Leadership

WTB is governed by a Council comprised of women of diverse faith traditions. It meets monthly to plan the activities of the organization. Council members hold staggered terms of one to three years, beginning each September. The Advisory Board, comprised of past Council members, gives guidance to the Council.

WTB’s President for 2015-16 is Betty Lamb. She has a background in both Christianity and Judaism. She taught religious education in the Roman Catholic Church and is now active at both Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Society of Concord. She is retired from a career in retail and education. Betty spends summer months on Murray Isle in the Thousand Islands, where she is the Contract Postmaster and Treasurer of the Murray Isle Association.

WTB Council

Barbara Bova, a retired teacher at Jamesville-Dewitt High School, records the notes from our monthly meetings.

Penny Hart is our Vice President. She is a native Syracusan and a licensed United Methodist pastor and chaplain at Elderwood at Birchwood. Now Interim Pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Syracuse, her previous appointments were at the Liverpool 1st UMC, Gethsemane UMC, Rockefeller UMC, and Apple Valley UMC. She has been a volunteer with Contact hotline, worked as a facilitator for its school program and coordinated its Teen Talk radio show. Penny is married with three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Luann M. Healy was born on Long Island and relocated to Syracuse in 1992. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Central New York Services, Inc., in Syracuse. Her interests include history with an emphasis on genealogy, as well as reading and photography. Luann is an avid hiker and an animal activist. Music and dance are also pastimes she enjoys. She is of the Christian faith tradition. Luann served us many years as our treasurer.

Saro Kumar grew up in Malaysia and while there studied for 13 years at the Holy Infant Jesus Convent. Her grandmother took her to Chinese,  Buddhist, and Hindu temples, as well as Christian churches.  She studied medicine in India, continued her studies in the U.S., and is a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist. She loves gardening and has been active with WTB’s Tapestry Garden.

Carol Lipsom, our Secretary, is an Emerita Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University and helps organize events specially for local SU Emeriti. She has held several positions with the  Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, including president, and currently is corresponding secretary and listserv manager. Carol has served in several leadership positions at Temple Adath Yeshurn, including as Vice President. She represents it on ACTS  Leadership Council, and is a member of the ACTS Education Committee.

A pioneer in developing vocational training for Special Education students in CNY, Liz Spence was born in Jamaica, British West Indies, of Scottish Baptist missionaries. She is our Corresponding Secretary. She grew up in the Northeastern U.S. and from an early age has been involved in issues of peace and justice. She is a founder of what is now Peace Action of CNY. Liz has two grown sons and resides in Liverpool.

Vivian Summerville is a retired United Methodist minister now serving as Chaplain/Spiritual facilitator at Michaud Health Facility in Fulton, NY.  She volunteers in the Fulton area nursing homes as worship and Bible study leader. Vivian has participated and completed several prayer and spiritual courses at the Syracuse Spiritual Renewal Center. Vivian and her husband, Fred, own a small farm where she has created a reflection center for personal and community reflection and meditation. Vivian and Fred have served in volunteer mission work to Costa Rica since 2004. They have 2 adult children and 4 grandsons.

Eve Tamela is our Treasurer.

Edith Washington is the minister at Unity of Syracuse.

WTB founders Danya Wellmon and Betsy Wiggins

Danya Wellmon, a co-founder of WTB, is a retired medical technologist with the American Red Cross. She is the mother of three and lives in Dewitt. Danya bridges the Christian and Muslim traditions, as she grew up in a Methodist family but reverted to Islam in 1992. Danya currently serves as a Vice-Chair of the Leadership Council of United Religions Initiative (URI) North America, which is under the auspices of the United Nations.

Betsy Wiggins, a co-founder of WTB, worked as a speech pathologist in Syracuse, primarily with patients who have had strokes. She spent much of her life in Georgia and worked for former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center. She is on the board of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) and served as its Program Chair. Betsy lives in Dewitt with her husband, Jim.

Advisory Board

This group of women, all former Council members, provide special expertise to the Council:

Muna Alany was raised in the Islamic tradition in Iraq. After Desert Storm, she and her two children traveled as refugees to Jordan, where she worked as a hairdresser and as a TV videographer. In 2007 she and her family moved to Syracuse and Muna has been active with WTB ever since. She enjoys cooking  and is well-known for her warm hospitality.

