Here is the list of the Candidates for the Ministerial Search Committee
(in random order).

Danielle Dolloff
Edie Mickey Silveria
Mimi Gephart Seeley

Alicia Davis
Pat Marr

Joanna Kimmitt
Nasreen Sarah Gagner

Miguel Pagan

Here are the statements of the Candidates:

Danielle Dolloff

Hi! I see this as a position where it is my duty to represent the congregation in this search for a minister, that I work with the rest of the search committee to find agreement and to work through differences of opinion with respect and thoroughly. I also see this as a time for me to deepen my knowledge of UUsim and of UUCLB and to apply those learnings in finding the next settled minister. I think those on the search committee will need to build a solid communication strategy with the congregation at large. It is imperative that this group is representative in nature and that information must both flow in and flow out of the team.

I can use my business experience over the 20 years I’ve had in recruiting and leading teams and in helping individuals with professional growth to help in this process. I have led large teams and small teams in large companies and small ones. I’ve managed people at the beginning of their career and those with long tenure looking at executive level opportunities. I have recruited, interviewed, and hired well over a hundred people and have tried to learn through experience and educational pursuits better ways to select and interview candidates. Additionally, my work experience has been one where I largely work on a team or in collaboration with other departments or outside partners. Currently I am the Executive Vice President of Sales for LA Rocks, which is a wholesale jewelry company. We design, produce, and distribute jewelry to large retailers like Macy’s and Target. In this role, I coordinate with the design, merchandising, manufacturing, finance, and sales teams to bring product to market. Additionally, I engage with our retail customers to strategize, build strong businesses together, and manage through issues and/or changing trends.

I am excited to learn the process of finding a settled minister, I am always looking for opportunities to broaden my experience. I also have a 7 year-old daughter and I foresee this minister as having some influence on her as she grows up in this church. I therefore thought I should pitch in!

Edie Mickey-Silveria

I am excited to run for a position on the Ministerial Search Committee. I’ve had a chance to work closely with many of our recent ministers; with Rev Marguerite, our last interim ministers, with Rev Mitra & Rev Rick. Each has brought passion & strength to our congregation. They help us develop, and stay committed to, our vision of being a voice of love & respect for all people in the Long Beach Community.  I’m intensely curious to meet & interview a slate of potential ministers who might want to call UUCLB “Home”.

The search committee will get an opportunity to learn and reflect on how members & friends view UUCLB today. What’s feeding our spirit? What drives us to make a difference in our community? What moves us towards deeper fellowship? What might we look like 5 years from now?  I have some ideas…what are yours? I have the energy, the time, and the ability to work towards consensus with a group. My life skills will help keep the committee “on track”.  I would be honored to serve this beloved community.

Mimi Gephart-Seeley

Hi, my name is Mimi Gephart-Seeley and I am very excited at the prospect of serving on the Ministerial Search Committee (MSC). I am passionate about our church body and have had an active commitment to serving this congregation for the last 4.5 years. I am no stranger to the hard work and often, long hours it sometimes takes to get the job(s) done around here. In the end it’s always worth every painstaking part of it, and although the job of serving on the MSC is not the most glamorous one, it is the most important one I have felt this passionately called to. While volunteering on/leading  several committees these past years, I have gotten to know many of you. As we move forward in this search process together, I look forward to getting to know everyone on a deeper and more valuable level as we work to seek the collective truth about who we are today as a church body, and what our collective desires are for our future. Where are we going from here and what do we want/need in our next Minister? These are exciting times!

I believe that the combination of my professional skill sets, proven leadership, organizational abilities, and past experiences on search committees have prepared me to be a successful and productive member for this search committee. I enjoy working collaboratively, collectively and transparently as a team member, highly valuing consensus, and of course allowing our UU principles, church mission of “inclusiveness for all” and Love to guide us. These three will serve as my personal stepping off point, and I will hold them close to my heart throughout the entire search process. I feel strongly and compassionately compelled to offer my services to the MSC, not just out of a commitment of duty, but of Love and a desire to contribute to this most important cause and the successful future of our church.

