UU Women's Connection

Council Members

2017 UU Women's Connection Council

Tracy Zieber Minks, Chair

Tracy Zieber-Minks has been an Earth-centered Pagan for seventeen years and a Unitarian Universalist for seven of those years. She has been a literacy tutor, a mental health advocate, and is often an activist in various social justice issues. She currently heads the Pagan Group for the Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation in Springfield IL. In her free time she loves to garden, read, browse the internet, and do woodworking projects.

Diana DeWeese, Vice Chair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Patricia Hyams, Secretary

I’m from Deerfield, IL. I am a member of the North Shore Unitarian Church. Having recently retired from teaching fourth graders in Grayslake, a career that was extremely fulfilling, always interesting, and deeply loving, I am excited to begin a new chapter in my life. Being on the UU Women’s Connection Council is a nice part of that transition. I enjoyed making a pilgrimage to Crete in September/October, 2015 with Carol Christ, and leading chants on its sacred mountains and caves. I am loving being a grand-mother to three, playing guitar, drumming, and having more time to read. Making music and singing to the Goddess are central to my spirituality.

Janet Adams, Treasurer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Buffy Lael-Wolf, At Large

Buffy Lael-Wolf has been an RN for over 25 years in pediatric nursing. Buffy recently took all her years of experience and moved into a medical informaticist role, assisting physicians, residents and students in electronic medical documentation. She has practiced Earth-based spirituality for a number of years and finds herself in harmony with the moon's ebb and flow often. Buffy is the proud mother of a 5-year-old girl named Antonea and recently married Mr. Wolf. She would love to tell you that she does yoga every morning and grows vegetables in her garden. In reality, she walks her crazy catahoula dog, Scooby, daily and shops at the Farmer's Market.

Karin Janowski, At Large

I was born and raised in Germany, and moved to Chicago, my husband’s home town, in 1970. We have 2 children who are in their 40's and 5 grandchildren. I’m a member of the Unitarian Church in Hinsdale and the Prairyerth UU Fellowship, which has members all over the country. Having retired from Inter-national Banking and an assignment as a special education teaching assistant at our local inclusive grade school a couple of years ago, I now spend my time volunteering for various organizations and enjoying the freedom to travel when-ever I want to. My last big trip was the same pilgrimage to Crete that Pat Hyams also enjoyed.
I became involved with women’s groups after moving to Western Springs and attending a Drum Making Workshop at UCH in the early 90’s. It literally changed my life and created a balance to the male corporate world I worked in. I became part of a group of 13 women who used Jamie Sams’ The 13 Original Clan Mothers to explore and learn about Native American spirituality. After this it was just a short step to Womens' Spirituality and finding the Church I always belonged to.

Debbie Czarnopys-White, At Large

I live in Southern Illinois and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Wildlife and nature surround us and have been a blessing. I continue to volunteer as a master naturalist and master gardener. Learning about the many things I still don’t know about has become a real fascination to me.

Volunteering at a no-kill shelter now and previously walking dogs at an animal control shelter to help socialize them have been teaching tools for me as well. All creatures need affection and what I give them, they more than return to me.

I look forward to returning to the Council and look forward to sharing with you and learning from you all.

Jenny Ross, At Large

I live in Mundelein, Illinois, in the far north suburbs of Chicago with one or two dogs and a cat. My children, Matthew (24) and Perry (21) are still in college but come home to visit regularly. I have been a member of North Shore Unitarian Church (NSUC) in Deerfield, IL, since 1996. Before that I was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula in Newport News, VA, for several years. At NSUC, I have taught RE, been a part of the RE Committee, and been the Special Pro-grams Chair. Over the years, I have organized many events that brought people together in community including the annual Seder, the annual picnic, the Women’s Affirmation Breakfast, the Secret Pal program, and a Women’s Book Group. For many years I ran the bookstore and assisted with coffee hour. At the present time, I assist the Treasurer as a deposit counter, am a back-up usher, and assist on the caring committee. I believe that it is the personal connections that keep people in the Church and that those connections are fostered through programs and activities that get people together in social or supportive settings.

I am an engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration and work on projects throughout the country. This year I started a small business selling hand-dyed silk scarves, hand-made jewelry and accessories under the name What Jenny Makes. I am active in my community. I am a member of the Fremont Public Library Board of Trustees, and am the volunteer leader of the Library Cookbook Club. I volunteer as an English as a Second Language Tutor, currently leading a discussion group with two women from Korea and one from Japan. I have worked with low level ESL and literacy classes as well. My hobbies include cooking, reading, needlework and fiber art, photography and researching and documenting my family history. I am the current owner of the oldest on-line book discussion group which allows me to share my love of reading with people around the world. I am active in some local needlework and knitting groups as well as on-line chapters of the American Needlepoint Guild and the Embroiderer’s Association of Canada. Recently, I joined the North suburban NeedleArts Guild and participated in the Boutique at the Fine Art of Fiber show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I am passionate about getting younger people involved in needlework and organized a booth at the Milwaukee Maker Faire this fall.

I have enjoyed being part of the community of women created by the UU Women’s Connection and attending the retreats. I am looking forward to supporting the group as a part of the Council.

Heather McMeekan, At Large

Heather McMeekan is an artist, activist, kite enthusiast, and proud Mom to two teens and one dog. With a passion for education, politics, human rights, labor, and healthcare access for all, she advocates and trains advocates in the use of social media for social good. Heather is the founder of the Macomb Kite Festival and the Macomb Community Drum Circle, the Macomb “Liberal Lunchers” Brown Bag lunch, as well as several other community & social media organizations and groups. She is a former paramedic, emergency room technician, and EMS Instructor. Her graphic design work and writing has been viewed by millions of people around the world. She holds a master’s degree in Health - Community Health and works as a webmaster at Western Illinois University. Heather is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Macomb, Illinois.

-----------

2016 UU Women’s Connection Council
 
Tracy Zieber-Minks, Chair
Diana DeWeese, Vice Chair
Janet Adams, Treasurer
Patricia Hyams, Secretary
Juli Cicarelli, At Large
C. Sage Hagy, At Large
Buffy Lael-Wolf, At Large
Karin Janowski, At Large
-----------

2015 UU Women’s Connection Council
 
Diana DeWeese, Chair
Debbie Czarnopys-White, Vice-Chair
Susan Wilhelm, Recorder
Janet Adams, Treasurer
Juli Cicarelli, At Large
C. Sage Hagy, At Large
Buffy Lael-Wolf, At Large
Brenda Wade, At Large

A UU since 2002, Brenda Wade has chaired multiple committees at Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Springfield, IL. She lives in Cantrall, IL with her husband of 12 years, daughter, step-son, black lab and recently acquired hamster. After staying home with her daughter as a full time parent for six years, she returned to Kelly Services in 2011 where she now works as a Recruiting Manager. Her hobbies include reading, jogging and biking.  Her current self improvement projects are pursuing a healthy lifestyle and finding a solid work/life balance.

Tracy Zieber Minks, At Large