Judy Antoine was born in Iowa and raised in Chile , the child of Methodist missionaries. Judy attends May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society. She is a retired Spanish teacher in Syracuse City Schools. She began attending WTB meetings when her daughter, Giselle, converted to Islam. Judy lives with her husband in Syracuse, mentors an Iraqi family and delights in having her son and his family living close by.
Tanya Atwood-Adams is a Chaplain with Hospice of Central New York and a board member of the Death and Loss Education Coalition. She holds a M. Div. from Yale, is a Reiki Master Teacher and has an extensive background in the complementary therapies. Tanya grew up in the Protestant faith tradition, joined a Quaker meeting in college and continues to practice a blend of the two traditions. Her interests include spirituality and health in the diverse world traditions, art, history, travel, hiking and anything to do with water.

A historian of education, Joan Burstyn, is a professor emerita, Syracuse University. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Beth Shalom-Chevra Shas and is currently co-authoring a book titled: Searching for God with a Study Partner. She and her husband live in Syracuse. They have three children; one lives in Wisconsin, and two live in Israel. Joan and her husband travel to Israel annually to see them and their children.

Jennifer Roberts Crittenden is a former president and before that secretary of WTB. She coordinates our sewing program with New Americans and the Book Club. A retired English teacher, Jennifer lives with her husband in Bridgeport, a suburb of Syracuse. She enjoys activities with grandchildren, enjoys Oneida Lake, travels whenever possible, volunteers at a nursing home, and is active in her Roman Catholic Church.

Janet Donoghue is a retired school community counselor who formerly did crisis intervention with teens. She also trained professionals about drug-addicted and disruptive teens and has facilitated support groups for recovering teens, parents and gay students. Janet now volunteers with women transitioning out of homelessness. She and her husband live in Syracuse and worship with a multi-faith group.

Daryl Files, was born in Chicago, but has lived in Syracuse for four decades. She formerly owned and operated a sports bar with her husband, Noel, and has been a personal development trainer. She has been very involved with many local non-profits, including the Northside Butternut Community Police Center and now InterFaith Works. Daryl is Jewish. She is the mother of four daughters and the grandmother of three. She led us for two years as our vice-president.

An active United Methodist, Barbara Croll Fought teaches broadcast and digital journalism and communications law at Syracuse University.  She is currently holds a three -year appointment as a Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence. She lives with her husband in Dewitt. Barbara was WTB’s first secretary and now managed this web site for many years.

A retired elementary teacher, Jan Garman served as WTB’s secretary from 2003-2005 and became its first president from 2005-2007.  In 2010, Jan and her husband Hal moved to Gaithersburg, Md., to be closer to their three daughters and six grandchildren. There she volunteers in an elementary school, mentors fourth and fifth graders, serves as the chair of the residential council of her living unit and writes for the community newspaper.  She keeps engaged in the activities of WTB via the Internet.

Patricia “Terra” Harmatuk is a minister of Covenant of the Goddess (COG) and HPS of Circle of the Rising Phoenix. Her spiritual path is eclectic-Wiccan and includes Shamanic and Buddhist practices. She is a Reiki Master. Terra retired from Onondaga County Department of Social Services after 32 years, and is currently employed by Transitional Living Services. She teaches “The Philosophy, Magick & Ritual of Wicca.” She and her husband live on Onondaga Hill; they have two adult children and two Huskies.

The co-founder of Mothers Against Gun Violence (MAGV), Helen Hudson conducts vigils after each Syracuse homicide and works with families of teens killed. Helen is a single working mother with one son and has become “Mom” to countless young people in Syracuse. In her current role as the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison for the United Way of Central New York, Helen’s reach extends throughout the community. In 2011 Helen was elected Syracuse Common Counselor at-large.

Patti McGuire is involved at St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church. She works for Bennett Business Services and is the administrator for the Institute of Certified Records Management. She enjoys camping, canoeing and biking and volunteers on a “lean-to” rescue team in the Adirondacks.

Gay Montague

Gay Montague led us as President from 2009-2011. She is retired from teaching and working with teens in crisis and currently writes children’s books focusing on issues of peace and non-violence. She volunteers with local refugees and considers spiritual peacemaking as part of her ministry. She and her husband Len have six children and six grandchildren.

