Vestry Nominee Biographies
* Our Vestry and Rector report to our congregation that Catherine has been a Kingdom Campaign volunteer and now temporarily serves as a part-time paid consultant until the campaign ends or sooner. If elected, she would be excused from Vestry matters relative to the campaign or her consultantship.
Tell us a little about yourself. Neil and I met in Seattle and have been married for 17 years. Our children, Finley (14), Holly (13), Annie (13) and Lily (9), were born in New York City and were baptized at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church. I grew up in Toronto, Canada, the youngest of five children and was raised Catholic. I attended Kings College at The University of Western Ontario, a Christian college. The three years I spent overseeing the female dormitory was a wonderful opportunity to help other young women as they navigated their first year away at college. Faith has always been an important part of my life and I love that I’ve found All Saints to help me continue to grow my faith and help share the love of Jesus Christ.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? I love All Saints Church, more than any other church I’ve attended before. The leadership is strong and the outpouring of love is incredible. Father Ed and many others at All Saints have been so supportive of our family and I would love the opportunity to give back and share what I’ve learned through my career in sales and marketing so that I can help All Saints continue to build a thriving Kingdom church.
What does All Saints mean to you? When we moved to D.C. in 2016 our priority was finding a new church home. As soon as we attended our first service at ASC we knew immediately it was the place for us. It’s a bit of a story how we ended up here, but I believe it was God’s plan all along and that I’ve been led here for a purpose. We felt loved the moment we walked into the church. The fellowship that ASC provides is wonderful. Neil and I have met so many warm and friendly people in such a short amount of time. Serving on the Vestry would be a great opportunity for me to give back to this warm and faithful community that has been so supportive and welcoming to our family.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? Over my lifetime I have found myself in several different leadership roles. I love engaging and collaborating with people. I spent 15 years as a senior sales executive at Adobe Systems which has given me a broad business background. I also spent many years fundraising for my children’s school which helped educate me on the different aspects of raising money in the non-profit world. Prior to coming to D.C. Neil and I had fun running a home design business. I think my years of experience working with so many different people in various businesses has given me a broad perspective how to effectively engage and partner with people to get things accomplished.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? I’m a member of the Stewardship Committee and I’m a volunteer visitor for the Kingdom Campaign. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet and get to know so many more members of our vibrant church community and am honored that God has called me to serve in this capacity. My husband and I also enjoy participating in the Family Forum. It’s the highlight of our week. Our three oldest children are acolytes and it warms our hearts to see them involved in the service.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you? Growing up my father owned a pet cemetery. There were many fun family stories that came from his days owning that business. The funniest story he told was of a lady who had made a tombstone for her dog that read “Toby we miss you so much. We’re sorry the bus didn’t!”
Tell us a little about yourself. I am Eleanor’s dad. I’m 37 years old and live in Silver Spring. I’m a widower; my wife Amanda died from cancer in January 2017. I was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., where I was a member of St. Pius X Church growing up and later graduated from Saint Bonaventure University. I enjoy reading (“The Seven Storey Mountain” is one of my favorites), writing, and traveling.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? I often pray for opportunities to help and serve others. While on a recent work trip, I was out walking before my morning meetings to pray and take a moment to listen for the Lord. I then received an email message stating our fellow parishioners nominated me for the vestry. I felt honored to be nominated and at peace moving my name forward as a candidate. If selected, I’d consider a seat on a vestry an honor that I’d approach with continued prayer.
