The Board of Trustees is composed of 9 members from the congregation.  Each year, at the annual meeting (first Sunday after Memorial Day), 3 new members are elected to the Board to serve a 3 year term.

Board meetings are normally held monthly on the THIRD Thursday of the month and are open to all. 

Next Board Meeting: Thursday, January 21 at 6:00 pm on Zoom. Calendar will have connection details.


To view reports for this meeting (and past reports), go to

Board of Trustees Committees: 

Board representatives on committees are appointed annually. 

Non-board member terms run July 1 – June 30, usually for 3 years. 


Communications Team – 

No terms have been set yet. 

Liz Bredeson 

Deidre Fudge 

Cheryl Long 

Barb Royal 

Amy Petrie Shaw & Kerrie Lee – staff liaisons 

Patty Notch – Board Liaison 


Financial Oversight Committee (FOC) 

Board RepresentativesSara Jensen, Andrea LeMeuse, Greg Nichols 

Non-Board Members 

Barb Royal, Chair (2023)

Becky Evans, Vice Chair (2021)

Al Powers, Secretary (2022)

Vicki Scott (2021 )


Governance Committee: 

Board Representatives:  Scott Emison Clair, Mike Lauer, Fern Stewart 

Non-Board Membeers 

Bill Brauch 

Bruce Martin 

Bill Brauch 


Lens of the Future: 

Board Members:  Andrea LeMeuse 




Ministerial Review: 

Board Members:  Scott Emison Clair, Sue Huber, Heidi Mannetter 


Nominating Committee: 

Board Representative:  Sue Huber, Andrea LeMeuse 

Non-Board Members 

Pam Backstrom – term ends 2022 

Nate Hoogeveen – term  ends 2021 

Ken McCann – term ends 2023 


Email the Board of Trustees at:

2020 – 2021 Board Members


Patty Notch term ends 2022


Patty Notch is a lifelong resident of Des Moines. She graduated from Lincoln High School, Drake University, and Drake University Law School. Patty has been a practicing attorney since 1992. Patty has six children, and married her wife Meg, in 2010.   Together they have nine children. Patty, Meg and Jayla, the youngest, age 12, recently moved from the south side of Des Moines to an apartment downtown.

Patty has been active at First Unitarian since joining in 2011. She has taught RE, volunteered with Family Promise, and served on many committees, including the Ministerial Search Committee. Patty is currently in her second year of service on the Board, and serves as Board Chair.

Patty has extensive experience in navigating the children’s mental health system in the state of Iowa, having served as a family peer support specialist for several years. She is always happy to help others navigate the system. In her spare time, Patty likes to read, travel, and look for treasures at thrift shops and consignment stores.


Greg Nichols term ends 2023

Vice President

Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2020, Greg currently serves as Board Vice President, and a member of the Financial Oversight Committee. His term runs through 2023.

Greg and his spouse, Dawn Connet, joined the church in 2002. Their children, now grown, participated in various youth activities and RE when younger. Greg has held numerous roles in the church in past years, including serving a prior term on the board and a year as Board President, a member of the Council of Congregational Ministries, on the Vision Quest and Endowment committees, as a member of the recent Ministerial Search committee, and as an annual meeting moderator.

He is employed as the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Community Relations at Iowa Student Loan, a West Des Moines-based nonprofit corporation. His other community activities include serving as a board member for the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, the By Degrees Foundation, the Greater Des Moines Partnership Talent Development board, and on the Polk County Democratic Central Committee.


Fern Stewart –  term ends 2023 


I have been a member approximately ten years.  My interests have included Compassion and Choice, Marriage Equality and Hospitality. Within the last year I have been actively attempting to become a more involved in participation and volunteering. I have helped with Family Promise (this will definitely continue to be a passion), sewn quilts to celebrate births and adoptions, and become a mentor in the Coming of Age program. In July, I joined the Board of Trustees and serve as secretary as well as serving on the Governance Committee.

