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Our Staff

Robie Evans

Director of Operations

Joined the staff in 2011. Robie is very pleased to be serving her fellow UUs in her role as Director of Operations. She brings with her a wealth of nonprofit experience, fiscal and program management and a core understanding and appreciation for Unitarian Universalist values. As a child, Robie attended First UU Church and the RE program. In 1980, Robie and her husband were married here by Dr. John Ruskin Clark. Currently at First UU, she is a member of the Generosity Ministry Team, the Finance Committee and is an ex-oficio member of the Board of Trustees. With over 25 years of commercial banking experience, Robie brings a wealth of knowledge to her position of Director of Operations. Prior to joining the church staff in June of 2011, she was Vice President/Senior Branch Manager of the Santee Branch of North Island Credit Union, a $30 million dollar branch. Prior to that, she worked in Santee at Pacific Western Bank for 10 years. Her background includes all areas of lending: commercial, real estate (including residential and commercial construction loans), and all forms of consumer loans. Robie also has an extensive background in non-profit work. She’s been a member of the Borrego Springs Rotary Club (Past President and Treasurer), the Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center (past Artistic Director), the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club (Past President and Treasurer), the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club Foundation (Past Treasurer), the Santee Chamber of Commerce (past Treasurer), the San Diego Young Artists Symphony (Past President) and a former member of the board of directors of the East County Family YMCA. Robie is also a professional violinist and violist and often shares her musical talents here for various church services and events. Phone (619) 398-4433 | Email robie@firstuusandiego.org

Kathleen Swift

Director of Family and Lifespan Ministry

Joined the staff in 2019. Kathleen Swift is happy to serve First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego as the Director of Lifespan and Family Ministries. To Kathleen, a most important part of this means creating connections and fostering relationships. She came to First Church with five years’ experience as the Director of Family Ministries in another Unitarian Universalist church. Kathleen has a background in public education; she has taught in every grade from Kindergarten through grade 8. She also was the principal of two charter schools in Riverside county; one an elementary school and the other a middle/high school. Kathleen’s education includes an associate degree in science, and bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with an emphasis on Spanish, and a master’s degree in educational administration. Kathleen lives in a rural area of San Diego county with her partner, Judy, along with their dog and two cats. They enjoy stargazing, and singing together. Phone (619) 398-4438 | email kswift@firstuusandiego.org.

Angela Fujii

Social Justice Coordinator

Joined the staff in 2017. Angela was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. She grew up playing tennis, piano and clarinet, and dancing hula. She traveled to Oregon to pursue higher education and worked and lived in Portland before moving to San Diego to be closer to family and complete her graduate studies. Her favorite foods include dark chocolate, broccoli and peanut butter. And, she loves to sit and bask in the sun. Email angela@firstuusandiego.org.

Jenner Daelyn

Connections Coordinator and Scheduler

Jenner DaelynJoined the staff in 2015. My name is Jennifer (Jenner) Daelyn, and I am the Membership Coordinator here at First Church. I am originally from Tucson, Arizona, where I attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing and also had the opportunity to study abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Following graduation, I moved to Philadelphia to be with the woman who is now my wife, Kiona Daelyn, as she studied Dance Education at University of the Arts. In Philadelphia, I coordinated a food pantry for people living with HIV and AIDS at an LGBT health center in the middle of downtown. I discovered a real calling to help people in need – especially people in marginalized populations facing systemic oppression and poverty. After two winters on the East Coast, Kiona and I decided to move to San Diego for the beach, the wonderful weather, and the progressive politics of California. We were married in Arizona on the Summer Solstice in 2012, and had our union recognized legally in California in 2013. While here in San Diego, I have worked as a fundraiser for an environmental organization, and as the coordinator of a food pantry that served people who are homeless, low-income families and seniors, and active-duty military families. I am passionate about food justice issues and I believe that access to safe, healthy food is the foundation upon which everything else in life is built. I first came to First Church through the Earth Centered Spirituality Circle soon after coming to San Diego. I was raised in a conservative, non-denominational Christian church, but realized as a young teen that the spiritual practice that spoke to me the most was Earth-centered and pagan. After meeting the members of the ECSC and attending services, the UU community at this church felt like what I had been searching for. I am glad to be a part of this team and to help others to find a sense of belonging in this church family. I believe that fellowship and acceptance can be profoundly healing, and I am thrilled to be able to be a part in that dynamic and healing process for new members of this church. Phone (619) 398-4443 | Email jenner@firstuusandiego.org.

