Leadership

Meet Our Executive Director — Joe Swimmer

Joe Swimmer was named Executive Director of the Episcopal Parish Network (EPN) in March 2017. Over his tenure, Joe has guided EPN’s strategy by focusing on innovation and strategically expanding the work of the 35-year-old organization.

Shifting from a conference-focused organization to an active network of over 200 Episcopal institutions, EPN today works to strengthen leaders for a changed and changing church. Through peer-to-peer online education, the largest annual conference in the Episcopal Church, thought leadership initiatives, and colleague groups, EPN brings clergy and laity together to imagine the future and to build parish ministry responsive to God’s call in this moment.

For almost a decade prior to joining EPN, Joe served in senior development roles for faith-based and legal services nonprofits in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, California. He started his career as a corporate attorney in San Francisco and spent 10 years at legal-information-services provider, LexisNexis, as Sr. Director of Emerging Technologies.

Joe graduated with a degree in history and religion, magna cum laude, from Tufts University. He studied for an MA in American Indian history at the University of Tulsa and holds his law degree from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of California.

Over his career, Joe has been active in numerous civic and professional organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Rensselaerville Institute. Additionally, he served on the vestries of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, both in San Francisco. Previously, Joe served on the Board of Directors, and as Chairman of the Board, for the Academy of Friends and was a member of the Board of Directors of FairVote. Joe also served on the Board of Directors of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom and the Board of Directors of the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar. He was recently named to the Episcopal Church’s Development Department Advisory Committee.

Joe is a member of the Cherokee Nation and has served his tribe in a variety of advisory and support roles. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his very patient husband, Tarak Patel, and wonder-lab, Lila.

Joe Swimmer

Meet Our Board of Directors

The EPN Board of Directors are leaders dedicated to strengthening our changing Church for the changing world. Without their knowledge, dedication, and passion, EPN could not fully embrace its mission or deliver its member services. We are grateful for their service to EPN, to the Episcopal Church, and to the world.

The Reverend Michael Sullivan, President

President, Kanuga, Hendersonville, NC

The Rev. Michael R. Sullivan became Kanuga’s 10th president in November 2016. A native of Seneca, South Carolina, Michael holds a Master of Divinity from The University of the South–Sewanee, Tennessee; a Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of South Carolina–Columbia, South Carolina; and a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude, Wofford College–Spartanburg, South Carolina (Phi Beta Kappa). Michael is the author of two books and numerous articles. Windows into the Soul and Windows into the Light, both published by Morehouse explore the place of art in spirituality. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, fitness, hiking and writing.

Commitment to ‘Strengthening Leaders for a Changing Church through Connecting, Equipping, and Diversifying’:

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of EPN’s board, building on our amazing past to bridge toward a new day of leadership. I am honored to work with incredible people, both at the board level and through the parishes that make EPN what it is – the best network of people for strengthening our future mission.”

Rev. Michael Sullivan

The Reverend Peggy Lo, Vice President

Rector, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX

The Rev. Peggy Lo was recently called to serve as rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas. Prior to this call, she was the Assistant Priest at St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church and Day School in Chicago.

Prior to attending seminary, she had a career in nonprofit administration and then in translation services. For six years, Peggy worked for the Public Interest Network as a campus organizer, central recruitment administrator, budget administrator, and online organizer taking her to Amherst, Boston, and Denver. She worked for the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation as a translator, lecture editor, and workshop designer.

During seminary at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, Peggy’s field placements took her to New York City, first with the Episcopal churches in Harlem through the Church of the Heavenly Rest and the Congregation of Saint Savior at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. More recently, she has served on the Episcopal Parish Network’s Annual Conference Planning Committee.

Peggy graduated from Stanford University with an AB in Psychology and minor in Asian American Studies. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, is her sending parish.

Rev. Peggy Lo

Ms. Anne Rudacille Schmidt, Immediate Past President

Retired

Anne Rudacille Schmidt retired in 2022 as the Director of Evangelism and Welcome Ministries at Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas. She has worked as a Search Consultant with parishes and dioceses in leadership transitions. Anne serves on the board of Forward Movement and was co-convener for the first Evangelism Matters conference held in Dallas in November 2016. Anne previously served on the EPN planning committee for several years and served as co-chair for two years. She enjoys running, music, and spending time with her husband and two grown children.

Commitment to ‘Strengthening Leaders for a Changing Church through Connecting, Equipping, and Diversifying’:

“I feel that EPN is just building on what it has always done: equipping, connecting, and diversifying . We’re taking the things we are good at as a community and pointing them toward building the church of tomorrow. This is an inspiring time and the collective gifts of EPN will continue to strengthen ministries of individuals and of the whole church.”

Anne Rudacille Schmidt

Ms. Wendy Mauney, Treasurer

Chief Operating Officer, Christ Church, Charlotte, NC

Wendy has served in church administration for over 20 years and is currently at Christ Church Charlotte where she has served as Parish Administrator since 2007. Previously, she was a CPA with Ernst & Young. Wendy served on the 2012 Annual Conference Planning Committee (when the EPN was hosted by Christ Church Charlotte), and has helped facilitate the Administrators’ Smart Start round-table discussions. A native Charlottean, she is a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. Go Tarheels!

