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Staff Bios

STAFF DIRECTORY

Meet our ministerial staff.

Go to Staff Directory   

Meet members of our program staff:

Cathy_Cartwright_2011-11_smlCathy Cartwright-Chow, Credentialed Director of Family Ministries    
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Cathy Cartwright serves at our Director of Family Ministries. She comes from a background in community organizing: As a young adult in the ‘70s, she worked alongside other activists in Dayton Ohio, doing the good work of consciousness-raising around human rights issues, such as South African apartheid and discrimination against working women. Her undergrad was in graphic arts and she went on to work for commercial establishments as well as non-profit organizations developing communication standards. Both of these paths brought her to the Unitarian Universalist church in Princeton New Jersey in 1990, where she was approached to be the interim coordinator for religious education. Since her calling to be a religious educator, Cathy has trained extensively, through multi-denominational work (in ministering to families), to conflict management, to childhood development and more. She has been called upon to be a consultant with the Pacific Northwest District and a curriculum writer for the Unitarian Universalist Association. In 2007 Cathy was awarded Credentialed Religious Educator.


 

Nicole Bowmer, Associate Director of Family Ministries    
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Nicole Bowmer has been the Religious Education Assistant at First Unitarian Church since 2005. As a writer, editor and activist, her background in grassroots environmental and social justice projects has included work in Iraq as well as numerous waterway conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and New England. She plays a key role in teacher support and curriculum enhancement for our children and youth programs.


 

Katie.smallKatie Radditz, Director of Adult Programs
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Native Portlander, and former owner of Looking Glass Bookstore, Katie has a Masters in Teaching, and has been on staff for six years. She teaches creative writing at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Katie has been a long time student of Thich Nhat Hanh and teaches Mindfulness, Meditation, the Transcendentalists, and Writing for the church as well as  leads various retreats.

 

 



dereau
DeReau K. Farrar, Acting Director of Music
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DeReau started with First Unitarian Church of Portland in July of 2016. He comes to us from Southern California where he was most recently Director of Music for Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, Choir Director for First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, Artistic Director of Selah Gospel Choir - an interfaith community gospel choir, Voice and Choir Teacher for New Roads High School, and Musical Director for classic theater company, A Noise Within.  Additionally, DeReau worked in Los Angeles as a freelance music director, vocal contractor, consultant, and arranger, and has a background as a classical singer. He serves on both the Board and Conference Planning Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians' Network, and was their Liaison to the Pacific South West District of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations until his move to Portland.





John Boelling - CopyJohn Boelling, Assistant Director of Music
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John first came to sing at First Unitarian Portland as a tenor section leader in 1998 and has been involved ever since. After spending all of last year in South America with his family, he is back as the director of the UU Women’s Choir and the Assistant Director of the Chalice Choir. John also helps with the children’s music program and leads summer music along with members of the Sometimes Quartet.  
John holds a Bachelor of Music from Portland State University and a Masters in Vocal Performance from Florida State University. He has been an active performer and voice teacher in the Portland area since 2004, including engagements with the Portland Opera Chorus, Oregon Symphony, and Opera Theater Oregon.  




 

Signe_Lusk_-_CopySigne Lusk, Pianist    
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Signe Lusk was the first accompanying major at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied on scholarship with Marta Bracchi La Roux.  She then studied in Germany through the University of Oregon Studies Abroad.  After returning to the US, she worked for the Oregon Symphony and Portland Opera.  She also worked for Seattle Opera and Eugene Opera.  Signe was given the OTIS Award for her work as Music Director on Candide.  She worked as staff pianist during the 1980's for the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.  Signe is the pianist for the Pacific International Children's Choir in Eugene.  She has played for the Bach Festival, ACDA festivals, conferences.  She has been in concert with Jerome Hines, Nico Castel, and John Del Carlo of the Metropolitan Opera as well as other international artists.  She has worked with Rollo Dillworth, Doreen Rao, Henry Leck, Sandra Snow, Bob Chilcott and Andre Thomas. Signe performed her Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Oregon Children's Choir. She is former Director of Nova Children's Choir at the Unitarian Church, and current staff pianist at Portland State University and accompanist for Aurora Chorus with Director Joan Szymko and Staff Pianist for the First Unitarian Church. She studies with Rod Eichenberger at the Summer Choral Festival in Oregon.

 

Joe_ODonnell_-_CopyJoseph O’Donnell, Organist   
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Joe has served as organist of First Unitarian Church of Portland for almost thirteen years. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Music in Organ and Master of Liturgical Music from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. While in Washington he served on the music staff at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. and as Organist and Choir Director of St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill.  For the past ten years he’s worked at Bond Organ Builders, Inc. in Portland as a service technician and, in recent years, a design engineer. Joe has lectured on organ maintenance for the American Institute of Organbuilders and has been a recitalist for the Organ Historical Society.

 


 

Hodder.smallEllie Hodder, Director of Handbell Choirs   
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Ellie holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music, Potsdam, New York, an advanced teaching certificate from new York State and Masters of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinios University, Carbondale. She has served as an instructor and clinician at regional handbell events, founded the Pacific Northwest Handbell Directors’ forum, a networking organization for handbell directors, initiated the Pacific Northwest Youth Handbell Festival and serves as a district leader for the regional chapter of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. Since 2002, Ellie has served as Director of Handbells at First Unitarian Portland, where she directs the three youth ensembles--Warbington Chime Choir, Beacon Bells and Marguerite Bells—and two adult handbell ensembles--Chalice Bells and Parker Bells. Ellie is Artistic Director of Pacific Ringers, a community handbell ensemble in Portland, Oregon which she founded in 2009.

 


Dustin Hunley

Dustin Hunley, Director of Children's Music
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Dustin Hunley, pianist, vocalist, music director, educator, composer and arranger has performed for almost 20 years as a professional musician with a variety of jazz, popular, funk, and commercial groups. He currently performs regularly with Portland's best jazz musicians at its top venues.  He is also the Director of Children's Choirs of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, and is an active chorister in the church's Unitarian Choir. He is nearing completion of his Master's degree in music through Portland State.  Dustin is currently working in the Camas School District in Washington State starting his 5th year as music specialist at Dorothy Fox Elementary School and is director of the student ukulele ensemble "Fox Pack Swingin' Ukes."  

 


 

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