Welcome to UUAA from our wonderful staff!
[staff photos by Mike Halerz]



ManishHS350Reverend Manish Mishra-Marzetti, Senior Minister
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In August of 2018, our congregation joyfully welcomed Reverend Manish Mishra-Marzetti as the thirteenth Senior Minister since our community's founding in 1865.

Reverend Manish is a lifelong learner, scholar, author and a UU leader committed to community involvement and outspoken public ministry. His recent books include Conversations with the Sacred: A Collection of Prayers (2020), co-edited with Jennifer Kelleher, and Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment (2018), co-edited with Jennifer Nordstrom.

His warm and engaging preaching style appeals to both heart and head. He is a deeply thoughtful person with a multi-cultural background, drawing inspiration from a diverse range of literary, ethical, and spiritual sources, including Unitarian Universalism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Humanism, Christianity and Lakota spirituality.

Reverend Manish has previously served as the Senior Minister of congregations in Florida, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. He has also served extensively in Unitarian Universalist national leadership, including as president of the Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM, our national UU people of color organization), and most recently as a trustee on the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees.

Prior to entering the ministry, Reverend Manish served as a U.S. diplomat during the Clinton administration.

You can follow this link to read more information about Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti


Cassandra Hartley square 300px for web

Reverend Cassandra Hartley, Executive Minister
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Reverend Cassandra Hartley graduated with her M.Div. from Detroit Ecumenical Theological Seminary and was ordained into Unitarian Universalist ministry by the Farmington UU Church. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications & Journalism from the University of Utah, and had a career working in development and public relations for non-profits before entering into the ministry. She is passionate about lifelong faith formation, administration, climate justice, parenting her three young children, and keeping up with her small farm full of animals. 

Reverend Cassi has been a member of UUAA since 2013 and previously served as the Assistant Minister for Spiritual Growth & Development. Now as Executive Minister, she is our Head of Operations and oversees the alignment of all of our programming with the congregation's Vision.

Glen Thomas Rideout square 300px for webDr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Director of Worship & Music
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A native of Baltimore, Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout holds a bachelor’s degree in voice from Vanderbilt University, a master’s and a doctoral degree in conducting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Glen Thomas is the winner of the 2013 National Student Conducting Competition. He has conducted the University of Michigan Chamber Choir, the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, and the Manhattan Chorale—a professional ensemble of New York City. He served as assistant conductor for the University of Michigan Chamber Choir in the Grammy-nominated recording of Darius Milhaud’s opera trilogy, L'Orestie d'Eschyle.

His recent international conducting schedule has included engagements in Perú, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Andorra, and France. Glen Thomas served the University of Michigan Chamber Choir as assistant conductor during its 2014 tour of New Zealand and Australia.

Glen Thomas has served First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor as Director of Music since August 2007. His essay Prodigal Songs: Reclaiming Our Voice has been published by the Church of the Larger Fellowship.

Glen Thomas's work as a singer includes engagements with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Mark Morris Dance Group, University of Michigan, the University Musical Society, and the Star-Spangled Music Project. In June 2016, Glen Thomas served as guest vocalist for the investiture of United States federal court judge Judith E. Levy.

Glen Thomas is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network, Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.




Ed Lynn, Interim Administrator
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A long time UUAA member, Ed Lynn currently serves as our Interim Administrator during our time of transition. He brings UUAA his seasoned business skills from his career at Ford Motor Company. Ed oversees our finances and building management.

Hannah350Hannah Hotchkiss, Coordinator of Welcome Ministries and Membership
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Hannah has a B.A. in German from the University of Connecticut, studied abroad for a number of years, and eventually received an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) from Eastern Michigan University. She taught ESL to adults for over 10 years so she is no stranger to assisting people in adapting to new surroundings.

Hannah discovered her affinity for Unitarian Universalism when she was introduced to the UUAA in 2002. Five years later, she was thrilled to join the staff. Hannah's responsibilities include managing ushers and greeters, running new member orientations and classes, and membership outreach activities.



Quiana Perkins square 300px for webQuianaDenae Perkins, Coordinator of Congregational Life
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Quiana Perkins joined the UUAA staff in August 2018 as our Coordinator for Pastoral Care and Social Justice programs. She now serves as Coordinator of Congregational Life, supporting all lay-led affinity and justice groups, aligning all groups with our congregational vision

Quiana has been an activist and organizer for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, worked to assist at-risk and homeless youth, and worked as a community organizer with the YWCA. Quiana brings her extensive background in human services, sociology, volunteer support and empowerment to strengthen and advance all ministries at UUAA.


Mark VanKempen, Director of Spiritual Growth and Development
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Mark VanKempen graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a masters in education. He has since worked with the Wayne State Math Program as a classroom teacher, including 10 years working the summer program, the Wayne State Math Corps. He also also taught in Dearborn as well as Ann Arbor. He is driven to make sure that youth have a safe space to explore and express ideas, and find their own path in their spiritual journey. Mark, his wife Kate, and son Isaac, have been longtime members of the church. Mark oversees all educational, enrichment and childcare programs within our community, across the lifespan.


Don350Don Hackney, Building and Grounds Manager
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Don comes to us from Zingerman’s, where he was Maintenance Manager at the Roadhouse for six years, and a baker for five years at the Bakehouse before that. Prior to Zingerman’s, he worked for many years in the dry walling business, carpet installation, and other trades. Don is also an avid fisherman.