What does All Saints mean to you? I’ve always felt God’s love at our church and amid our parish family. I began attending All Saints and became a member after moving to Washington, DC, in 2008. Through joys and tragedies, All Saints has always been there for me. I had my pre-marital counseling and baptized my daughter at All Saints. Prayers and works from parishioners helped me through my wife’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. We mourned together after her death. All Saints has helped me tremendously and I do look for opportunities to give back, with the same love others have shown me, to the church whenever I can.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? Professionally, I am Director of Advocacy Communications for the College of American Pathologists. In my role, I’m charged with developing and executing strategic communication plans to advance my organization’s mission to keep patients healthier through quality pathology services and laboratory improvement programs. I’m also working toward completing a master’s degree in communication from Purdue University by August 2018. Personally, I’m a listener, deliberate thinker, and goal-oriented individual. I’m comfortable discussing issues and problems strategically and without rush to develop an immediate solution.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? Over the last 10 years, I’ve participated in several activities including global outreach, teaching confirmation, and volunteering for various events (e.g., Mockingbird conference, Fall Festival dunk tank, etc.). I’m currently a member of the 2019 All Saints Retreat Committee and a small group consisting of seven families from our church that meets monthly.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you? I listen to a morning prayer podcast every day. After college, I worked for two years as a journalist on Nantucket island. I own a Nintendo Switch.
Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Duane Gibson. I am married to Paula (27 years) and we have two sons, Cole (age 19, in college) and Owen (age 16, who you may see working in the church kitchen on Sunday). Aside from God, they and our extended families are most important to me. I have lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and DC for 29 years. By what I view as Divine intervention, I began attending All Saints with Owen on the Sunday when Ed started as Rector. Professionally, I worked in the House and Senate beginning in 1989 and started a government consulting company in 2004.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? When asked to run for the vestry, I was surprised, but I thought and prayed about it. This moment is right for a term on the vestry, if it is God’s and the parish’s will. Over my years here, the services, ministries, and church activities have enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of and more meaningful connection to God’s gift to humanity—through Jesus Christ’s life as our example. I believe that this gift must be propagated for the benefit of our parish, our community, and more broadly our country and the world. I believe that I am called to the vestry in order to help to further this mission.
What does All Saints mean to you? Our church is the central part of my Christian and spiritual life; therefore, it is a place where I and others, no matter the point in development as a Christian, can expand understanding, learn about the life of Christ, apply His teaching to relationships, and importantly, find and absorb the Holy Spirit to best enable life as a Christian.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? My professional life has me routinely framing goals and objectives, devising creative plans to achieve them, and then managing teams of people to execute those plans. I do this inside and outside of the government. I work in and direct teams. These skills and experiences will be helpful to further the mission of All Saints through the vestry, the group that defines and carries out our church’s direction and work to spread the Gospel while practicing it.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? I am currently a member of the Kingdom Campaign Steering Committee. Over the years I have really enjoyed the Rector’s forums, the family ministry programming, the men’s dinners, the parish retreat, the growing teen ministry programming with my son Owen, and occasionally the evening Bible study. I am a supporter of the Sunday brunch ministry with Chef Glenn, in part due to Owen’s involvement and because it brings people who attend different services together to talk.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you? In free time, I enjoy outdoor sports like running, hiking, biking, and swimming. I enjoy aviation and woodworking. I like to learn about subjects that I know little about. While I grew up and went to school in the Midwest (Ohio), I moved to Alaska as an adult and then moved from there to the DC area 29 years ago.
Tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Massachusetts and came to DC in 1992 to attend college. My wife, Steph, is from a neighboring town in MA and she moved to DC in 2002. We have two daughters, Parker (11) and Meritt (9). Currently, I serve as the President & CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, representing approximately 300 medical technology companies. I am a graduate of Georgetown University and received my JD and MBA from Georgetown as well.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? I am passionate about serving the Lord and the All Saints community. The fellowship and spirituality of All Saints has been such a gift to me and my family and I feel strongly about giving back.
