USCR 2017-18 BOARD MEMBERS
David Howard is the Senior Minister at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Prior to moving to Denver in 2014, he was Spiritual Leader at Unity of Arlington, TX for six years. He received his Unity ordination in January 2017. He has been a student of Unity and New Thought since 1995, when he began attending Unity of Dallas. David’s first career was in the insurance industry, where he worked as a commercial property and casualty insurance broker and manager for 26 years.
Rev. Ahriana Platten (2020)
Development Team Liaison
Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten serves as the lead minister at Unity Spiritual Center in the Rockies in Colorado Springs. She is a business professional and community leader who has traveled the world and experienced its cultural differences and human similarities. Ahriana serves on UWM’s International Connections Committee and its Focus Forward Committee, and she is the founder and coordinator for “In Good Faith,” a weekly newspaper column and podcast based on interfaith dialogue. She is an Ambassador for the Parliament of the World’s Religions and leads the Parliament’s Ambassador Advisory Committee.
Rev. Janet Lang has served as the senior minister of Unity of Littleton since November 2004. She graduated from the Ministerial Program at Unity School and received her ordination in 1995, and has been a student of Unity since 1986.
Janet graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in accounting and worked for the federal government for 18 years prior to entering the ministry. She has three children and five grandchildren. Her passion lies in doing all she can to people to understand the joy, peace, and wise, valuable guidance that comes from consciously connecting with that divine spirit within us all. The teachings of Unity totally changed her life in a profoundly wonderful way, and she knows it can do the same for others.
Rev. Susan Gumm (2020)
Susan has served as the Senior Minister at Unity on the Avenue Spiritual Center in Denver, CO since February 2013. She was ordained through the Field Licensing Program in March of 2017 and has been a Licensed Unity Teacher since 1997. Susan has been a part of the Unity movement for the past 33 years and has served as Associate Minister at Unity of Denver, Chair for SEE in the Field for two years for Unity Colorado, and Adult Education Minister for 11 years.
Susan also has her own ministry called Spirit Filled Ministries, which she serves as a Celebrant and Life Tribute Professional for Horan & McConaty Funeral Homes as a non-denominational minister. She loves serving families as they walk through the end of life and supporting the families for their services.
Susan has a Master’s of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology and undergraduate degrees from Regis University in Religious Studies and Davenport University in Marketing.
Rev. Brendalyn Batchelor, M.A., LPC, has served as Senior Minister of Unity Santa Fe, New Mexico since December 1994. She was ordained in February 2000 through the Field Licensing Program. She has a master’s degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor’s in General Studies from Chaminade University of Honolulu. Prior to ministry, Brendalyn worked as an Employee Assistance Counselor, Health Case Manager, and Employee Relations Specialist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She has extensive federal service human resources and related investigative experience which uniquely qualified her to serve for 7 years as the Chair of the Credentialed Leader/Ministry Review Team for Unity Worldwide Ministries.
Rev. Cynthia Leveque has been the minister at Unity of Des Moines since 2011. She was ordained and graduated from Unity Institute in 2009 with a Masters of Divinity and has a B.A. in Art from the University of Washington.
Previously, she enjoyed being Assistant Minister at Unity of Fort Myers in Florida for a few years and spent eleven years as Assistant Minister and Church Administrator at Unity of Boulder in Colorado. Out in the wide world she has worked in social services and recreation administration.
Cynthia is married to Roland Leveque, who loves to travel the world, so she goes along with that. Together they have six children and 7 grandchildren who live everywhere but Iowa. Cynthia loves riding on the bike paths in Des Moines and creating all kinds of art.
Dr. Nancy Little began her Unity journey at Unity of Dallas in 1993, serving consistently in leadership roles such as Board Member, Prayer Chaplain Coordinator, Platform Assistant; and Education Design Team. In 2012, Nancy served Unity Church of Hawaii during an eight-month internship, fueling her passion to share the Aloha message.