Allison Halerz square 300px for webAllison Halerz, Pianist-In-Residence
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Allison Halerz is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music with a degree in Performing Arts Technology. As a previous member of the UMS Choral Union, she participated in the Grammy Award-winning recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience in April 2004 under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.

Allison has been attending UUAA since 2003 and became a member in 2007. She was drawn to the congregation partly because of its already excellent music program, and quickly became an active participant both as a member of the Chalice Singers and as a substitute pianist. She became the UUAA’s Pianist-in-Residence in 2007 and is excited to be a part of the continued musical experiences and growth of this congregation.



KariGottfriedKarishma (Kari) Gottfried, part-time Communications Ministry Specialist
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Kari served as an intern at UUAA for the summer of 2020. As of September, 2020 she is working part-time as a communication's specialist, helping us to strengthen our communications as described by the congregation in our Vision 20/50 project. She will especially help us expand our social media ministry.

Kari was born and raised as a Unitarian Universalist and has been an active youth leader on the district, regional, and national levels. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in Religion & Political Science at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and intends to become an ordained UU minister. Kari also attends Sanctuary Boston and leads Wellesley’s UU campus ministry. Outside of Unitarian Universalism, she works as a Residential Assistant, teaches herself guitar, and phone banks for political candidates.



AmberBeland 300Reverend Amber Beland, Intern 2020-21
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Reverend Amber Beland is a third-year doctoral student at William James College, in the field of leadership psychology. She will be with our UUAA community as an intern-practitioner during the 2020-2021 congregational year.  Reverend Amber’s doctoral internship will focus institutionally on healthy communication, healthy relationships, and healthy conflict within a congregational context.  She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and an ordained minister in our tradition, having served our congregations in Annapolis, MD and the Church of the Larger Fellowship.  

She has a passion for research and history.  With a background in both ministry and anthropology, Reverend Amber enjoys learning about people and what makes them who they are.  Over the course of her year-long field placement with us, she will be meeting with select congregational groups and individuals to learn more about UUAA, as a congregational ‘system’ and community.   Reverend Amber lives in New Hampshire with her husband, three stepsons, and many, many pets.


Erin350Erin Dixon, Lead Preschool Teacher
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Erin has has been with the UUAA youth programs since 2006. She focuses on providing a safe, secure, nurturing and welcoming environment for children and families of preschoolers ages 3-4.  She has worked with children and families for over 25 years and has an Advanced Child Development Associate Degree (ACDA), and an associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Washtenaw Community College. Her certifications include: Music Together and HighScope. She also serves on a therapy dog and handler team with Therapaws. Erin is married to Ken Dixon and has two grown children, Jill who lives in Delaware and Kenny who lives in Tulsa, OK.


Sanne350Sanne Krummel, Lead Nursery Teacher
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Sanne spent the first 12 years of her life in Austria and Germany. She received a MS in Speech/Language Pathology from Bowling Green State University and then worked with patients with head injuries. Many years and 3 kids later, she returned to school, receiving a MA in Early Childhood Education with emphasis on second language acquisition at Eastern Michigan University.  In 2005, she established her own business (Sanne's GermanWorks) teaching German to groups of children.  Having taught children at the UUAA from the nursery to OWL, she has settled into making the youngest attendees (and their parents) feel welcome and cared for in the Nursery since 2009.  When not working, spending time with three young adult offspring, or walking the family dog Milo, she tries to get in as much tennis as possible with her husband, Ken Powell.


Hanh Bui, Childcare Coordinator
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KenPhifer350Reverend Kenneth W. Phifer, Minister Emeritus

Reverend Doctor Kenneth W. Phifer was the senior minister of our congregation from 1980 - 2005. His thought-provoking sermons, caring leadership, vibrant sense of humor, and dedicated community involvement provided our congregation with much inspiration for 25 years. Reverend Ken continues to teach classes and preach in area churches. He is a founder of the Interfaith Roundtable, and has worked on issues relating to peace, aid in dying, and LGBTQ concerns. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Divinity School, he is the author of two books: Hold On: Getting Through Tough Times and Becoming at Home in the World.


Gail350Reverend Gail R. Geisenhainer, Minister Emerita

Rev. Gail served from August, 2008 to August, 2016 as UUAA's 12th called senior minister and first female to fill that position. Rev. Gail was a huge advocate of social justice, bringing the Black Lives Matter movement to our congregation and offering inspiring sermons on a wide range of social justice topics. In March, 2014, before the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the right to gay marriage, there was a brief window of time when gay marriage was legal in Michigan. Rev. Gail went to City Hall and performed 10 joyful marriage ceremonies in one day. Under her leadership, our congregation became the first UUA congregation to be certified under the Equal Access- Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) program. In 2016 when she announced her retirement, the congregation created the Geisenhainer Music Fund in her honor and also dedicated a new concert level Steinway grand piano as an ongoing legacy of her devotion to music programming.

She is known among UUs nationally for her rousing 2006 UUA General Assembly Sunday Sermon and is a contributor to the 5th edition of the The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide (Skinner House Books, 2012). After retiring from UUAA, Gail and her partner Celeste retired to their home state of Maine