Board of Director Biographies
The Rev. W. Keith McCoy, President and Director (Deacon-Diocese of New Jersey). Keith is a professional librarian and has served as a public library administrator for over thirty years. He has been active in the NJ Library Association (eleven years on the Executive Board), and other professional and civic organizations. Ordained a deacon in 1985, Keith’s early ministry was with youth, but since the mid-1990s with the diaconate. He served as chair of the Committee on the Diaconate under Bps. Doss and Joslin, and as an archdeacon for Bp. Councell. He was active in NAAD (chair of Guidelines Committee, board member), and has written a column for Diakoneo for over ten years. He was elected as an alternate to GC 2006, 2015, and 2018. Keith has been deacon at St. John’s Somerville NJ since October 2001. He served as a director of the Fund from 1999 - 2007, and again from 2012; he has been president since October 2015.
The Ven. Dr. Pamela McAbee Nesbit, Vice-President and Director (Archdeacon-Diocese of Pennsylvania). Pamela is Archdeacon and formation director for deacons. She has been a deacon for nineteen years. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice who works with people suffering from childhood sexual abuse. Deacon Nesbit is a former president of the Association for Episcopal Deacons. She is a candidate for the board of directors of the Network of Episcopal Clergy Associations. Deacon Nesbit is currently on sabbatical from parish ministry, but will be serving at the Philadelphia Cathedral as deacon starting in 2016.
The Rev. Larry A. Green, Secretary (Diocese of Chicago) Founder and President of LAGLAW (since 2012), a legal executive search firm based in Chicago with an emphasis on diversity, Larry is also a senior executive certified career counselor at Challenger Gray & Christmas. Prior to that, he was a senior account executive at Lumen Legal, and a founding partner of Winston & Green, a legal executive search firm based in Chicago committed to diversity since 1991. He is a consultant for MIHCA (Minority in House Counsel Association). Larry has over 30 years of experience recruiting attorneys on nationwide bases. Larry has spoken at various diversity conferences and law schools across the country. Larry sits on several boards including Youth Guidance, Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Diocese of Chicago Deacons Council, the leadership team for the Diaconate, and Diocesan Council. He was a former trustee at Seabury Western Theological Seminary, and former President of The Diocese of Chicago Dispensary Board. He was ordained deacon in 2005 and serves at St. Chrysostom’s, Chicago. To me, the Fund is there to help deacons when they have either financial or emotional issues, as well as advocate for the diaconate at large. I bring great social and verbal skills, and a willingness to work with others to advance the diaconate. I am a team player and a dedicated leader. I work with both homeless and inner city youth that are just seeking a way to better themselves.
The Rev. Robert A. Franken, Treasurer and Director (Deacon-Diocese of Colorado). Robert has been ordained as a deacon for over 30 years and has actively served three dioceses. In the ten years before retirement Robert served as a Leadership Advisor for the most senior executives of Catholic Hospital and hospital systems across the United States. While living in Missouri, Robert served as Chief Operating Officer (2005 - 07) and special advisor to the Bishop. Prior to that in Colorado, Robert served as Chief Administrative Officer (1998 - 2001) and helped to orchestrate a reorganization of this large diocese. In the Diocese of Alaska, where he was ordained, Robert served as a member of the Governor’s Council for the Handicapped and Gifted. He was their principal advocate to the State Legislature and helped in the creation of the Special Education Service Agency and passage of the Bill of Rights for the Physically and Mentally Disabled. In 2001, Robert started his own company, Strataventure LLC, which provides management and organizational development services to for-profit, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations. Robert has served as Chief Financial Officer of a publicly traded company, lobbied in two state legislatures for faith-based and non-profit entities, served on the Coordinator Team for several General Conventions, and served as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Task Force on Accessibility, along with other local committees and task forces. He is a person with multi management skills and holds a Master of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso. Robert is currently retired and living in Frisco, Colorado where he worships and assists at St John the Baptist. He is also still active in the larger church as a member of the Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church and a member of the Transition Committee for the Elections / Installation of the Presiding Bishop. Robert is a current Director and Assistant Treasurer of The Fund for the Diaconate.
