Thanks to everyone who voted in our recent board election! We’ve assembled a fantastic new slate of volunteer directors who will help determine the Foundation’s path moving forward. According to Executive Director Dale McGowan, “The Foundation has been incredibly lucky from the beginning in the board members we’ve had. Our founding board set us on course beautifully for the first three years, and we’re delighted to have Jerry, Mandisa, and Clare joining us for the next three.”
In this month’s FBB board election, you elected the following individuals to the FBB board of directors:
Trish Hotze Cowan. Trish has been honored to serve as a member of the board of Foundation Beyond Belief since its inception. She is active with the Ethical Society of St. Louis (serving as Sunday School Director from 2005 to 2011) and enjoys being involved with the larger Ethical Humanist Movement through the American Ethical Union. She is currently the national advisor for the AEU’s annual teen conference and assists with the national religious education and family conference as chair of the AEU Religious Education Committee. Trish’s greatest joy is raising her two critical thinkers, Porter and Jessie.
Jerry DeWitt. Jerry was a Pentecostal minister in Louisiana for 25 years and recently earned the distinction of being the first graduate of the Clergy Project, supported by Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker. His ministerial background provides a broad understanding of the religious lifestyle and its effects on personal well-being, and he strives to be both a dramatic and entertaining speaker/activist with a heartfelt compassion for those struggling with their negative religious experiences. Jerry has great fondness for the “Challenge the Gap” initiative at the Foundation, and is particularly interested in helping to guide this unique project.
Hemant Mehta. Hemant Mehta is the author of The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide and creator of the popular FriendlyAtheist.com blog. He previously served as chair of the Secular Student Alliance before joining the board of Foundation Beyond Belief, an organization he has been with since its inception. He is also a National Board Certified high school math teacher in suburban Chicago.
Zachary Moore, PhD. Zachary Moore was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, but got to Texas as quickly as he could. He is an active leader in the freethought community of Dallas/Fort Worth, serving as the executive director of the Fellowship of Freethought in Dallas, coordinator of the Dallas/Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, and treasurer for Camp Quest Texas.
Clare Wuellner. Clare was formerly with the Center for Inquiry in Austin, where she worked and collaborated with other secular organizations, helped design pro-science educational resources, and garnered the attention of local and national media to help spotlight and criticize the Texas State Board of Education. Trained as an entomologist, Clare is a skilled researcher, writer, and educator. Through her efforts to partner with the Clergy Letter Project in the interest of promoting acceptance of evolutionary theory among religious believers, Clare is passionate about finding common cause to serve the greater good. Clare would like to help the Foundation continue to make a positive impact on the growth and development of our community.
Mandisa Thomas. Mandisa is the founder and current president of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., an organization based in Atlanta. Their mission is to provide socialization and support for other atheists and nonbelievers primarily in the black community who would otherwise be shunned by family and friends. She has been focused on creating community centers that provide financial assistance, educational resources, and creative outlets from a secular perspective. Her organization also sponsors a recovery group for members who are still overcoming religious beliefs, a resource that is sorely needed in the black community. Mandisa is interested in helping the Foundation identify optimal fundraising approaches, as well as helping expand awareness of the Foundation within the black community.
Kate Miller of Charlie’s Playhouse has played a crucial role in guiding the Foundation’s work from Day One. She has now stepped down after a full term on the board to focus on other projects. We will miss you, Kate!