Commitment to ‘Strengthening Leaders for a Changing Church through Connecting, Equipping, and Diversifying’:

“The church’s future depends on the strength of its clergy and lay leaders to lead in times of change. The EPN Network is building on the foundation built by its past leaders by providing a network of peers who can share their experiences and a physical and digital presence for exploring, sharing and learning.”

Wendy Mauney

Mr. Richard Allen Ammons, Secretary

Senior Consultant and Principal, Marts&Lundy

Currently a Senior Consultant and Principal at Marts&Lundy, a strategic fundraising consulting firm, Richard Ammons has more than 30 years of experience as a higher education advancement professional.  Before joining Marts&Lundy, he was Associate Dean for the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Prior to his work at Duke, Richard served for seven years as vice president for development at Colby College, managing the College’s $370 million comprehensive campaign. Richard also held leadership posts at Macalester College, Morehouse College and the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University.

Richard is currently a member of the board of trustees of the University of the South (Sewanee); a member of the vestry and past senior warden at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Durham; and a member of the board of MDC, Inc.  He is a former trustee of the General Theological Seminary. Richard has also served on the vestry and was a member of a Rector Search Committee at St. Luke’s, Atlanta.

Raised in Atlanta and New York City, Richard completed his undergraduate degree at Amherst College and earned an MBA at Stanford University.

Richard Ammons

Mr. George M. Plews, Chancellor (ex officio)

Partner, Plews, Shadley, Racher & Braun, Indianapolis, IN

George M. Plews is a founding partner of the Indianapolis law firm of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP where he practices in environmental, insurance coverage, and other complex litigation. He received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Princeton University, his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School and an Honors B.A. and M.A. degree from Oxford University. Mr. Plews is Chancellor of both the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis and the Episcopal Parish Network. He is a multi-term vestry member at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, a two-time senior warden there, the founding President of the St. Richard’s School Foundation, and has held numerous other church leadership roles. Among many other civic leadership positions, he is a Trustee of the National Public Radio Foundation, President of the WFYI (Indianapolis public media) Foundation and the boy’s 7th-8th grade basketball coach at St. Richard’s School (20 years).

Commitment to ‘Strengthening Leaders for a Changing Church through Connecting, Equipping, and Diversifying’:

“It has been my honor to serve as the Chancellor of EPN since 1990, and as an occasional board member as well. It has been a delight to watch EPN grow into a dynamic force for positive change in the Episcopal Church. EPN is a place where leaders from every corner of our Church meet, confer, and grow in a fertile, non-hierarchical, energizing fashion. It combines a way to learn best practices, launch new ministries and ideas, renew one’s spirit, and imagine the Church at its best.”

George M. Plews

Ms. Johnnie Alex

Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, IN

Johnnie joined the Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, California in 1981. The parish that she attended was Christ the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. During her service there she participated in ECW, started a children’s choir and was on the search committee for a new rector.

She is a native of Indianapolis, and a graduate of Shortridge High School. Johnnie received a BA from Indiana University, an MS in Theoretical Mathematics at Atlanta University, and a JD from the University of West LA. She retired from a 25-year career with IBM as a Systems Engineer. Her career spanned development, local, regional, then branch management positions. She also was a technical instruction in the customer and new hire programs. She received 100 Percent Club awards and was selected to attend the IBM President’s class at Harvard University. Her career required relocation to Boca Raton, Florida; Endicott, New Yok; Lansing, Michigan; Cincinnati, Ohio; Bloomington, Indiana; Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California.

After retirement from IBM, she returned to Indianapolis and joined the family real estate business. She was involved in the national organization of Women’s Council of Realtors. She became Local Chapter President, Indiana State Chapter President and Indiana State Governor. She was a volunteer instructor for Indianapolis Neighborhood Partnership (INHP).

Community involvement has included the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts in Lansing, Michigan, Board of Directors for Los Angeles Metropolitan YWCA and a math tutor in all locations.

She has been an active member of Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis for over 15 years. Her service has included EFM graduate, Stephen Ministries, Greeters Guild, Hats for the Indy Knitter, Cathedral Women Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, perpetual Strawberry Festival volunteer and organizer of the Cathedral Women’s Annual Luncheon. She has served in the vestry as senior warden. Her Diocesan participation is as a member of the Waycross Board of Directors and as a member of the Diocese Standing Committee.

Her interests and hobbies include travel, reading, entertaining, knitting, sewing and spoiling great nieces and nephews.

Commitment to ‘Strengthening Leaders for a Changing Church through Connecting, Equipping, and Diversifying’:

“Today as always, the Church is experiencing many kinds of changes that affect its traditions, membership, and leadership. In order to help strengthen our leaders, my first step would be to listen and try to understand the changes and their impact on the mission of the church. Once I have that understanding, I would seek to encourage the leaders to prayerfully take an open and creative approach to a solution to what is different.In all situations, I would recommend that the leaders invite the Holy Spirit into their concerns. Then I would ensure that my support is always available to help them to withstand the forces and pressures that they are experiencing.”