The Rev. Canon Brian P. Nordwick, Asst. Secretary/Asst. Treasurer (Canon-Diocese of El Camino Real). Brian has served as Canon to the Ordinary for over eleven years. His areas of responsibility include administration, finance, investment, legal, business operations management, personnel, etc. He is past President of CODE (Conference of Diocesan Executives), past Treasurer of Province VIII, and a current faculty member of CREDO (CPG) with experience in finance and vocation. His vocational gifts come from 23 years of hiring and operations management work in international business, and nine years as a Transitions (Deployment) Minister. Brian has been a deacon for 21 years and a faculty member for the California School for Deacons for 20 years.
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The Venerable Roxanne Klingensmith (Diocese of Montana). Roxanne has lived in Bozeman, Montana since 1981; She's been employed as an office manager in the insurance business; office manager and job developer, Women in Transition; Employment specialist and Welfare to Work case manager, Bozeman Job Service; Executive Director, Love INC (In the Name of Christ); Ordained Deacon, Episcopal Church since 1999; Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Montana since 2003; Former President and active member of the Bozeman Area League of Women Voters; Former President, now active member of the Bozeman Business and Professional Women; Past moderator, now a member of the Gallatin Valley Interfaith Association; Past President of Community Mediation Center Board of Directors; Member, Bozeman Energy Share Board and the Montana State Energy Board (member of its endowment fund committee) representing the faith community;Former Board President, Founder and active volunteer, Family Promise of Gallatin Valley (homeless family program); Member, Gallatin County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Advisory Board, representing the faith community; Former Co-Chair, Executive Committee, Fresh Start Program (a re-entry program at the Gallatin County Detention Center) Former Commissioner, Montana State Commission on Sentencing.
The Rev. Anita Catron Miner (Diocese of Utah). I believe the Fund guides me in the ministry of enabling deacons to flourish. I feel privileged to help deacons, through grants, to live a dignified, healthy and resourceful life, as their situations permit. I was ordained a deacon in 2011. My background was in financial management, as a financial advisor, and I hold several board positions in the investment area. I enjoy developing workshops at All Saints Church, selecting speakers who motivate specific populations, and organizing seminars, such as “Grace-filled End-of-Life Options”. I have organizational skills as the former leader of an Episcopal Religious Community, and I continue to place value on teamwork. As treasurer of the Board of the nonprofit Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City, I focus on the dignity of life and death alike. Advocacy for other people’s rights calls me to support social justice issues (i.e., reducing child homelessness) through the Utah legislative process. As a member of Junior League of Salt Lake City, I have the privilege of helping Spanish speakers explain their medical and dental situations to English medical personnel at a two-day screening event. I am grateful for my daily prayer life, which undergirds everything I attempt to do. My dream is to help expand the work of the Fund for the Diaconate by offering opportunities for deacons to attend conferences relevant to their spiritual growth, wellbeing and hospitality. By teamwork, we are considering some new granting options that would serve the wider Deacon community as well. I am a former Minister Provincial of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis. I bring various financial gifts to the table as well as language skills. I am multi-lingual (Spanish, French and some Portuguese) and have lived in four countries besides the USA.
The Rev. Genevieve Nelson (Deacon-Diocese of Southern Virginia). As a deacon in my 30's, I have the perspective of a not-so-experienced, but very enthusiastic young person. I have a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor. I was ordained a deacon in 2016. Being a woman of color as well as the mother of a young child, I witness a unique experience in the church and in the world that helps me notice different things that I believe can be helpful to the Board. I certainly want to help support the ministries of my fellow deacons, but more specifically I would like to explore how/if the Fund for the Diaconate can help support deacons under the age of 45. I serve at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Norfolk. I lead my parish in a “Laundry Love” ministry that helps empower disadvantaged people by providing access to clean laundry. It is also a way for the parish to get to know their neighbors.