What does All Saints mean to you? My family and I have been members at All Saints since 2011. From our first visit, the All Saints community has been welcoming, friendly, and driven by faith. We have grown closer to God and each other. In a world with increasing distractions and “noise,” All Saints provides a peaceful setting to center our hearts and minds.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? All Saints is very fortunate to have an amazing Vestry and a strong slate of candidates. As I have mentioned to Father Ed in the past, the size of All Saints (budget, staff, etc.) is similar to the association I have the pleasure of running. We have experienced significant growth (like All Saints) over the past decade. While exciting, there are challenges associated with prioritizing key initiatives, communicating with stakeholders/the community, and ensuring long term sustainability. I am also passionate about expanding the impact and reach of All Saints as a Kingdom Church.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? During my time at All Saints I have had the privilege to teach Sunday School for the 3rd/4th grade, which included our oldest daughter, Parker, and the 1st grade, which included our youngest daughter, Meritt. While not teaching full time anymore, I still enjoy serving as a substitute, as needed. I also serve as a member of the Kingdom Campaign Committee and enjoy watching our daughters serve as acolytes.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you?
My oldest brother, Brent, passed away from cancer when he was 30 (I was 22). While difficult to deal with at the time, he was at peace given his relationship with God. This helped strengthen my faith. It also provided me with a perspective on life that focuses on what really matters (don’t sweat the small stuff) and enjoy every day.
Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Nebraska. My father was a non-denominational minister, and I had tremendous exposure to the Gospel at an early age. However, it was not until later in life that I fully surrendered to Jesus Christ and came to saving faith. I married my best friend Kiersten (Kier) a little more than 15 years ago. We have four children: Walker Bransby (12), Mary Michael (10), Anne Lincoln (7), Eleanor Deering (4) and two Labrador Retrievers: Isabelle (13), and Winfield (7). I began my professional career working on political campaigns in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? To be honest, I am not sure I agree with the framing of this question. I do know that I feel called by God to serve Him, and I want to be obedient to Him. When Pastor Ed asked me to consider allowing my name to be put forward for the vestry, I prayed about it, talked with Kier about it, and then agreed. I’m for whatever God has in store for me, whether or not that includes serving on the vestry. It’s up to Him.
What does All Saints mean to you? About a decade ago, our family began to attend All Saints. We became official members more recently. All Saints’ commitment to the teaching of Biblical truth along with the wisdom and spiritual leadership of Pastor Ed Kelleher and Bishop Salmon were among the primary factors leading us to make this our church home.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? I am Managing Partner of DCI Group, a communications and public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. My profession has given me more than 20 years of experience advising senior business executives, hedge fund managers and politicians on communications and public affairs strategy. I have enjoyed building a business, and I like taking on big challenges for my clients and winning for them.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? In 2016, I helped with the planning and recruitment of speakers for the first annual All Saints Men’s Breakfast Series. I’ve been a substitute Sunday school teacher on several occasions, and I serve on the Steering Committee for the All Saints Kingdom Campaign.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you?
When I’m not traveling for business or attending one of my kids’ sporting events, I enjoy fishing, shooting sports, reading, following Cornhusker football, and traveling with my wife Kier.
Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Raleigh, NC and baptized at Wake Chapel Church, where my parents are still members. I moved to Washington, DC in 2004 and met my husband, Hanani Wade. We married in 2006 and had our daughter Jaden in 2013. Jaden showers us with images of God’s love daily with her love, laughter, and hugs.
I obtained a BA from North Carolina A&T State University and an MPA from GMU. I am a Commissioner on the DC Health Information Exchange Policy Board and a public servant with the Federal Government leading an IT Business Management Office.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? I truly believe that God is active in every aspect of our life and that He has given each of us gifts and talents to be used for His glory. I also recognize that every step of our life journey should be an experience to mold and prepare us for what is to come. While the outcome of the vestry election is unknown to me, I know that the journey to that point and beyond is all part of God’s plan.
