Leadership

PositionNameCongregationPictureBiography
Executive Director Hilary Hansell Unitarian Universalists of New Braunfels, TX Hilary Goller Hansell first came to UBarU as a Work Week volunteer in the Spring of 2013 and has never left. She currently serves UBarU as our Executive Director. Originally from Massachusetts, she holds a BS from Southern Vermont College in Criminal Justice/Human Services. A Reverend Dwight Brown Leadership Experience graduate, Hilary has served several UU congregations in AZ, CO and TX in various roles since becoming a UU in 1989. When she is not in Mountain Home, she resides in San Antonio, TX with her husband, two children, two birds, three rabbits, and her faithful K9 companion Scooter.
President Michael West First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, TX Michael West joined the UBarU Board in the summer of 2012. He’s been committed to the success of the Camp and Retreat Center since his first visit many years ago. He’s attended many Central Texas Men’s Fellowship Retreats and lopped many a cedar over the years. He recently began a project to digitally identify the vast array of wildlife species at UBarU. Michael and his wife Lynda are long-time members of First UU Church of Austin, having served on FUUCA Board of Trustees from 2009-2011. Michael is retired from the Texas Department of Agriculture where he served as Rural Economic Development Finance Programs Coordinator. Michael is a member of the Texas Economic Development Council and holds BA and MA degrees in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife have an amazing son who graduated from St. Edward’s University and two very special Cavalier King Charles spaniels.
Vice-President Jon Durbin Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park, TX Jon Durbin has served on the UBarU Board since 2001 and as Board President from 2009 through February, 2017. Jon is a former SWUUC (Southwestern Unitarian Universalists Conference) District President, former SWUUSI (Summer Institute) co-Director, has served UU congregations as President and as Treasurer. Currently Jon Chairs the Live Oak UU Finance Committee and serves on the church’s Endowment Committee. Jon is founder and co-list manager for UU-Money and is co-list manager for the district list SWUUC-L. With an MBA and CTP (Certified Treasury Professional), he is recently retired from Austin Regional Clinic. Keeping his hand in the business community, he serves as Chief Financial Officer for both Customer Research International and ReconMR (market research companies) and is a member of the Austin Regional Clinic 401K Plan Committee and Austin Association for Financial Professionals. Jon stays busy in his retirement, also serving as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Pioneer Farms, a living history museum in northeast Austin. Jon holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Secretary Mark Kilpatrick First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, TX Mark has served as a trustee on the UBarU board since 2009. A member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, he coordinates its Men's Fellowship Breakfast Group and served five years on the church's board of directors, including a term as president. He's a journalist who formerly served as managing editor of the San Antonio Express-News, also worked for daily newspapers in Austin and Dallas, helped launch a travel magazine in the Wine Country of Northern California, and owned weekly and monthly newspapers in New Mexico. Today, he's a media relations consultant, helping clients devise and implement media strategies to help achieve their goals.
Assistant Treasurer Bill Daffinee Community Unitarian Universalist Church of Plano, TX

Bill grew up in New Bedford, MA & married a 3rd generation Unitarian in 1967. Currently four generations of the family are attending the Plano, TX Church. Bill supplemented his engineering education with an MBA & has been involved in the commercial air conditioning business through his whole career. He has owned his own business since 2005 & is currently retired. After living in Syracuse NY & Naperville IL., he got to TX as soon as he could in 1982. Over the years he has served as president & treasurer of his church as well as chair of the endowment committee. He also served on the SWUUC Endowment committee. He has served on the board as treasurer of Plano Community Homes a HUD housing project for seniors. He received a State award for this work. He joined the UBarU board in the summer of 2015.

Treasurer Patricia Baillif First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX Patricia is a lifelong UU originally from New England.  While in high school she attended Homestead, a UU summer camp in the New York Pallisades.  Now a CPA in Dallas, Patricia serves the UBarU board as Treasurer.  It was her youth experience at Homestead that prompted Patricia to seek involvement with UBarU, to continue providing "a place of our own" where we live our values.
Trustee Derek Howard First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, TX

Derek Howard grew up in Austin, Berkeley, New York, and Chattanooga as one of four children of Unitarian Universalist Minister, Ernest L. Howard. He and his wife, Texas State Representative Donna Howard, have been members of First UU Church of Austin since 1978.

Derek was a teacher in the R. E. program of First Church, where his three children attended, for over a decade. He has also served on its Board of Directors and many other committees over the last 36 years. He has served on the Board of Directors for UBarU since its inception.

After a six-year career as a professional hot air balloonist, Derek attended law school to focus on the “other hot air field.” Derek is an attorney who has practiced employment law in Austin since 1979.

