Meet our 2021 Unity of Madison Board Candidates!
Hello, Unity of Madison! My name is Denise Landkamer and I am running for an alternate position on the Board of Trustees. I've been on my spiritual journey for many years and am very grateful to be a part of this Unity community/family.
I entered my first Unity church in 1978 and immediately felt at home which led me to serve in a variety of ways over the course of 10 years. I've served Unity churches as a greeter, board member (president and vice-president), Youth teacher, hospitality hostess and monthly newsletter writer. I've lived in Madison for 10.5 years and have two married daughters (one in New Orleans and the other outside of Atlanta), one grandson and two cats (Desmond and Molly Jones - obla di obla da!). I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in person again!
Hello, Unity of Madison Friends! My name is Joanne Ruzicka. I am running for an alternate position on the Board of Trustees.
I have been a member of Unity of Madison since 1985. I have volunteered in the Unity of Madison community teaching in Youth Ed, serving in Hospitality, hosted book studies, assisted with the summer picnics and Thanksgiving meals, prepared meals with the Porchlight team, organized a pie sale for a fall fundraiser, led the name tag effort, and I currently co-lead the Garden ministry and volunteer in the church office.
In April of 2017, I retired from an office manager position. Prior to that, my work experience was in technology and as a consultant and as a supervisor. For fun, I enjoy camping, golfing, biking and gardening.
I am grateful for the enrichment and spiritual growth I have gained from the Unity of Madison. The community we have in this congregation is very special to me. I feel this is a time of great optimism and hope in our country and that the Unity of Madison has the opportunity to be an even bigger blessing to the community.
I am excited to be running for a three year position on the Board of Trustees at Unity of Madison. I want to share some of my history with Unity. I started my Unity journey in October 1998 at Seattle Unity. I had asked a dear friend if she was part of a spiritual community. I attended a service with her and knew right away that this was the place I had dreamed of being. I received a warm welcome which is my experience in all the Unity churches I’ve attended. I volunteered in the Youth Ed youth program right away. I worked with the four and five year olds and enjoyed this so much. I attended the membership class as soon as possible so I could become a member. I was inspired by the talks that I listened to and the many classes I attended. I went to Chaplaincy training and became a chaplain. I also sang in the choir. Then I was invited by the nominating committee to serve on the Board. I served as an alternate for two years and then as a full Board member for three years until I resigned to become the business manager of Seattle Unity.
The next Unity church I attended was in Spokane WA where I moved to take care of my mother in the last years of her life. I was delighted to be a part of Spokane Unity Church and served as a chaplain and sang in the choir.
Now I have the pleasure of being a member of Unity of Madison. I attended my first service the Sunday after I moved here in 2019 and found another warm and welcoming Unity community. I sang in the choir before Covid and look forward to doing that again. I would also like to attend the next chaplain training and become a chaplain. Holding people in prayer and speaking the word for someone as Divine Spirit guides me is a privilege I also was asked to be an alternate on the Board in July of 2020 to fill open positions. I worked with Denny Balish, another new alternate to design a survey that was sent to the community. I am leading a sub committee that is working on growing the Unity of Madison community and doing outreach in Madison. I also serve on the policy and procedures committee. We are reviewing and updating our church policies and procedures. I am grateful to be part of this Board because of the respectful ways that they work together. It is a high functioning, ethical Board with thoughtful, talented members of integrity that are centered in spirit as they work together. We are also blessed to have Rev. Evin Wilkins lead this church!
I have a varied work history of 45+ years in a large communications company, as a child and family therapist, and as the business manager of Seattle Unity Church. I hold two Master of Arts degrees from Bastyr University. I am passionate about racial and social justice. I also serve on the Social Justice Ministry of Unity of Madison and I am an active volunteer in the court observer program of Nehemiah. I am blessed to be in Madison close to my son Aaron, his wife Katie and my three grandsons Sal, Gabe and River. Since Covid I take them hiking two afternoons a week and I have explored many trails in and around Madison. It is so much fun.
I look forward to the honor of serving the Unity of Madison community as a member of the Board. Thank you!
Hello, Unity of Madison! I'm Elaine and I am running for another three year position on the Board of Trustees. My path to Unity has been long and varied having been involved with different religions and denominations along the way. These experiences helped develop a curiosity and interest in studying and comparing various religions. Later, I joined an Edgar Cayce weekly study group for several years. It was their focus on the positive ways of being that were taught that laid the foundation for what I wanted and needed in my life. A member recommended Unity of Milwaukee to me and my family as they shared similar values and teachings. It wasn’t long before we joined this wonderful spiritual community where positivity, mutual respect and similar values were taught and practiced.
Our family made a career move to Madison in 1981 on the condition there was a Unity church here. My work experience over the years includes working as an 8th grade history and English teacher, in accounts receivables for a travel agency and for many years I was a case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County which included establishing a satellite agency in a neighboring county.
At Unity of Madison, I serve as an usher and have been a member of the choir, the hospitality team, the garden team, the labyrinth team, a YOU leader and serving for several years as the Board president. I have also taken the chaplaincy training program.
Now I suppose some of you are wondering why I am running for another three year term on the Board of Trustees! I have been very fortunate to have served as a Board trustee sporadically since the late 1990’s having served two separate six year terms and my recent three year. This has given me the opportunity to serve with every minister and interim minister. For me, serving as a trustee has been an enjoyable opportunity to grow personally while working with the other trustees to handle the challenges and growth opportunities of managing the affairs of the church in the best interest of all concerned. The Board has also supported me during some of the most challenging moments in my life. Currently, I am on the Policy and Procedures committee putting into writing or revising position and job descriptions and guidelines while also providing structure and guidance for our volunteers and paid staff to follow. I bring a historical perspective and experience to the role of trustee as well as a desire to continue to work on the growth and future development of Unity of Madison, especially since the pandemic has provided us unexpected opportunities. We have so much to offer a world that can benefit from our message and positive philosophy. It has been a pleasure and a blessing working with Rev. Evin as well as the talented, energetic, positive, spiritually-centered Board that is as eager to work together as I do on your behalf. Thank you!