Alicia Davis

I think I’d be a good choice for the Ministerial Search Committee for several reasons. I’ve been involved in many areas of our congregation, including music, stewardship, governance, worship, and religious education. I’ve also been involved outside of our congregation at our district level. I would bring those experiences to the committee, as well as an open mind and the ability to listen.  I believe that the experiences I’ve had here, as well as my ability to hear the viewpoints and desires of others, will help me represent who we are to interested ministers. I will only have 2 commitments at church if I’m elected to the committee; music and the MSC. I hope to be part of bringing a wonderful new settled minister to UUCLB next year.

I think I’d be a good choice for the Ministerial Search Committee for several reasons. I’ve been involved in many areas of our congregation, including music, stewardship, governance, worship, and religious education. I’ve also been involved outside of our congregation at our district level. I would bring those experiences to the committee, as well as an open mind and the ability to listen.  I believe that the experiences I’ve had here, as well as my ability to hear the viewpoints and desires of others, will help me represent who we are to interested ministers. I will only have 2 commitments at church if I’m elected to the committee; music and the MSC. I hope to be part of bringing a wonderful new settled minister to UUCLB next year.

Thank you for your consideration.

Pat Marr

Greetings Friends!

Why do I want to serve on our Ministerial Search Committee?  I, like you, am very excited and very concerned about who is going to be on our next Ministerial Search Committee.  I understand the work of the committee is not for the faint of heart. The task of identifying our next minister will take a lot of personal time from each committee member.  The task will require patience as well as diligence from the committee while researching the candidates and while delving into a deeper understanding of what our congregation needs and wants in a minister.   There is much to learn and process. There is a lot of work to be done. Why do I want to do that?

UUCLB has been my spiritual home for almost 30 years.  I have been honored to serve as clerk on two occasions, I have served on various committees — including two search committees — and I have served on a couple of task forces.  The personal relationships we have as congregation members and the “work” we do for and with each other as the friends and members of UUCLB are extremely important to me as I know this work is to you, too.  Our congregation deserves a search committee that is passionate about and committed to the task of calling our next minister. We all know the calling of our next minister must really be the work of every one of us to one degree or another.  We must all be engaged in the process. With my commitment to our beloved congregation in mind, I have been planning to offer my time and talents to this search committee since shortly after I learned of Rev. Mitra’s resignation. I want to serve on this committee.  I have the time and talent, the passion and the capacity, to do this task. I am asking for your vote for the Ministerial Search Committee. So that you may know what I offer to the committee as far as talents, please see my previous work sheet or contact me at and I will send it to you.  My past work experience includes Court Reporter, Executive Assistant to the Director of Greater Long Beach ICO, and Office Manager of a local labor law consulting firm.  I am currently retired.

I am committed to do what is needed to prepare for the actual work of the search committee, the reading and research, as well as listening to and working with our congregation and the other committee members to get the best result for UUCLB.   Thankfully UUCLB and UUA have many resources for our Ministerial Search Committee. With our UUA Principles & Purposes and our own Mission Statement as guides for us, I am looking forward to this year of reflection and search and would be honored to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee.

Joanna Kimmitt

Years of membership: attending since August 2017, member as of May 2018
At UUCLB, I have found a long-term home for my personal and spiritual growth, and a community that I cherish deeply. I wish to bring my background in public services and administration to serving our congregation as a member of the MSC. I have spent my adult life working in non-profit organizations with progressive levels of responsibility for my work and guiding the work of others. I would bring my extensive experience with best practices in human resources policies and procedures to the MSC. My most recent work at California State University Dominguez Hills’ University Library has focused on staff and student development programming. This is an area where our congregation is striving to grow: developing and nurturing leadership capacity among our members and encouraging one another to take the leap to deeper engagement in opportunities in our church. I see our next settled minister as a critical catalyst for this good work. My own greatest joy in the workplace is developing the environment that others need to grow and explore; to see the “ah-ha” moment in a colleague or student’s face when they are able to make a new connection or feel supported and appreciated for what they do. I see the culture of appreciation and right relationship in the beloved community at UUCLB as another dimension of this personal value, and would work to communicate that to applicants to our ministerial search.