K├Ąthe Larick

Youth Program Coordinator

Joined the staff in 2003. As the product of a Jewish father and Christian (Church of the Brethren) mother, I've explored many spiritual paths and eventually became a Unitarian at the age of 17. I moved to San Diego (the first time) in 1978 to attend UCSD where I met my husband, Jeff. Careers and family matters took us away from the area for about 10 years, but we moved back to San Diego in late 1995 and became members here at First UU Church in 1999. Youth ministry has long been my passion, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a youth advisor for 7 years before I took my present position. I am also currently serving our district YRUU board as one of the adults-at-large. As the Youth Programs Coordinator, it is my goal to create programs that strengthen the bonds of community, provide intellectual and spiritual growth and nourishment, develop youth leadership skills, empower youth and adults to work together in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, and encourage social action by helping to facilitate service opportunities for the youth participants. By creating and maintaining programs that are based on our Unitarian Universalist principles and values, youth are empowered on their journey to become life-long Unitarian Universalists. Phone (619) 398-4440 | Email kathe@firstuusandiego.org

Rose Riedel

Office Administrator

Joined the staff in 2017. My name is Rose Riedel and I am the Office Administrator for the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. It has been a great joy working at First UU in various capacities, and I'm thrilled to now be the Office Administrator. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 15 years, and together we are raising two great boys! I have a passion for theatre and art, both of which I have found wonderful outlets for right here at First UU. Phone (619) 398-4439 | Email rose@firstuusandiego.org.

Pam Bates

Database Analyst

Pam BatesJoined the staff in 2015. Pam has been a Member of First UU since 2008. She first embraced UU beliefs and principals as a young adult, and started attending First UU around the birth of her first child in 2002. Pam and her three children are enthusiastic participants in many programs and events at the church, including Children’s RE and Earth-Centered Spirituality. After starting her career in the corporate world, Pam has been Development Manager for FirstUU since 2015. She enjoys the opportunity to become more involved with everyone in the congregation, especially the Generosity Ministry Team and the Planned Giving Committee. Phone (619) 398-4442 | Email pam@firstuusandiego.org

Tony Bianca

Program Assistant, Children's Choir and Handbell Programs Director

Joined the staff in 2016. Tony Bianca is a Baltimore native who has recently relocated to San Diego is happy to be joining the First Unitarian staff as he begins his life on the west coast. After completing his bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance at Loyola College in Maryland, Tony went on study at St. Mary's Seminary for three years as a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. After leaving seminary, he followed in his parent's footsteps and began his 20-year teaching career and has since earned his Master's Degree in Elementary Education. In addition to working as a teacher and campus minister in the greater Baltimore-Washington area, Tony directed the Baltimore Men's Chorus for 15 years and has worked as a vocalist and music director in several Churches and Synagogues. While he cherishes his east coast, Roman Catholic roots, Tony is delighted to embrace what he has known for some time: that he's really a west coast Unitarian at heart. We were delighted to welcome Tony as our new Handbell Programs Director on March 1, 2018. Phone (619) 398-4444 | Email tony@firstuusandiego.org.

Karla Alvarez-Malo

South Bay Admin Assistant

Joined the staff in 2018. My name is Karla Alvarez-Malo and I serve as the South Bay Administrative Assistant. Phone: (619) 271-5017. Email karla@firstuusandiego.org.

Lara Korneychuk

Hillcrest Music Coordinator and Voices in Unity (Youth) Choir Director

Joined the staff in 2019. Originally from Irvine, CA, Lara earned her Bachelors in Music Education and Vocal Performance and a Certificate in Musical Theatre from Northwestern University. She later worked for three years as Choral Director at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, IL, before accepting her current position as Performing Arts Educator at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA. Lara also serves as Assistant Conductor and Core Alto of the local professional choral ensemble SACRA/PROFANA. Performing credits include: San Diego Opera Chorus, jazz soloist with the Hip Young Gunslinger’s Big Band (Chicago), Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring (Northwestern), and Young Artist at Ohio Light Opera. Phone (619) 398-4432 | email lara@firstuusandiego.org.