In 2014, Nancy conceived Unity Spirit of Aloha and received formal approval from Unity Worldwide Ministries to operate as an Alternative Unity Ministry. Drawing from the ancient wisdom teachings of Hawai’i, Nancy shares the Spirit of Aloha by offering Sunday messages, workshops, and training events at spiritual communities in the United States and Canada.
During Nancy’s 25-year career in higher education, she envisioned her role as supporting others to achieve their dreams. Whether developing a new campus, writing grants, serving as a trained mediator, leading programs as a diversity leader, teaching master’s level counseling classes, offering grief and loss workshops or working one on one with at-risk students, Nancy excelled due to her deep connection with others.
Nancy has a deep desire to serve our regional and international Unity movement. She was elected to the Unity Worldwide Leadership Recruitment and Development Team (LRDT) in 2015.
Nhien Vuong Dougherty, J.D., M.Div.
Nhien Dougherty serves as an Associate Minister at Unity Temple on the Plaza. At Unity Temple, Nhien speaks monthly at the 10:30 a.m. main service and leads a weekly Sunday afternoon interspiritual service called “U-Nite,” which she co-founded with her husband Victor James Dougherty, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Buddhist Center at Unity Temple. Passionate about transformative education, Nhien also founded the Temple’s U-Thrive Interspiritual Education & Enrichment Program in 2015. She leads, offers — and often personally teaches — classes on diverse topics such as meditation, prayer, relationship skills, compassionate communication, and the Enneagram. She also provides one-on-one “spiritual tutoring” to individuals to support them in deepening their spiritual awareness.
A trained mediator with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, Nhien practiced business litigation and family-law mediation in the San Francisco Bay Area for nine years before coming to Missouri in 2012 to attend seminary.
Since 2012, Nhien has been a regular contributor to the Daily Word and is thrice published in Unity Magazine. She serves on the Board of Directors for the River of Refuge, a non-profit in Missouri that provides transitional housing and life skills training for working poor families, and on the Spiritual Advisory Council of Saint Luke’s Home Care & Hospice in Kansas City. Nhien regularly guest speaks at local rotary clubs and universities.
Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W. 47th Street
Kansas City, MO 64112
USCR REGIONAL STAFF
Rev. Sondra von Gyllenband
Keeper of the Flame and Judicatory Representative
Rev. Sondra began her Unity journey in the Virgin Islands where she studied with a few other members of a book group. Later moving to Texas, Sondra became involved at Unity of Austin. She became a Licensed Unity Teacher in 1990. She taught classes at Unity of Austin and spoke at small churches around Texas.
Sondra became the Spiritual Leader of Unity of San Marcos where she served for about 13 years. While there Sondra entered and completed the Field Licensing Program. She was ordained in 2004. Called to Beaumont in 2007, she is now Minister Emeritus at Unity of Southeast Texas. She has served on the USC Regional Board, Field Licensing Policy Team, and as a FLP mentor. Her studies include Be Peace, Peacekeeping, Being Coach, and You and Money.
Rev. Toni G. Boehm, comes to us a 25 year member of our region through her alternative ministry, Awakening Awareness Ministry, and as one who has been involved in Unity for nearly 40 years. Her commitment and passion to sacred service in Unity, is unquestioned, and she continues in this consciousness as she brings her skills and talents to USCR. For over 20 years Toni served as the dean, Unity School of Religious Studies and then Vice President, Unity Institute. The richness of Unity culture is embedded in her “soul,” along with the realities of future possibilities.
Rev. Scott Schell is the minister of Unity Columbine Spiritual Center in Boulder, Colorado. Scott was ordained in 1994 but his history with Unity began in 1968 when his family started attending Unity of Des Moines. Scott is a CPA and has worked in both accounting and management positions. Scott has been involved with the finances of our region for the last 14 years serving first as treasurer and now as accountant.
Interim Teen Ministry Consultant
Lisa Yelenick is currently serving as our interim Teen Ministry Consultant. Lisa held this position for nine years, serving from 2001 to 2010. She also served as a Youth of Unity sponsor for many years beginning in 1992. Lisa also holds the position of Youth & Family Ministry Director at Unity Spiritual Center Denver, where she has served in a variety of roles over the years.