Board of Trustees
Janis Wolak - Co-Chair
Janis Wolak worked for almost 20 years as a Senior Researcher at the Crimes against Children Research Center at UNH and is now enjoying retirement. She lives in Kittery and is happiest when her hands are in garden soil. She joined South Church in 2006, has served with the Pastoral and Fellowship Associates and as registrar of the Star Island retreat, and she often participates in choir and small group ministry groups. She also serves South Church as a member of the Seacoast Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition. She loves and is inspired by the South Church community and appreciates the opportunity to serve South Church as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Stephen LaRoche - Vice-Chair
Stephen Laroche began attending South Church in late 2012 to support his daughter Katherine's involvement in the Senior Youth Group. He was part of the 2013 service trip to Appalachia, and prior to serving on the Board of Trustees, has served on the Committee on Ministry and the Annual Budget Campaign Committee. He and his wife, Jessica, who volunteers in the Religious Education Program and is a mentor for the Coming or Age Program, live in Portsmouth and are currently co-conveners of a Small Group Ministry.
Chris Redmond - Treasurer
Chris joined South Church in 2012 with his wife, Pilar, and two daughters, Magnolia and Sahalie. He was drawn to the church for many reasons, but the biggest reason was the religious education program. He knew his girls would love the RE programs and was excited for them to be a part of such a loving, welcoming community. After joining the church, he felt like the best place he could volunteer his time was in that same RE program and has since been a Senior Youth advisor, an OWL facilitator, and a mentor in the Coming of Age program. More recently, Chris was on the Planning & Implementation Committee (PIC) during the basement renovation project. Outside of church, he loves to spend time with his girls, hiking, bike riding, camping and just enjoying the great outdoors. Chris is honored to be on the Board of Trustees and to serve the great community of people here at South Church.
Lucy Salyer, Secretary
Lucy has been coming to South Church since 2008, joined by her daughter, Naomi, who was in middle school at the time. As the daughter of a Methodist Navy chaplain, who always pitched his sermons as broadly as possible, focusing on the theme of our common humanity, South Church felt like home. It was also a good solution for a family with mixed religious traditions. Lucy is married to Lee Rubin, and in addition to her daughter Naomi, she has a son, Nate. She has loved singing with the Folk Group and South Church choir but has especially enjoyed teaching in the Religious Education Program. She served on the Religious Education Committee and the Music Committee. Lucy has lived in New Hampshire since 1989, coming from California to teach in the History Department at the University of New Hampshire where she teaches and writes about the history of immigration and citizenship law (among many other topics). She looks forward to serving in a new capacity at South Church and deepening her ties to our community.
In 1990, Judy relocated from northern Virginia to Stratham. The prior year had been one of turmoil. After settling into her new home, she began a search for a faith which would provide spirituality and community unlike the religion of her upbringing. After attending many unfulfilling services in the area, a friend suggested South Church. A suggestion for which Judy will be forever grateful. She became a member in 1992. Before retiring Judy served on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization for many years. Retirement has now brought blessed free time to volunteer again. In addition to being a Pocket Garden committee member for several years, she is eager to broaden her South Church horizons by serving as a trustee.
R. David Drucker
The peripatetic Dave was born in Ithaca, NY and has been on the move ever since – Chicago and Oak Park, IL; the Bronx, NY; Johnston, Cranston and Providence, RI; London, UK; Rochester, NY; Teotihuacan, MX; Salem, MA; Utica, NY; and, finally Dover, NH. Interested in maritime history, ships and the sea since he was 10, Dave is an active member of the UNH Marine Docent program, and volunteers on the crew for The Gundalow Company which allows him some sailing time as well as the opportunity to meet the general public. As a singer almost from birth (his first cries were rumored to be pentatonic and loud), Dave has found Seacoast musical homes in the Marine Docent Chantey Singers, the Community Chorus of South Berwick, and the South Church choir. Professionally, Dave has taught Social and Cultural Anthropology, been a classical music announcer and program manager on commercial and public broadcast stations, processed and analyzed radiocarbon samples, and been a museum director for a tribal museum and a local history museum. Currently retired, Dave has been writing poetry full time instead of in the haphazard way he had treated that obsession for over five decades previously. From a very early age, Dave has been involved in the struggle for social justice. He was a participant in the March on Montgomery in 1965, worked to establish the Hospital Workers’ Union 1199 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, and, most recently, served as a South Church Social Justice Associate. Still a seeker in spiritual matters, Dave is a convener of a Small Group Ministry gathering and is on the Small Group Ministry Steering Committee. He is eager to immerse himself in the business of being a Board Member at a time when South Church is thriving and striving ever more mindfully to be of service to our congregation and the larger Seacoast community.
Alan and Martha Ammann moved to New Hampshire in 1981 and became members of South Church in 1991. In her years at South Church, Martha circled through all aspects of Small Group Ministry; recently, she joined the Fellowship Associates, and for the last three years, finds wise council in the Aging with Grace community. Martha also lists teaching in the RE program and working on the auction committee in the first few years at South Church. Martha and Alan celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2016 and continue celebrating their time at South Church..
Donna Borg has been attending South Church since 2010 after she and her family moved to the seacoast from the midwest. She initially scouted out South Church, looking for a welcoming community and inspirational sermons. Not only did she find those things, she also learned that to truly "plug in" meant exploring a few of the South Church offerings. After joining a Small Group Ministry and making a few friends, Donna signed up for the Tuesday evening South Church choir practices. From 2013 to 2016 she served on the Pastoral Associates Committee, the last year in the capacity of a convener. She is now excited to serve as one of the new Board of Trustee members and hopes to get to know the church on an even deeper level.
Tom is a resident of Eliot, where he lives with his wife Mariah, daughters Josie and Ella, and a 95 pound German Shepherd named Emmet. Born and raised in Portsmouth NH, Tom's grandparents were lifelong members of South Church. That early exposure to our congregation is part of the reason he has continued with his family and children to be dedicated South Church members. Having graduated from UNH with a BS in Hospitality Management, he now finds himself co-owner with his wife Mariah, of Beach Pea Baking Co. A small local bakery and cafe located in Kittery, Maine. When he is not working or raising a family, you can find him at the seashore enjoying our incredible area, tending to his gardens, or here at South Church!