The Rev. Geraldine Swanson (Deacon-Diocese of New York). Ordained deacon in the Diocese of New York in 1997. Geri had a twenty-seven year career as an educator in both the private and public schools of New York City as a classroom teacher, mentor to new teachers, teacher-trainer of mentors, and as a staff developer for the New York City Department of Education. Her ministry has centered on serving under-represented populations in her work as Soup Kitchen Coordinator, afterschool music program director, Co-Chair of the Staten Island Hunger Task Force, and member of the SI Coalition for Housing Equality. For six years, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Episcopal Deacons, having served as co-chair of their recent Triennial Conference in Minnesota. In 2008, Swanson earned an MA cum laude from the General Theological Seminary where her thesis centered on Deaconess Susan Trevor Knapp and the New York School for Deaconesses. She considers it an honor to be asked to serve on the board that is overseeing funds originally raised to help these forgotten heroines of the Episcopal Church.
The Ven. Louise R. Thibodaux, Director (Deacon-Diocese of Alabama). By the time she stepped down recently from her position of Archdeacon of the Diocese of Alabama, Lou had served in that position for ten years. She has been active in the Episcopal Church since childhood, graduating from Chatham Hall and Mount Holyoke College. She has a Ph.D. in medical sociology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she taught on the occupational therapy faculty for 18 years. She is an advocate for the full inclusion of people with handicaps in the life of the Church. Since her ordination to the diaconate in 2002, Lou has been active in the Association for Episcopal Deacons. She edited "Seeking and Serving", the domestic poverty newsletter. She coordinated deacons serving in General Convention liturgies in 2009, 2012 and 2015. Lou has been an EfM mentor for over 20 years. Currently is the Pastoral Associate for St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Blackburn Institute, University of Alabama where she shares her knowledge of servant leadership with undergraduate and graduate students. Her most unique work has been with "Power Socks", a ministry that encourages local knitters to make and sell socks to pay utility bills of those living in or near poverty. She has previously served one term as a Board member of the Fund for the Diaconate.
The Rev. Fatima Yakubu-Madus (Diocese of Indianapolis). Fatima is the missioner for Community Engagement in the Diocese of Indianapolis. Her ministry includes managing an ecumenical food pantry as well as advocacy about immigration, gun violence and food insecurity. She founded a not-for-profit organization (Wecare Missions Inc) and has managed it since 2008, fundraising and partnering with similar organizations to generate financial as well as medical support for medical missions. She has led medical missions to Africa yearly since 2007. In her diocese, she is coordinator for ERD, Asset-Based Community Development. She brings to the Board her talents for managing a not for profit organization, grant writing, review and approval, accounting knowledge, a passion for helping people, experience as a strategy consultant for several years, in managing a budget of $300M for Discovery scientists, experience in raising funds for my foundation to support missions, as well as skills as a community organizer. Fatima was ordained in 2010 and serves at Christ Church Cathedral. I think the work of the Fund is critical. As Deacons, we are called to serve those on the margin, bringing the needs of the community to our congregations, and be a voice for those without one; I think our ministry extends to assisting our fellow deacons in their time of dire need. Honestly, I cannot see a more befitting way to continue our ministry.
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The Rev. Theresa Lewallen, Grants Administrator (Deacon-Diocese of Virginia). Currently Deputy Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, Theresa also spent many years managing constituent services for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and Trinity College in Washington DC, and was ordained to the diaconate in April 2016.
The Rev. Anne Pillot, Communication & Marketing Director (Deacon-Diocese of Ohio). Anne creates print and web materials for the Fund, as well as handling social media and communication needs. She is a self-employed graphic designer and communications professional with 20+ years of experience. She creates materials for small business and non-profit clients, including diocesan materials; posters, brochures, social media ads, annual reports, and capabilities brochures. Anne is also the Communications Director for the Association for Episcopal Deacons. Ordained a deacon in 2011, she serves at two parishes in Northeast Ohio and is active in the local deacon community.