What does All Saints mean to you? ASC is a place where my family and I come to be in the presence of God’s people. To learn and grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is a place where we have felt and witnessed God’s love through His people. ASC has a strong sense of community, and it has an open heart and arms for all people. Before we started to attend the worship services, I was attending the evening women’s Bible study. The women in that group made me feel welcomed and like part of the ASC family.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? If given the opportunity to serve on the ASC Vestry, I believe that my love for Christ and the skills He has given me will be of value. I would leverage my skills and experience in the areas of strategic planning, governance, budget and risk management, policy, process improvement, and contracts to help execute the vision God has given Father Ed for ASC. I have also been an active advocate to support community issues which has required me to work closely with local government and, more importantly, to be open hearted about the needs of those in the community.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? Since 2015, I have been able to attend and actively participate in various ASC events. As shared, I first started to attend the evening women’s Bible study prior to joining ASC. After my family started to attend ASC, we appreciated the various opportunities to fellowship with believers. I have since been attending Family Forum, Rectors Forum, and ASC Retreats. I have also been blessed to be able to attend various Moms’ group events.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you? Few people know that I was a teen model for Hudson Belk Department store. I have been an advocate and worked with impacted neighbors, DDOT, ANC and DC Councilmembers for continued bus service in our community, as well as sidewalks for residents. While growing in NC, I have never been to the Outer Banks, but I have spent countless time in the beautiful coastal city of Wilmington, NC.
Tell us a little about yourself. My wife Marcy and I have two daughters Taylor (age 25, NYC) and Elle (age 23, San Francisco). Both girls were baptized at All Saints. I grew up in Richmond, VA and attended an Episcopal school (Saint Christopher’s) for 13 years. After grad school, I moved to Washington in 1988 to practice law before transitioning to a 26-year career in biotech.
Why do you feel called by God to serve on the vestry of All Saints Church? I am currently experiencing the power of faith and fellowship firsthand. My “wake-up call” was when my younger brother was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer in September 2016. Through his faith, as well as the kindness and blessings of friends and strangers, he perseveres today through humor and grace, and actively cares for others. While I attend church, my brother’s example has reminded me that just going to church is not always enough, rather we must go beyond ourselves and do more for others to develop a closer relationship with God.
What does All Saints mean to you? All Saints has become a beacon of light for me. I must confess that has not always been the case. When I attended my first retreat at Sandy Cove in 2016, my eyes were opened to the warm and engaging community that is being built under Ed’s leadership. The All Saints community is alive and thriving, and I would like to help build on this momentum as your representative on the Vestry.
What aspect of your professional or personal life will bring a unique value to the Vestry? On a professional level, I would bring varied skills to support All Saints. During my career in biotech, I have served in different capacities: general counsel (2x), CFO for both public and private companies, and head of business development (2x). As a “jack of all trades,” I would supplement the Vestry’s existing experience and be a team player.
On a personal level, I will serve with grace and humility. Given my family’s experience over the past 18 months, I know that none of us is alone; each of us deserves to be afforded respect and allowed to ask for mercy.
What ministries, small groups, and/or programs are you involved with at All Saints? As mentioned above, I attended my first retreat at Sandy Cove in 2016. It was such a positive experience that I joined the committee planning for the 2017 retreat. One thing led to another, and I am now co-chairing the committee organizing the next retreat in January 2019 with the effervescent Sharon D’Emidio. I also enjoy attending “On the Circle” seminars, as well as the weekly Family Forums.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you? I love the practice of yoga, as well as cycling. In a prior life, I was a high school math teacher.
On a trip to Greece and Turkey last summer to celebrate our youngest daughter’s graduation from college, we visited Ephesus, including the home where the Virgin Mary and the apostle John stayed after the Ascension, as well as the island of Patmos where John wrote the book of Revelation. I was struck by how you could sense the Holy Spirit where the saints and apostles had walked 2,000 years ago. It helped bring the Gospel into even greater clarity.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you? I love the practice of yoga, as well as cycling. In a prior life, I was a high school math teacher. On a trip to Greece and Turkey last summer to celebrate our youngest daughter’s graduation from college, we visited Ephesus, including the home where the Virgin Mary and the apostle John stayed after the Ascension, as well as the island of Patmos where John wrote the book of Revelation. I was struck by how you could sense the Holy Spirit where the saints and apostles had walked 2,000 years ago. It helped bring the Gospel into even greater clarity.