2020 – 2021 Board of Trustees

Our 2020-21 Board of Trustees members are:

Chen Zhang, President

Chen has been a member at various UU congregations for the past six years. He was first exposed to UU in Rhode Island after his wife Sally brought him to First UU Providence. Since the introduction he has been committed to building a beloved community inside and outside of the church building. He has contributed time throughout the past six years in various capacities from volunteering as a religious education teacher, facilitating small group ministry, participating in worship through the Wowsers, and as Chair of the UUCC Communications Committee. He has most recently served on the Ministerial Search Committee for the UUCC. Chen completed a BS in biological engineering from Cornell University and MPH in Health Behavior from UNC-Chapel Hill. His professional experience is in public health, research, design thinking, and user experience.

Wendy Sapp, Immediate Past President

Wendy Sapp has been a member of UUCC since 1996. During her time at UUCC, she has held several leadership roles in the church including: editing the newsletter for 10 years, teaching Religious Education classes for 13 years, serving on the RE committee for 8 years, coordinating Small Group Ministry for 3 years, and starting the Lay Pastoral Care team then leading the LPC team for 6 years. Most recently, she served on the Ministerial Search Committee from 2018-2019. Wendy’s two children, Victoria (12 years) and Nicholas (8 years) are enthusiastic participants in the RE program and enjoy assisting with multigenerational services. In addition to volunteering at church, Wendy works as a consultant on issues relating to educating children with visual impairments and blindness. In addition to her work, volunteering, and family, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, yoga, and playing with her new puppy.

Emily Sartain, President-Elect

Emily Sartain has been a Unitarian Universalist since 2008 and has attended UUCC since moving to the Chattanooga area in 2014. She has enjoyed working with the Religious Education program in several ways, including teaching RE, serving on the RE committee, and being the chair of the RE committee for the last 3 years. She is mom to 3 children who attend UUCC (Marissa, Neil, and Jude) and one more who has grown up and left the nest (Eve.) Away from UUCC, Emily devotes much of her time to the preschool she owns and directs, as well as volunteer pursuits with Girl Scouts and Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Roger Davis, Secretary

My wife, Charlotte, and I tried out the church around 2005. But my first exposure to the church happened 10 years earlier when my ex-wife’s uncle, George Lee, took my two sons and me to the church for a service featuring a Mardi Gras parade for the kids. The crazy fun made an impression on me. When Charlotte and I committed to the church and became members, within a couple of years, I was honored to serve as president of the board. I can’t remember the exact years — it was the term after Daidee Springer — with Jeff Briere as our minister. I experienced just how opinionated all us UUs can be. I originally came to Tennessee in 1985 via California, where I was born and raised. Having gone to college in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Vietnam War and Woodstock and Altamont rock festivals, I brought a recognizable progressive political aura with me. This is just one reason why I appreciate the UUCC — it’s like an island of progressive sanity within southeast Tennessee. And with that sanity comes some wonderful congregants: loving, practical and intelligent. I might also add that I’m the resident drummer of the church, currently playing in 3 local bands, two of which involve very musical church members. I am again honored to return to the Board this July 1st, this time as secretary. It promises to be an exciting year, what with all the new people who are participating in the church, and, of course, with the arrival of our new minister.

Christian Horvath, Treasurer

I was born in 1971 in Vienna, Austria and grew up as a Catholic and was always active in church – youth minister, finance committee chair, etc. In 1994 I met the love of my life, Selina (a Jazz performer and teacher from East Tennessee). After moving back and forth between Knoxville and Vienna and over and over again being active in various churches (Methodist & United Church of Christ), I finally moved in 2011 to Chattanooga, TN, following Selina and our children, Anna (17yrs) and Sebastian (21yrs). Christian served on the Finance Committee at UUCC.
I work in financial management at Volkswagen Chattanooga and live with my family in North Chattanooga in a 100 year old house. My hobbies are volleyball, stamp collecting (what a nerd!), hiking and playing the guitar and singing.

Rodger Miller, Treasurer-Elect

My wife, Carol, and I have been members of UUCC since January of 2018. We moved to the Chattanooga area when I retired from Navistar in Chicago where I was a Senior Engineering Manager in charge of Electrical Validation and Test. I had been working as an Engineer and Engineering manager for 42 years. We found UUCC in fall of 2017 and started attending Sunday Services. Soon we were also attending Faith Forward classes and subsequently joined UUCC in January. Both Carol and I feel that we have found (at last) our spiritual home. Since joining I have been involved in SGM and am a current member of the nominating committee. I have a BSEE from The Ohio State University and earned an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University while working in Indianapolis. I play bass guitar in blues band that includes other UUCC members.

Amy Kussman, VP Resources Ministry

Amy grew up in Chattanooga (East Ridge, specifically), but as an adult, she moved/worked out West for a few decades. She finished up her B.S. in Plant/Soil Science from MTSU in 1999, then served as a Forestry Volunteer in Bulgaria with the Peace Corps from 2000-2002.

For over 20 years, she was a Forester with the U.S. Forest Service, working in Alaska, Nevada and mostly, on the Angeles National Forest, in CA, which entailed LOTS of planting after fires, lots of hiking for tree survival surveys, and meeting with cabin owners and utility workers.

She’s been attending UUCC regularly since 2017, which is when she moved back to Chattanooga full time from Los Angeles, with Dylan and her son, Walter, and their two cats. They are all newcomers to the UU faith, but are so happy to call this beloved space home.

She’s excited to join the board in this position, and is hoping she can lean on and learn from the wisdom of those that have gone before her!

Jon Littlefield, VP Outreach

Jon is currently on faculty at Dalton State. His MBA is in finance and he has a PhD in marketing. Jon has extensive experience serving on and chairing committees in the academic setting. He currently serves as the chair of the business school’s strategic planning committee. His research is focused on social issues such as gender and consumer vulnerability. His personal ethos is that different perspectives be heard, understood, and considered and his preference (while not always possible) is to reach consensus.

Jon grew up in a nondenominational church that became a UU congregation while he was in high school. He has been a member of UU congregations in Asheville, Wilmington, Blacksburg, and Raleigh. Jon and his wife Talia came to UUCC with their son, David in 2017 and placed membership in June of 2018. Jon is committed to the future of UUCC.

Our 2019-20 Board of Trustees members:
Wendy Sapp, President
Chen Zhang, President Elect
Nicky Ozbek, Immediate Past President
Roger Davis, Secretary
Lynna Ruth Standridge, Treasurer
Christian Horvath, Treasurer-Elect
Emily Sartain, VP of Religious Growth Ministry
David Benn, VP Resources Ministry
Jon Littlefield, VP of Outreach

Our 2018-19 Board of Trustees members:
Nicky Ozbek, President
Bart Solomon, Immediate Past President
Connie Cowherd, Secretary
Lynna Ruth Standridge, Treasurer
Link Christensen, VP Congregational Life Ministry
David Benn, VP Resources Ministry