Outside of church, I serve on the board of the Des Moines Quilters Guild and morphed into becoming a proficient mask making fool since COVID has struck!  First for family and neighbors, then Broadlawns and most recently part of the team creating 12,000 masks for Des Moines Public Schools.  I also serve as secretary on the Friends of the WDM Parks and Recreation Board which supports my love of the nature and the outdoors.

This church means the world to me and my intention is to serve it well.


Scott Emison Clair – term ends 2022

Scott Emison Clair (he/ him/ his) has been a member of First Unitarian Church of Des Moines for the last 16 years. During that time he has served on the Religious Services Committee, on the Council of Congregational Ministries, facilitated multiple adult and youth RE Classes including OWL, Small Group Ministries, Soul Matters, Wellsprings, and Coming of Age, and is currently on the Board of Trustees. He serves on the Governance and Ministerial Review Committees of the Board.

Scott has also been active in a variety of health related nonprofit work including founding a statewide HIV and Hepatitis Advocacy Group and serving on the board of a local Federally Qualified Health Center (Primary Health Care).  He is married to Lori and they have two kids. Scott’s ‘day job’ is working as a data scientist determining the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.


Sue Huber – term ends 2021

I became a member of First Unitarian Church in 2010. For me, it was liberating to be part of a church where the focus was not on sin, heaven and hell. Since I became a member, I found it very easy to be active in many different areas. I have attended and facilitated a variety of classes, and have supported teaching children in RE.  I have helped coordinate Family Promise and with Sanctuary and Immigration Justice Group. I became a member of the Board of Trustees in July, 2018.  I am presently a member of the nominating committee and the Ministerial Review Committee.


Michael Lauer – term ends 2021

I was born outside the metropolis of Farming, Minnesota. I remember bringing the cows in from pasture and the warm cow pies squishing between my bare toes. But I also remember finding thistles with my bare feet in the pasture; I prefered the cow pie. Eventually we were able to afford to have shoes all year round.

I became a member of First Unitarian in 2015 and began serving on the board in 2018. I participated in classes and book groups on racial justice, white privilege, and restorative justice. This church and these classes changed my life. I am active in Immigration Justice issues. I believe the many social justice foci of the church intersect in a way that can nourish and unite us.


Heidi Mannetter – term ends 2021

Heidi Mannetter has been a member of First Unitarian of Des Moines since 2017. Since joining the church with her family, she has also served on the Building Tomorrow Team. Heidi is a certified Professional Project Manager and is currently an assistant professor of marketing in the College of Business and Public Administration at Drake University, and also serves on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Iowa. In her spare time, Heidi enjoys baking with her family and hiking. This year, she’s visited over 45 Iowa State Parks and has hiked over 300 miles with her rescue dog, Lucy.


Sara Jensen – term ends 2022

I come from a blended family: one parent is an atheist and one an evangelical christian. And although this is not why I am a UU, it certainly is a contributing factor. I was born in Des Moines and I moved back here with my family a few years ago. In the search for ‘our people’ we came to First Unitarian and became members within a few months. My husband participated on the Search Committee and my son is a youth Celebrant. I happen to have a head for business, and so serve on the Board and the Financial Oversight Committee. We serve our UU community where we can, and are very grateful for the love and support we receive in return.


Andrea LeMeuse – term ends 2022

Andrea has five grown children and two grandchildren, plus an assortment of grand dogs and grand cats. She has worked as a Distribution Specialist in West Des Moines for 6 years.  She joined First Unitarian in November of 2012 and is a Founding Member of the Sacred Bridges Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans in May 2013. She teaches Pagan and Wiccan related classes through the Adult Religious Education program at First Unitarian, plus hosts public rituals for the Pagan Sacred Holy Days. She also makes an excellent green bean casserole.

Andrea has been elected to the Board of Trustees beginning July 2020 for a three year term. She serves on the LENS of the Future Church Committee, the Financial Oversight Committee, and the Nominating Committee.