The Board of Trustees is elected by the congregation to direct, monitor, and inspire the congregation through the careful establishment of congregational goals (ends) and broad written policies reflecting the Board’s values and perspectives about both the ends to be achieved and means to be avoided.
The Board governs with an emphasis on:
1. Outward vision rather than internal preoccupation
2. Encouragement of diversity in viewpoints
3. Strategic leadership more than administrative detail
4. Clear distinction of Board (governance) and Minister/Staff (ministry/operations) roles
5. Collective rather than individual decisions
6. Future rather than past or present
7. Proactivity rather than reactivity
Through policy governance, the Board can focus on long-range vision, and the staff and members are empowered to do the great work of our congregation’s ministry.
Regular Board meetings are held monthly, at least ten times per year. For the information of the church members who may wish to attend, a notice of the time and place of each Board meeting appears in the News and Notes. All Board meetings are open to the congregation except during Executive Sessions, which are solely for discussion of confidential issues.
The Board of Trustees consists of seven members serving three-year terms elected by the Congregation. Terms are staggered, and no one may serve more than six consecutive years without a hiatus of at least one year. The board acts on behalf of the Congregation’s membership to promote the accomplishment of the church’s mission and prevent unacceptable activities and conditions with the Fellowship. HERE IS A BASIC BOARD MEMBER “JOB DESCRIPTION”.

The Board appoints a Treasurer to oversee the Financial workings of UUSLO.

The Board members for 2019-2020 are …

  Alice McNeely – President

Alice moved to San Luis in 2010 with her husband, John Smigelski, after retiring from a position in higher education.  She has been a UU for more than 25 years and was an active member of the UU Congregation of Binghamton, NY before moving to SLO.

Alice is currently completing her first 3-year term on the Board of Trustees and has also served on our Ministerial Search Committee (co-chair) Nominating Committee, Aesthetics Teams (co-chair), Sabbatical Team (chair), Auction Team (co-chair), Pledge Campaign, as well as serving as a Worship Associate and UU B&B host.

Since moving to SLO, Alice continued her personal yoga practice and completed certification as a Svaroopa Yoga Teacher; now teaching a couple of classes each week. She enjoys hiking the many wonderful trails in San Luis Obispo County and capturing what she can with watercolor and silk painting. Alice frequently visits her children and grandchildren in Los Angeles and Portland and enjoys hosting family and friends in San Luis Obispo.

  Katy Ayer – Corporate Secretary

Katy Ayer has been attending Unitarian congregations (with interruptions) since she was a girl in Davis, CA in the 1970s, Katy has been a member of our fellowship since the year 2000; prior to that she was a member of the UU congregations in Whittier, CA and in Fullerton, CA.  Up until she was thirty, Katy was convinced that truth was only attainable through art, and this principle led her to obtain a Ph.D. in German literature. She subsequently changed her career path and is now a small-town CPA in Arroyo Grande.

Katy and her husband Steve Beadle have two sons in college.  Both boys have fond memories of Religious Education activities in this congregation.  Katy remains active in the RE program, and has served on the Endowment Committee, as well as assisting with capital campaign activities.


Barbara Curry

David Bernhardt

Dave has lived in San Luis Obispo since 1975.  He has sung with the UU choir for over 25 years and signed the book as a member about 10 years ago. He was a member and chair of the Endowment Committee for 6 years. He grew up in Ohio and came to California to do an Internal Medicine residency after medical school.  He practiced medicine in San Luis Obispo for 32 years and served in a number of capacities including medical directorships for a multispecialty medical group, an extended care facility and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.  He currently sits on the Board of Transitions Mental Health Association and the TEACh Foundation and has sung in the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble for 17 years.  He has been married to his wife Ann for 47 years and they have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Dawn Olsen – Vice President

Dawn lived in NJ and PA growing up. She was raised Presbyterian but she and her husband, Eric attended Congregational churches in the Bay Area and Columbus, OH. They discovered the UU fellowship when they moved to San Luis Obispo in 2004.

Currently the Retail Director at Hearst Castle, Dawn has recently transitioned from a fulltime schedule to only three days a week.  She develops custom product for the gift shop and enjoys exploring the gift world for new and exciting products to entice visitors at Hearst Castle. This new schedule allows her more time for new projects and interests.

Dawn enjoys hiking with Eric and Copper, the dog, renovating projects and keeping up on the ever-changing healthy food trends. Life is good, especially getting together with family and with daughters Kaitlin and Skylar and new granddaughter Thyri.

Alison Rittger

Alison Rittger made her commitment to UU in San Francisco in 2004. There she served on many committees and was a Worship Associate as well as chairing the Worship Associate Committee. She would not have moved to Los Osos in 2016 if she had to do without a UU connection. Additionally, her life is enriched by Buddhist meditation and living the ethical precepts of Buddhism, which are similar to the first and seventh UU principles. Also in Los Osos is the youngest of her three sons and his daughter. Before retiring to the Bay Area, Alison taught in the Los Angeles School District as part of a 30-year teaching career. She was a journalism adviser for a weekly school paper for 13 years and advised the yearbook as well. Currently, she lives with Foxiebeau le chien, her soulmate dog. Her interests include dog-walking, binge-watching, theater, opera, reading, listening to dharma podcasts, studying Buddhism, and writing and editing. She is currently trying to cut down on the use of first-person pronouns.

Nathan Heston

Nathan is a physicist who is passionate about advancing sustainable technologies related to the production and use of energy.  He grew up on the east coast and joined the Peace Corps after completing his Ph.D. in physics 2009.  Nathan lived and worked in Ghana over the next four years, where he met his partner Abigail.  Nathan and Abby joined the U.U. Fellowship shortly after they moved to San Luis Obispo in 2014.  Nathan teaches physics at Cal Poly in addition to serving as a faculty in residence member there and leading research and international trips with Cal Poly students.  He believes strongly in the fellowship’s mission and has found UUSLO to be a great asset that helps him live a life of principles.

   Kerry Taylor, Treasurer

Kerry was born in Eugene, Oregon and raised across the river in Springfield as an avid Oregon Duck.  Her family was Baptist and her parents were active church leaders.  She earned a BA in Spanish and Psychology and a MA in Public Affairs at her beloved U of O. The majority of her working life was spent in county government administration, with budget and finance being a focus in each of the positions she held in three different California counties.  Her interests include reading, more reading, and photography.

Kerry discovered the UU in 1994 when she enrolled son Patrick at Starr King Parent Child Workshop in Santa Barbara. That wonderful preschool was housed at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. She and husband Kent became first time UUs here in 1998 after being pledging friends. She has served on the RE Committee, assisted in RE for nine years, was on the Board of Trustees, serving as Board President for two years, and has been on the Treasury Team since 2006. She welcomes this opportunity to serve the Board and the congregation as Treasurer.

Adele Anderson, Recording Secretary