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Leadership

Meet our Board:

Christianne Chase: Christianne Chase was born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma and is a life-long member of First Presbyterian Church, Enid where she serves as Ruling Elder. Currently serving her second term as Moderator of the Synod of the Sun, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of SUTS from its inception. Christianne holds degrees in theatre and European history from Phillips University. Now retired from the travel industry, she volunteers her time for causes close to her heart including FPC Enid, Cimarron Presbytery, Gaslight Theatre and Salvation Army Advisory Board.
Steve Fairbanks: Steve earned a BS in Business Administration at Kansas State University in 1972. He owned and operated Putt-Putt Golf Courses for 30 years and is retired from a 25 year career with United Parcel Service. He is also a retired Colonel in the United States Army. Steve was the Elder Commissioner to the 220th General Assembly from Cimarron Presbytery and just finished a fourth term as an Elder and Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, OK. He is a Solar 2 graduate and is an instructor-in-training for Solar 2. He is married to Cathy Fairbanks, has two children, and two grandchildren.
Jim Freeman: Jim Freeman is the pastor of Broadmoor Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. He has also served congregations in Pine Bluff, Little Rock, and Searcy, Arkansas, and was student assistant at the Old Parish Church of East Kilbride, Scotland. Jim's undergraduate degree in communications and political science is from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He received his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. Jim is married to the Rev. Dr. Debbie Carl Freeman. They have two children. Jim was involved at the very beginning of SUTS and is delighted to be active again after a hiatus of three years.
Ashley Goad: Ashley hails from High Point, North Carolina. A graduate of Appalachian State University in 2001, she has since gained a Masters of Divinity and is currently working toward a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspective at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. She brings the word ecumenical to a new level - Ordained as a Quaker pastor, she has served on Presbyterian and now Methodist church staffs. Ashley has worked long hours with Solar Under The Sun and Living Waters for the World. Until last spring, she served as the Haiti Network Coordinator for LWW and the Administrative Director for SUTS. She is now serving as the Director of Global Mission at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Wilson Kennedy: Wilson Kennedy is Director of Youth Ministry at Palms Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He earned a BA in Religion and Christian Education at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and has worked at churches doing youth ministry in North Carolina and Louisiana. He has developed mission partnerships and served on SUTS and LWW water teams in Haiti. In addition to his work in youth ministry and mission, he is active in the connectional life of the PC(USA) through his work on the Committee on the Office of General Assembly and at Montreat Conference Center.
Chris McRae: Presbyterian Elder Chris McRae is a member of Central Presbyterian Church of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Previous to his position as Director of SUTS, Chris is a technical installation instructor for Living Waters for the World's Clean Water U. Chris serves on the Board of Directors for Haiti Education Foundation; and is a past Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Committee member. He has been very active in Habitat for Humanity, serving as the first Habitat for Humanity Project Director for the New Orleans Area 1988-1991. Chris is also trained as a Commissioned Lay Pastor (CRE) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Bill Mendenhall: Bill is a lawyer practicing in Jackson, Mississippi, and an elder in Fondren Presbyterian Church. He is passionate about improving conditions in Haiti, where he has participated in ten Living Waters for the World installations and seven SUTS installations. Bill currently serves on the Haiti Network Coordinating Committee for Living Waters for the World. He is a former President of Stewpot Community Services and a past member of Leadership Jackson. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi World Trade Center.
Ann Owen: Ann earned a Master of Public Service degree at the UA Clinton School Of Public Service, and a BA in communication at the University of Alabama. She has served as a municipal recycling coordinator in Texas, in community relations at Heifer International, as an AmeriCorps volunteer and at a nature center in Little Rock. She and her husband Rick, trained in Solar 1 and Solar 2 respectively, are passionate about sustainability issues and have just built a LEED-certified home with solar panels. She is involved with environmental ministries at Second Presbyterian in Little Rock and is a very proud mother and grandmother.

Megan Rubio: Megan earned a BS in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Academy and served as an AF officer for 6 years.  She is married to Stuart Rubio, a currently active Air Force officer, and they have three sons.  In 2003 she left the military to raise her boys and support her family through their on-going Air Force adventures. She is an active volunteer in her churches, schools, and Air Force community.  She has served as an elder and deacon in the PCUSA and is passionate about international mission and Solar Under the Sun.  Megan is Solar 1 and 2 trained, a Solar 2 instructor, and she has participated in several installations in Haiti and Honduras.

Anne Russ: Anne Russ:
Ansen Seale: Ansen Seale is an artist based in San Antonio, Texas. His time-based works of photographic art have been exhibited in museum and galleries internationally and have been collected by corporate, institutional and private collectors. In 2009, he received the Bernard Lifshutz Award in the Visual Arts from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and his work is in the permanent collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art. Many of Seale's works include LEDs and solar power, like the site-specific art installation on the Land Heritage Institute in south Bexar County on along the Medina River. 
Mary Ellen Summerlin: Mary Ellen Summerlin was born and raised in Webster County, Iowa, but has been a Texan for most of her life. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Abilene Christian and a master's in Public Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She and her husband, Tim, have three grown children and five grandchildren. She is an elder at First Presbyterian Church Kerrville and learned about SUTS while serving as a commissioner to the Synod of the Sun.

Tom Ulrich: Tom is currently serving as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Georgetown, Colorado. He has previously served with his wife as co-pastor of Central Presbyterian Church, Fort Smith, AR in addition so serving as chaplain at the Univrsity of the Ozarks in Clarksville, AR where he also taught courses in the New Testament. Tom earned a undergraduate degree from Louisiana Tech in mathematics and physical education, as well as a master's degree in mathematics. He attended Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA for his divinity degree. Tom is a Solar 1 instructor and has lead mission trips in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico as well as Haiti.

  Valerie Young: Synod of the Sun Acting Leader & Stated Clerk, valerie.young@synodsun.org

 

Solar Under the Sun Staff:

J. Melinda Hunt, melinda@solarunderthesun.org

Melinda Hunt joined Solar Under the Sun as Executive Director in May, 2017. Prior to joining SUTS, she spent almost 14 years as Director of Development and Ministry Services at Texas Presbyterian Foundation. Ms. Hunt belongs to Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson, TX, where she serves as an elder. Melinda has served Grace Presbytery as an alternate Commissioner to the recent 222nd General Assembly, and she will represent Grace Presbytery as a Commissioner to the 223rd GA in 2018. Additionally, Melinda holds the Certificate in Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and was commissioned by Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery as Commissioned Ruling Elder to serve as part-time pastor to First Presbyterian Church in Broken Bow, OK. In her spare time she and her husband enjoy traveling and hiking, especially in our national parks.

Emily Fausett: Operations Coordinator, emily@solarunderthesun.org

Emily is a graduate of East Texas Baptist University with a B.A. in Religion and a Spanish minor. Both she and her husband, Adam, grew up in Center, TX but moved to Shreveport, LA in 2008. Emily has been involved in international missions through various organizations since the age of 13 and is very excited to have joined in the work that God is doing through Solar Under the Sun.

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