Chase Pado


Joined the staff in 2019. Phone (619) 398-4432 | Email chase@firstuusandiego.org.

Lorelei Garner

South Bay Campus Music Coordinator and Women's Chorus Director

Hello. My name is Lorelei Garner, South Bay Music Coordinator. I grew up a Navy brat born in Hawaii, attended part of primary school at Sullivan Elementary in Yokosuka, Japan and continued in East San Diego where I was the only brown skinned student in my class. I was brought up first, as a Catholic, then an INC member (Iglesia ni Cristo rooted from the Philippines), then a wanderer, and now a UU member. Music, also, was a constant in my life. I started piano lessons at 9, started singing lessons at 18, went to Grossmont College and SDSU as a voice performance major, played as an organist at church, composed music for self, kid's albums and church, and taught music classes ranging from mommy and me toddler classes, private piano lessons to conducting church choir and children's choirs. Currently, I teach K-5 at an elementary school in Del Sur, teach Musictots classes, teach private piano and voice, coordinate music for the South Bay UU Campus, as well as compose and perform my music locally either solo or a 5 piece band called "Fish and the Sparrow". I play the piano and ukulele and love to sing. So much so that I involve myself in conducting the South Bay Singers Choir. They are a fun group to sing with and work with! South Bay Singers is a choir that prepare pieces for periodic occasions and perform them during services and in public.

JUUL Tones Ensemble Director

Andrea Newall

Joined the staff 2004. Andrea Newall is a lifelong UU who studied music at the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts and the University of Redlands. She studied with Gail McKinney (choral music) and Francisco Castillo (oboe/English Horn). She recently completed four years of service on the board of the UU Musicians' Network, which supports music leaders and congregations throughout North America. Andrea directs the JUUL Tones a cappella vocal ensemble here at First UU of San Diego, and also serves as song leader and contributes instrumental music to our services, here and at the South Bay campus. She has been the musical director for several Looking Glass Theatre productions at First UU. She also has a full-time job as a Speech Language Pathologist for a local school district, as a specialist in autism and alternative/augmentative communication.

Connie Hayes


Connie Hayes

Joined the staff 2012. A native of Wisconsin, Connie moved to California in 1962 with a brief return to attend Madison Area Technical College and University of Wisconsin. Connie has worked in the accounting office of a non-profit Catholic hospital, a government defense contractor, and in a medical accounting field helping set up urgent care clinics in an underserved area. In 1989 she started Hayes Consulting Group. Connie and her husband also own a backflow testing company. In 2009 she was hired by First UU Church as an outside consultant. In July 2012 she became the Controller. Her outside interests include singing in the choir and writing and directing children's plays at her home church in El Cajon. She has also written, directed and produced plays and events for fundraising purposes. In her spare time, she knits and is learning American Sign Language.

Ray Evans

Facilities Maintenance

Ray EvansJoined the staff in 2013. Ray is a native San Diegan and lives in La Mesa with his wife of 33 years. Ray can be found fixing and maintaining our church campus and watching over our commercial kitchen in the Welcome Center. He loves to offer great Dining for Dollar$ events where he can be found either teaching a cooking class or preparing a lovely gourmet meal. Another love of Ray’s is theatrical lighting design, and he can often be found behind the scenes of our church’s Looking Glass Theater. Ray and his wife have been members of this church for the past four years and were married by Dr. John Ruskin Clark here in our Meeting House in 1980.

Marcus Todd

Kitchen Manager

Chef Marcus Todd is our Kitchen Manager, starting in 2015. He and his wife Laura have been members of First Church for five years. When they discovered their first child was on her way, they started seeking a church for their family. They lived near Joy Gorian, and she invited them to try First Church. When they arrived, they felt at home, and they’ve have been here ever since. Chef Marcus grew up in Sonoma, CA, and attended the Walt Disney Culinary School in Orlando, Florida. After working at Disney’s best restaurant, Victoria and Albert’s, for two years, he got his Bachelor’s degree and returned home to California. When it comes to food, Chef Marcus loves eggs and everything else. Because his wife and two children, Rachel and Alexander are vegan, he’s an experienced vegan chef. He looks forward to working with a variety of groups to create fantastic food-oriented events.