Unity of Buffalo's Board of Trustees 2017-2018
(From left to right: Lisa Colbert-Brown, President; Nancy Lee Patrus, Vice President; Mary Anne Kennedy Silkes, Secretary; Clem Olson, Treasurer; Tiffany Jadoo, Trustee at large; Betsy Rados, Trustee at large; Harriet Gromer-Hicks, Keeper of the Flame; Rev. Mary Masters, Trustee at large)
Lisa Colbert - Brown
Lisa has been in Unity for 25 years. Prior to joining us here at Unity of Buffalo, she was a member of the Unity Church in Montclair, New Jersey where she served as a Prayer Chaplain, Sunday Service Coordinator and Office Administrator. Lisa has completed 21 Unity classes for credit and is also a Prayer Chaplain Emerita here at Unity of Buffalo. She volunteers in our office and is a regular Platform Partner on Sundays. One of the ways that Lisa expresses her leadership gifts is through involvement with VOICE-Buffalo and her passion for social justice issues. One thing that Lisa loves about Unity of Buffalo is…the opportunity to grow spiritually with a loving community.
A fun fact about Lisa is… she'll never pass up an opportunity to play Scrabble!
Nancy Lee Patrus
Nancy is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Hamburg to be with her family. In Pennsylvania she was a barber and owned a very busy shop, where she followed the prosperity principles.
Even though she read the Daily Word for over 20 years, she never realized they had churches. Nancy joined the Unity of Pittsburgh in 2006 and quickly became involved in the classes and volunteered for almost every position. She was on the board and was platform partner.
When Nancy moved to Buffalo in 2014, she immediately looked for a Unity Church and started to attend. Nancy believes in the power of prayer and lives by the Unity Principles. She also believes in giving back by way of volunteering . In addition to the board, she became a prayer chaplain and helps with Friendship Hour. Volunteering here has helped Nancy to grow as person and makes her life more meaningful . Nancy is grateful for the abundant life I have created here in Hamburg.
Clem has been attending Unity of Buffalo for 17 years and served as a Sunday service greeter for many of those years. He brings to our Board extensive business and non-profit experience, having served on several other church boards as well. He is also active with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, where he is currently serving as the New York State Acting Grand Master. One thing that Clem loves about Unity of Buffalo is … the friendliness of the people.
A fun fact about Clem is … that he has been a world traveler; he enjoys travelling and has gained many insights from his travels.
Mary Anne Silkes
Picture and Bio to come...
Trustee At Large
Tiffany has been a member of Unity of Buffalo for seven years. She has taken several classes and contributes to our ministry through our Friendship Hour, sharing her love of food and cooking. In her professional life, she is a pediatric dentist. She also loves yoga and travel. One of her favorite authors is Brene Brown and last year she led a book study on Brene’s newest book, Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.
What Tiffany loves about Unity of Buffalo is … that it feels like home. “I love the sermons on Sunday service and the people that attend church are very kind and open minded. I feel like my service at Unity makes a difference. I enjoy volunteering because it feels good to give back to the place where I am spiritually nourished. The classes and events here are very positive and uplifting. This church has provided a loving and supportive community for me and I am very grateful.”
A fun fact about Tiffany is…that she loves practicing yoga and is an avid word unscrambler! Tiffany loves word jumble puzzles.
Trustee At Large
A sojourner, Betsy (Ryan) Rados was born on Groundhog’s Day 1957 and raised in Hamburg, New York. At age 5, she met Jesus Christ at St. James United Church of Christ and attended there until her graduation from Hamburg High School in 1975. She spent three years at SUNY Fredonia studying psychology then moved to Rochester, New York to work in 1978. In 1980 she enlisted in the U.S. Army, completed Basic Training in Missouri, then graduated as a Graphic Illustrator from The Community College of the Air Force in Denver, Colorado.
She spent the next five years as an illustrator stationed in Kansas, Alaska and Washington, D.C. In 1986 Betsy graduated from Topographic Surveying School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia then left active duty in 1987 to work in the civilian world as a surveyor and draftsman. Her son, Luke, was born in Manassas, Virginia in 1989. In 1992 she and Luke moved back to Western New York where she started working for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and teaching leadership and supervision for State employees. She stayed in the military as an Army, then Navy Reservist learning more about leadership, and retired in 2007 after spending her last six years as an officer with the Naval Sea Cadets.
She graduated from Houghton College in 2007 with a BS Degree in Management and in 2008 earned her certification as a dog trainer from Animal Behavior College. Betsy married her husband, Bill Rados, in 2009 and moved from Gowanda to North Collins in 2010 where they live prosperously with their three rescue dogs.
Harriet Gromer- Hicks
Keeper of the Flame
Harriet has been a member of Unity of Buffalo for 20 years. When Harriet first came to Unity of Buffalo, she volunteered in our office. Since that time she has moved on to becoming one of our longest serving Prayer Chaplains, 10 years and still loving her prayer work. She says that praying with others is one of her all-time favorite things to do. Harriet is the first person to serve as our Board Keeper of the Flame, which means she opens and closes our meeting in prayer, leads prayers during the meeting as needed, and holds sacred space for us as we conduct church business. One of the things that Harriet loves about Unity of Buffalo is… its inclusiveness and the unconditional love we all share with each other.
A fun fact about Harriet is … that she loves to sing to her pets.
Rev. Mary Masters
Trustee At Large
Reverend Mary Elita Masters has been in Unity for over 30 years. Since being ordained in 2002, she has served as the Senior Minister at Unity of Buffalo for 15 years, a position she calls “a Divine Appointment if there ever was one.”
Mary’s passion for the Unity movement has been expressed through her service on the Eastern Region Board and now the Unity Worldwide Ministries Board. Mary served five years on the Eastern Region Board, including four years as the regional president from 2005-09. She has been a member of the Unity Worldwide Ministries Board of Trustees since 2009 and had the honor of serving as Chair of the Board in 2013-14. In that role, she ordained the graduating class of Unity Institute ministers and gave the commencement address at the 2014 Unity Institute Graduation ceremonies. Prior to ordination, Mary was a Licensed Unity Teacher at Unity of Chicago. Rev. Mary feels her life purpose is to always “leave a place better than I found it.” Her core values are: Spiritually-centered, Loving Kindness, Authenticity, Continuous Learning and Growing, and Play (if you can’t have fun doing it, is it worth doing?) She loves getting to know people in her congregation and the people she meets through the many varied experiences that her ministry has gifted her with. Every interaction is an opportunity to discover and appreciate the buried treasure within all of us.
A fun fact about Rev. Mary is that she worked in college athletics for 20 years and has always loved sports and was an athlete herself, playing both tennis and field hockey through her college years and beyond. These days Rev. Mary still keeps active with spinning and yoga...and absolutely loves it.