F. MEYERS
PRONOUNS: SHE/ HER / HERS
Rev. Barbara F. Meyers, pronouns she/her, is a Unitarian Universalist community minister with a mental health ministry based in Fremont, California, affiliated with Mission Peak UU Congregation where she is a member. A mental health consumer, she is assistant director of the Life Reaching Across to Life peer support center, the author of a mental health curriculum for congregations, and the book “Held – Showing Up for each Other’s Mental Health”. She served on the UUA’s Accessibility Committee beginning in 2005, and was active in the creation of EqUUal Access and the AIM program. She is the current interim President of the UU Mental Health Network.
Karl Paananen has been a person receiving mental health services for over 30 years. He is a member of two UU congregations--Church of the Larger Fellowship and UU Church of Greater Lansing, Michigan. He was briefly chair of the Mental Health Caucus of EqUUal Access, then participated in the Core Working Group to establish the UU Mental Health Network, and currently serves as interim Vice-President for that organization. He has pursued many interesting careers over his life, including in the field of law, and still retains active membership in the State Bar of Michigan.
Erin (she/her) has both personal and professional experience with mental health. She finds that sharing about her lived experience with mental health is both liberating and a way she can work to reduce stigma. Over the past six years Erin has been on a multifaceted journey toward healing, with the most recent chapter being residential trauma treatment. Professionally, Erin received her J.D. from Columbia Law in 2009 and her MSW from The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter in 2018. Her current professional goal is to continue the work she began during school with children & families impacted by trauma. Erin is a member and past board president of The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. She currently resides near Washington Heights with her cat, River.
Julie Bond is a seminarian pursuing Unitarian Universalist ministry and healthcare chaplaincy at Starr King School for the Ministry. She is a keen advocate of mental and spiritual health and wellness – of both those experiencing mental health challenges and their caregivers and family members.
Julie brings over 20 years of fundraising, compliance, and project management experience as a community development professional to her role as Treasurer of the UUMHN.
She has worked in global health nonprofits, state government, and academia and has extensive Board volunteer experience with organizations focused on health access, education and community awareness campaigns. As a member of the UUMHN Board she brings her skills in communications, fundraising, grant writing, compliance and organizational development to the burgeoning work of the UU Mental Health Mental Health Network.
Board Member at Large
Stephanie Joseph received her Bachelor of Accountancy from The George Washington University as Valedictorian. She then earned a Graduate Certificate in Medical Services Management at Johns Hopkins University. Stephanie began her career in public accounting. She currently works for Housing Unlimited, Inc. in the Finance Department. HUI provides affordable housing for people in mental health recovery who are ready to live independently in Montgomery County, Maryland. There, Stephanie’s experience as an individual living with bipolar disorder complements her personal desire to help others living with mental challenges. Prior to working for HUI, Stephanie worked at several nonprofits most notably at NAMI Montgomery County where she was the Finance Director and Office Administrator/Helpline Coordinator. Stephanie sits on the Board of the Montgomery County Mental Health Advisory Committee as well as the County Suicide Prevention Coalition. She also works on the MHAC Subcommittee dedicated to mitigating poor mental health directly caused by climate change. Mental health is her passion and she dedicates her work to the memory of her father who she lost to suicide in 2011. She would like to see an end to the stigma of mental health challenges and believes that good quality mental health care is a right that should be extended to all persons. Stephanie is certified through the ASIST suicide prevention program and is a graduate of Mental Health First Aid. She is excited about being on the UU Mental Health Network Board because good mental health is integral in everything Stephanie does. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys cooking and reading. Stephanie currently lives in Germantown, Maryland with her six Chihuahuas.
Board Member at Large
Sanja is a member of the UU Congregation of Rockville, Maryland. My path to UU started as I explored different ways of approaching my life-long struggle with depression and anxiety. By profession, I am a scientist in the medical field (pharmacology) and a veterinarian. I am a proud mom of three adult children, who are my inspiration and my heroes. All of them have been affected directly and indirectly by mental disease and I am so proud of their strengths, values and successes. In my volunteer work I prefer to work and support people with mental health and emotional problems. My goal of serving on the Board is to promote and advocate all the great resources that the UUMHN already has and to help increase the awareness of mental health ministries across the UU communities within the US and even wider.
Rev. Chris Rothbauer (they/them) is a minister and spiritual companion who currently serves as minister of Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Auburn, Alabama. In addition to their work as a minister and soul companion, Chris is an Emotional CPR (eCPR) educator and training to be a dream work counselor in the Jungian tradition. Chris lives in Auburn with their partner and rescue animals, a senior beagle and a spoiled rotten cat.