Our Elected Leaders
High Plains Board of Trustees (2021-2022)
Rick Carpenter, President, President@hpcuu.org
My family found the UU faith when we were searching for a non-dogmatic church to help us provide a moral compass for our children. I found that the UU church provided a supporting, welcoming environment for me to explore my personal spiritual path. I am retired. I spent 35 years in engineering management in the communication and medical fields. I have served on boards for credit unions, churches, and other non-profit organizations. The work of High Plains and our other liberal religious partners is key to confronting the tribal racism, hatred and intolerance that is tearing our country apart.
I am honored to be elected board president for HPCUU. The board is focused on implementing the will of our congregation to fight for a world of acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, and love.
Gretchen Hein, Past-President, PastPresident@hpcuu.org
My husband and I began our journey with Unitarian Universalism at All Soul’s Church in Colorado Springs in the 1992 after Amendment 2 was passed. This was a ballot initiative passed by Colorado voters in 1992 that prohibited the state from enacting antidiscrimination protections for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. I volunteered as the co-chair for the RE team for 2 years at All Soul’s and we attended the first High Plains service in 1994.
We came back to High Plains in the late 1998 and signed the book in 2001. I have volunteered for Membership Team, chaired the Hospitality Team and chaired the Auction Team for 7 years. In 2018, the year we moved to the Unity campus, I volunteered to be an At-Large Member of the Board. As a Board member I headed up the Minister Search Team, I was our DRE’s supervisor until Reverend Julia was hired and I was the Board Liaison for the Safety review done by some of our members. I became President Elect in July of 2019, and President in July of 2020. I’ve had the dubious honor of serving the congregation only on-line, because of the Pandemic. This year I will be Past President as I serve a 4th and final year on the Board of Trustees.
My career in education spanned 42 years, as an educator and administrator at the Middle School level until my retirement in June of 2018.
and Unitarian Universalism is a force for good in our community and the world.
Vacant, President-Elect, PresidentElect@hpcuu.org
Danielle Jernigan, Secretary, Secretary@hpcuu.org
I began attending HPCUU in 2015 after moving from Pennsylvania to Colorado. The seven UU Principles attracted me to High Plains, and my desire to promote them inspired me to serve on the Board. In March 2021 I will be completing my MS in health informatics and hope to become a nurse informaticist, using information technology to improve the lives of patients. When not busy, I love birdwatching, reading nonfiction, and walking with friends in the beautiful Colorado outdoors.
Sam Waller, Church Financial Officer, CFO@hpcuu.org
I am Sam Waller, a father, dog-minder, volunteer, and semi-retired defense professional who has lived in Colorado Springs for the last seven years. My wife is Marianne Sheldon, my children are Abel (23), Rowan (19) and Anthoni (13), and my dogs are River, Barley and Cody.
I was born an Air Force brat in Los Angeles and lived in Washington DC and Wyoming before my father retired in middle Georgia. I was very involved in the Boy Scouts where I worked as a camp counselor and found great joy in helping others and being outdoors. After graduating from Mercer University, I served in the US Army for just over 22 years where I held leadership and staff positions in Korea, Haiti, the US, Europe, and the Middle East prior to retiring in 2011. I have served as a defense professional in England and Afghanistan but enjoy being a stay-at-home father and dog-minder in the Springs while financially feasible.
My family has been a part of High Plains Church since we moved here and immediately decided that we wanted to be a part of this honorable group of caring, smart, flawed and loving human beings. As each member of my family has built connections and ties within High Plains, I am compelled to help strengthen and grow this community that is so important today. The message and work of High Plains, our sister church, All Souls, and Interfaith Community Churches, such as Unity, are so important today as we confront zealotry, xenophobia, racism, and hatred with a powerful positive message of tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness and love. Although I have found serving as the board secretary rewarding, I feel my interests and skills more align with the duties of the Church Financial Officer (CFO). As I have been forced to work within budgets, allocate resources and restrict spending based on dynamic constraints, I know I have sufficient experience to perform this important job. I also know that beyond our talented Financial Team, there are numerous vested members who are eager to ensure our precious church resources are protected and have been willing to help our past CFOs within this wonderful church.