I deeply enjoy committee work, and currently serve as the Library’s representative to the University Budget Committee. Our charge is to take a university-level orientation toward budgeting and accountability, rather than focus exclusively on the needs of our home departments. I would strive to bring this “big picture” disposition to the MSC. I am also comfortable with online environments for recruitment, communication, and evaluation; in fact, most of my daily work involves managing multiple projects that are nearly entirely computer-based: evaluating user experience for effective web design, and developing online education modules for training and teaching information literacy.

I haven’t said much about feelings here, because I can find it difficult to share publicly (believe it or not!). I am regularly moved by the messages we share with one another in worship services and in small groups, and by the effect of the good works that we do as a congregation in our community and for one another. My spouse and I have found a real home here. I want to spread the good word about our beloved community far and wide. It would be a privilege to serve our congregation on the MSC. I am ready to work and to serve our diverse congregation, listening to all of the members of our church family, and getting to know desires, concerns, and hopes for our collective future to call a minister who best meets our needs as a whole.

Nasreen Sarah Gagner

I would appreciate your vote for the Ministerial Search Committee as we begin our final phase in search of a settled minister.

I believe that the new minister should be someone who embraces the spirit of Standing on the Side of Love.

I hope that we find someone who is kind, compassionate, inclusive and a spiritual leader who is open minded and will serve the entire community.

Hopefully this minister is someone who can be a strong worship leader, a good administrator, and a visionary who can help us grow and re-energize our beloved community.

This person should be supportive of social justice, pastoral care, children’s programs, fund raisers, inclusive activities, music programs, membership concerns as well as family and adult education.

It should be someone who can work with the Board of Trustees and the various groups and committees within our congregation.

It should be someone who can challenge the congregation and help us create a welcoming and diverse community that is multicultural, anti-racist, anti-oppressive and live up to all other aspects of the Mission of UUCLB.

I hope you will select me as a member of MSC.

I have no personal agenda other than to find someone who is a good fit for everyone. I have the time, talent and energy to devote to this process.

The candle inside your heart: Let it Burn! ~ Rumi

Miguel Pagan

My name is Miguel Pagan. I am a part of this church because you were here to welcome me. I did not “grow up” UU. I knew nothing of it until I walked into Wylder Hall 8 years ago. I grew up in NYC where my grandmother ensured I had a proper Catholic upbringing. My vision of Sunday service was very different in tone and messaging than what I experienced that first Sunday morning at UUCLB. I was in the presence of beloved community. Now I cannot imagine my life without UUCLB as my spiritual home. I want everyone to feel that sense of belonging.

Professionally I am an engineer with 20 years of experience analyzing, designing and developing complex networked systems. Organization and attention to detail are highly valued skills as an engineer. Process is key in successfully executing programs with repeatable results. I have managed projects overseeing the work of small teams of engineers. I have also held functional management positions where I was responsible for administering to the needs of employees. I have conducted interviews evaluating candidates for consideration in the hiring process. These experiences may be relevant to the ministerial search process. In addition to technical skills I have benefitted from a wide variety of soft skills training such as emotional intelligence, managing change, and team building.

My activities at the church have included 4 years on the Worship committee. I managed the calendar, organized lay led services and served as worship associate for visiting ministers. As a result, I am no stranger to the pulpit. I was privileged to receive instruction on Worship Creation from Rev. Mitra Rahnema. I was invited back for the second year of classes as an assistant to the minister. I have had the most fulfilling experience developing sermons that I have shared with UUCLB.

I am proud of my Church. UUCLB is not my church because I am here. UUCLB is my Church because you are here. I often wonder why there are not more people in Churches like ours. My entire family has embraced UUCLB as an important part of their lives. I welcome those committed to shaping it with their presence.

I have had many opportunities to speak to the congregation during my time here. I hope that you can put your trust in me to listen and express our vision of what we hope to become under the leadership of a new minister. It would be a unique honor representing the church’s current and future self in its effort to find a spiritual leader to continue the rich and expanding traditions of UUCLB.