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”, published by Skinner House Books in 2020. 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 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.
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
Skyla King-Christison (she/her) is the Director of Religious Exploration for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, in Oregon. She is also a restorative justice mediator, serving primarily juvenile offenders and their families. Before becoming a religious educator, Skyla worked in public education for middle schools in Tennessee, Oregon, and Utah, ultimately writing and speaking on topics at the intersection of child-centered education and spirituality. The mental health needs of her immediate family and the communities she serves continue to shape her personal and professional interests.
board member at large
Sheri Thomas, a worship assistant and board member at Channing Memorial Church, Unitarian Universalist, in Ellicott City, MD, was born with cerebral palsy and diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her fifties. She breaks down barriers and promotes full accessibility as part of various disability commissions and committees in Maryland. Her book, "IMBALANCED: A Memoir," traces Sheri’s remarkable journey from a front-page headline in 1962 to her current role as an advocate fighting to remove the stigmas surrounding physical disabilities and mental health. For a free digital copy of her book, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
REV. CHRIS ROTHBAUER
board member at large