Patricia Pellenz

Joy Pople is another previous president. She formerly directed the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center. Joy has traveled extensively and as a result of  her international travel experiences she has become committed to fostering understanding and cooperation among people of various cultures. She is a  prolific writer and is active on social media. Her faith background is in the Mennonite, Episcopal and Unification churches.

Ann Port

A former WTB president, Ann Eppinger Port, has worked for many years as a freelance medical writer and editor. Her ongoing interests include complementary and energy-based healing modalities; Jewish history, spirituality, and mystical traditions. She is a Reiki Master, a Psych-K practitioner, and a Literacy Volunteer. She and her husband Howard are the parents of two sons.

Sabra Reinhardt, a Baha’i, is part of an interfaith marriage, as her husband is a Christian. They have five children and two granddaughters. Sabra’s first career was in education. She’s currently the CFO of a small business and a family foundation.

Mam-Yassin Sarr is from The Gambia, West Africa. She was born into a Muslim family, was educated in Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic schools, and now follows the Bahá΄í faith. She earned a Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum at Syracuse University and is the director of Starfish International, a nonprofit organization whose mission focuses on meeting the educational needs of Gambian girls.

Sue Savion  was raised Catholic but is currently active at May Memorial  Unitarian-Universalist Society, where she co-chairs the Green Sanctuary Committee. Sue is a retired reading specialist in the Syracuse city schools.    Sue is editor of the newsletter for the Transpersonal Psychology Association of Syracuse,  has published four teacher resource books and poetry as well as a book on Matilda Joslyn Gage.  Sue’s two daughters and three grandchildren live nearby.

Born in New Bedford, Mass., Nancy Shepard has lived in Fayetteville for 48 years with husband Walter. She claims their greatest achievement is having five children and their spouses who are good parents to 12 grandchildren. She is retired from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. She is a past volunteer with the Fresh Air Fund and currently works for Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement and the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Parish social justice committee. She enjoys gardening, cross-country skiing, and reading.

Bonnie Shoultz lives at the Zen Center in Syracuse and was ordained a Buddhist nun in 2003. She is Buddhist chaplain at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel and is a contract chaplain with InterFaith Works, teaching meditation at the Onondaga County Justice Center and Hillbrook Youth Center. She has two adult children and one college-age grandson. 

Cara Steiner is retired after working in public health nursing and health administration positions in Syracuse. Born in an Ohio Mennonite family, Cara is a tutor with Literacy Volunteers and serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Onondaga County Health Department. She enjoys traveling with her husband to see their children and families in North Carolina and Colorado. They live in Syracuse and attend Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

Margaret Susan Thompson teaches history, political science, and religion at Syracuse University, where her research focuses on Catholic nuns and the intersections of religion and politics. She is an associate member of the IHM [Immaculate Heart of Mary] Sisters of Monroe, Michigan. Peggy grew up in the Jewish tradition and is now a Catholic.

Lisa Warnecke has been President of GeoManagement Associates since 1989, conducting research and advocacy about Geographic Information Technology (GIT)  in the nation’s 50 states and local governments, as well as federal public lands and related environmental/natural resources issues. Lisa has authored numerous related articles, book chapters and reports. Lisa considers herself to be a spiritual seeker and currently mentors refugees who wish to market their handicrafts.

A native of Baltimore, Chris Welch, is a retired preschool teacher. She describes herself as as a liberal,  progressive Christian and has been affiliated with many branches of that tradition. Chris is active with InterFaith Works and a monthly French club. She enjoys summer weekends at White Lake and traveling with her husband, Tom.

Shirley Wells is a retired special education teacher and  professor. She is now an ADHD life coach who works with college students and parents of children with the condition. Her background includes Jewish and Catholic cultural traditions, but she sees herself as more spiritual than as the follower of any specific religion. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading and traveling.

Rosalie Young is retired after working as a family counselor, and professor in the Public Justice Department at SUNY Oswego. She has been involved in numerous community organizations dealing with Judaism, social action, mediation, and conflict resolution. She and her husband are members of Temple Adath Yeshurun. She keeps busy enjoying her four children and ten grandchildren and is learning to  play the drums.