Trustee Donnie Bunch Unitarian Universalist Church of the Hill Country in Kerrville, TX

 

Trustee Dr. Roy Ellzey, Ph.D. First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, TX Roy has been a member of board since 2010. He holds B.A. and M.S. Degrees in physics and math from the University of Mississippi, an M.S. in Computer Science from Florida Technological University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Computer Science & Higher-Ed. He is a retired professor of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi where he served as Chair of Computing and Mathematical Sciences from 1979-1997 and was awarded Professor Emeritus of Computer Science status upon retirement. Besides having both public and private university work experience, he also has corporate work experience with the RCA Computer Systems Division, was an officer in the USAF, and is a published author. Roy enjoys music (especially singing), astronomy, science (fiction and real), nature, and the outdoors.
Trustee George Clower Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi, TX George has been an architect registered in Texas since 1966 living in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He also holds a license in California and New Mexico.  He served in the U. S. Navy as an officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.  He has been an owner in the architectural firm, Environmental Disciplines, Inc., since its inception in 1971, now being sole owner and president.  He has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi since 1973 serving two terms as its president, and being the architect of record of the new church facility completed in 2005.  He has served on several non-profit boards of directors, the longest term being 45 years for Mary McLeod Bethune Day Care Center, and having been architect for their three buildings.  He has a wide range of architectural experience including  residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and industrial.  He has been architect for other children's day care centers, churches, conference centers, and youth camps.  George has been on the UBarU Board of Director for one year and is serving as architect for the new Bunkhouse/Bathhouse facility.
Trustee Kevin Hartley Unitarian Universalist Church of the Hill Country in Kerrville, TX

Kevin is a life-long UU and has been on the board since 2008. He was a petroleum engineer and then worked in information technology. Since retiring he has spent his free time hiking in national parks and wilderness areas around the US.

Trustee Melanie Walter-Mahoney First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, TX

Melanie joined the Board of UBarU in 2013, having been enchanted by UBarU since it was gifted to our denomination by the Quakers years ago.  She joined 1st UU Austin in 1979, where she has been involved in many different areas of church life: children's religious education for many years, fundraising, annual stewardship campaigns, Sunday morning greeting/ushering, Social Action, and running the Bookstore for the past 5 years.  Melanie has attended SWUUSI over 20 years.  Her love for UBarU combines her care for people and the environment, as well her UU values and principles.  Melanie is a Social Worker with many years of non-profit work in Austin, Texas.   Music feeds her soul.

Trustee Rev. Betty Skwarek Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park, TX

Rev. Betty Skwarek has worked as a chaplain and chaplain recruiter for U Bar U. She joined the Board in 2017. Her Alma Mater is California State University (CSU) at Fullerton. She has an Elementary Credential from CSU East Bay, an M.A. from Fort Wright College of the Holy Names, and an M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She was ordained in 2016. Currently, she serves as an affiliated Community Minister at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park, Texas. She became Unitarian Universalist in 1986 and was hired to work as a professional Unitarian Universalist Religious Educator in the early nineties. She chaired the LREDA Chapter and the District Religious Education Committee in the Pacific Southwest District. She earned Renaissance Certification and facilitated modules in Philosophy of Religious Education and Teacher Training. She has also worked at deBenneville Pines Camp and Conference Center in California.

Trustee Shirley Meckley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kerrville, TX

Shirley currently serves as Secretary of the UU Fellowship of Kerrville and is also on the Social Action Committee.  She retired from Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon as Human Resource Director.  She served in that capacity at Florida State University and Washington State University as well as Employee Relations Manager for the city of Eugene, Oregon. Since retiring she has volunteered as a mediator for the courts, a court-appointed special advocate for foster children, and an activist for Interfaith Peace Builders.  She has been a supporter of UBarU for about 10 years and once lived there briefly so the Executive Director could go on vacation.  She is excited to see this special place growing for all to enjoy.

Accessibility Task Force Barb Murrell Unitarian Universalists of New Braunfels, TX
UBarU Camps Director Sheri Phillabaum First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, TX Dr. Sheri Phillabaum is our Director of Camps and Programs. She is a master-level credentialed religious educator serving First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio as Director of Lifespan Religious Education since 2008. She has worked as a religious educator since 2001. She holds a bachelor's degree in religious studies and a Ph.D. in Renaissance drama.
UBarU Webmaster Karin Gates First Unitarian Universalist Church (Copperfield Campus) of Houston, TX

Karin is the owner of KewlGeeks, a website development company focusing on small to mid-size companies. Prior to owning her own business she worked as a software engineer for over 40 years at IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Compaq and Hewlett Packard.