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Carolyn Kagan

Board of Trustees

Over nine years ago, driven by a desire to celebrate the rich diversity of her family and community, Carolyn’s path led her to become a Unitarian Universalist. When she moved to Stamford three years ago, she continued her commitment and was easily drawn into the Stamford congregation. Carolyn is passionate about the themes that embody the UU tradition – social justice, community building, protecting our environment.

Her passion extends to her profession, where she eloquently describes herself as a Clinical Social Worker by “trade and by heart.” An avid gardener, Carolyn brings that spirit of nurturing, growth, and commitment to her role as a Board member.

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Ellen Garcia

Board of Trustees

Ellen has been both a Stamford resident, and Stamford UUC member for the past 26 years. Her work on the Board is informed by her belief in the “interdependence of life” and her passion in supporting social justice issues.

Over the years, Ellen has devoted herself to family and a career that underscores the importance of the social and emotional development of children. Evidence of this commitment is seen in her work as a public educator, as well as a former Religious Education teacher and committee member. Ellen also has extensive program management experience, a skill she brings to her work with the Board.

Her role on the Board is also an extension of the social connections that have motivated her over the years. She asserts that “UUC has become a family to me.” Her enjoyment of quilting is at once relaxing and symbolic of the careful patchwork of the human connections she holds dear. While grounded in the community, Ellen also loves to travel, and is often drawn to the Adirondacks.

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Bob Nixon

Board of Trustees

Bob is an 18-year member of UCC and a resident of Old Greenwich. With his talent for working collaboratively, and in the spirit of community building and giving, Bob brings a wealth of related experience to the Board. He has worked as a journalist, a philanthropist, and with many local community-based organizations.

Bob speaks of the UCC commitment to creating a “compassionate community that touches the lives of those inside and outside of our sanctuary.” He is active in the Stamford interfaith community where he works to further ties among various houses of worship.

Driven by a passion for social justice and civil rights, Bob embraces a call to bring diverse people together at UUC and throughout the larger community.

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Evgin Heath

Board of Trustees

Evgin joined the UCC community more than 40 years ago and has grown spiritually through the connection. A Stamford resident, she has been a member of UCC Stamford for six years. She speaks of the congregation as an “extended family,” where she has felt encouraged to learn new ideas and customs, while seeing the world through others’ perspectives.

Evgin’s strong devotion to service, has resulted in her participation in many UCC committees, including membership, ministerial search, and finance.  She is an Information Technology professional, with strong listening and management skills, attention to detail, and organizational aptitude.  Being a Board member allows her to leverage her strengths, embrace new challenges, and continue to learn and grow.

Celine

Celine Rahman DeMatteo

Board of Trustees

Currently a resident of Greenwich, Celine was inspired to become a Unitarian Universalist shortly after her first service at the UUC Congregation in Stamford. “The Congregation immediately felt like home, a place where just being myself was enough.”

She, her husband and two children have been regular attendees at services and have become deeply involved in the Congregation’s activities. Celine enjoys reaching out to new families and making them feel a part of the community. She is also an active member of Congregation’s Lay Pastoral Team, a group charged with bringing care-giving services to individuals and families dealing with loss, grief, and personal struggles.

As Clerk for the Board of Trustees, Celine brings creative thinking, leadership, and organizational abilities to the role. She is particularly passionate about growing the Congregation and ensuring its financial security.

When not engaged in congregational life, Celine is either busy at work as an intensive care physician specializing in brain and spinal cord injuries or chasing after her two children and three terriers. When time allows, she also enjoys singing, cooking, and learning new arts and craft skills.

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Maria Lassman

Board of Trustees

Maria lives in Stamford. Raising her children in an interfaith family provided opportunities to learn about different religions. She was introduced to Unitarian Universalism five years ago when she walked through the doors of this warm and welcoming congregation.

Maria brings to the Board a willingness to learn new things. She has participated with the Carpet Campaign Team and is an integral member of the Lay Pastoral Care Team. Supporting the growing music program is important to her, as is the Justice Ministry and care of our beautiful building.

She enjoys music, especially performing with a group, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She is happiest outside, appreciating all that nature has to offer in every season, in all kinds of weather.

She is happy to have found this inclusive spiritual community where the people she has met share her values and beliefs.

Darlene Anderson-Alexander

Darlene Anderson-Alexander, Director of Religious Education

Darlene began her career as a professional religious educator in 2012. Prior to that,
she worked with children and teens with disabilities in educational, recreational, and
vocational settings. She also worked as a volunteer coordinator in a recreation
department and a skilled nursing facility. After taking about a 10-year hiatus from the
world of work to be an at-home parent to her three children, Darlene began serving the
UU Congregation of Danbury as their part-time Director of Religious Education. She is
currently one of a growing number of UU religious educators to serve two congregations
concurrently. Darlene holds a B.S. Ed. (Regular and Special Education) from SUNY
Geneseo and a M.S. Ed. (Special Education, Severe Disabilities) from the University of
Maryland. She is currently enrolled in the Religious Education Credentialing Program of
the Unitarian Universalist Association and hopes to successfully complete the Program
in the Spring of 2019.
Darlene is looking forward to expanding and strengthening the Religious Education
program that clearly has deep and solid roots in this UUC faith community. Recognizing
that it truly does take a village to raise children, Darlene is eager to involve all members
and friends of UUC in some capacity in the faith formation of our children and youth.

Patti

Patti Preiss-Harris

Music Coordinator

Patti Preiss-Harris is a pianist, composer and educator residing in Stamford, Connecticut. Originally trained as a classical pianist, she picked up the electric bass and toured Europe and America with renowned jazz composer Carla Bley, before obtaining an MFA in performance as a pianist at California Institute of the Arts. She has composed over 50 jazz compositions, recorded an album of original piano improvisations, worked as an accompanist for the Voice Department of SUNY Purchase, and performs with The Bill Harris Quartet, The Schubert Club Piano Ensemble and numerous choruses in Fairfield Country.

Patti has taught piano privately since 1980. She began playing piano for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Stamford in 2013.