Johnnie Alex

Ms. Donna Ashley

Vice President of Advancement, The General Theological Seminary, New York City, NY

Donna J. Ashley is currently the Vice President of Advancement at The General Theological Seminary. After receiving her BA in Economics and Management from Simmons College, Mrs. Ashley held positions in Marketing and Sales for Fidelity Investments and Columbia Asset Management before joining Trinity Church Boston as Director of Parish Giving.  Following this experience working for the Church, she obtained her MA in Theology from The General Theological Seminary, and subsequently became their Director of Admissions.  She then accepted a ministry as Interim Director of Congregational Resources and Training at the Diocese of Massachusetts. Mrs. Ashley returned to The General Seminary as Senior Advancement Officer before accepting her current position. She has also previously held  positions on the Board of the Church Club of New York and on the EPN Annual Conference Planning Committee.

Donna Ashley

The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington

Dean of York Minster Cathedral (UK)

The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington was appointed as the Dean of York in the autumn of 2022. Dean Barrington began his ministry as curate in the Mortlake with East Sheen Team Ministry in the Diocese of Southwark. He served as a university chaplain at St. Chad’s, Durham, before becoming priest-in-charge, and subsequently, rector at St. Peter with St. Michael’s in Kettering in the Diocese of Peterborough.

He was installed as Dean of St. James Cathedral, Chicago, Illinois, in 2015, after 20 years of ordained ministry in the Church of England. During his theological studies, he spent a year as an exchange student at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, California, from which spring a deep-seated affection for The Episcopal Church.

Dean Barrington has previously worked with the Arts Council to create and fund new regional touring opportunities for the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and other orchestras. He has worked for several years with some of Britain’s leading professional choirs and vocal groups.

He is well known in both England and the United States for his knowledge and experience of the Holy Land, where he leads pilgrimages structured to provide income and employment for the Christian communities of Palestine and Israel.

He is married to Alison, a music therapist, who has worked in both clinical and academic contexts. They have two sons, Benedict and Linus.

Rev. Dominic Barrington

Elizabeth Boe

Mission Personnel Officer, The Episcopal Church’s Global Partnerships Office, Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York City, NY

Elizabeth Boe is the Mission Personnel Officer in The Episcopal Church’s Global Partnership Office. In this role, she manages the Young Adult Service Corp (YASC) and Episcopal Volunteers in Mission (EVIM) — the Church’s two missionary-sending programs. Elizabeth joined the Presiding Bishop’s staff in 2011 after serving two years in Tanzania with YASC.

She is a parishioner and vestry member at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City. Elizabeth previously served on EPN’s Annual Conference Planning Committee for three years and was co-chair for two years.

Outside church, she enjoys history, language study, and hanging out with her sister, Nina, and Mr. P., the slightly cantankerous 10-year-old cat they adopted in 2020.

Elizabeth Boe

The Reverend Janet Broderick

Rector, Calvary St. George’s, New York

The Rev. Janet Broderick’s ministry spans over three decades, during which time she has served as curate, vicar, and rector for numerous communities of faith. Her loving work has inspired vitality and imaginative inclusivity in communities large and small, urban and rural, progressive and traditional, and just about everywhere between. Janet’s ability to lead people to a sincere and loving relationship with Christ through good humor and a deep well of compassion has truly brought a warming light to the All Saints’ community.

Rev. Janet Broderick

The Reverend Doyt Conn, Jr.

Rector, Epiphany Parish of Seattle, Seattle, WA

Doyt L. Conn, Jr. began as the 10th Rector of Epiphany Parish in November 2008. “My calling,” Doyt says, “is primarily to gather people and expose them to the transforming power of an awesome, loving, inclusive God. Christianity is a lifestyle, it a practice, it is an spiritual exercise. Epiphany Parish is a gym for the human spirit where we work out through worship, prayer, fasting, tithing, sabbath, pilgrimage and living in the rhythms of the Christian calendar to become our most God-given authentic self, with the hope of being love spreading difference makers in the world.”

Over the past ten years, Epiphany Parish has grown 350%. Doyt is fond of saying evolution happens where land and water meet, and that certainly describes Seattle. Epiphany, under his leadership, is certainly changing to meet the changing spiritual landscape of 21st Century America. Teaching is Doyt’s passion, and he focuses much of this on Jesus, and teaching people to live their lives as Jesus would if he had the context of their body, and mind, and life… right now, in this city, at this time.

Doyt came to Epiphany from All Saints’ Beverly Hills, where he served as Associate Rector with primary responsibility for Pastoral Care. Doyt graduated with his Masters of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2003. He discerned his vocation as a priest in the Diocese of Ohio, where he was sponsored for ordination by St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights.

After receiving his Bachelors of Science from the School of Speech at Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois in 1989, Doyt worked as a project director for the international relief organization AmeriCares. In 1992, he joined the Hawk Group of Companies in Cleveland, Ohio where he worked as a Director of Corporate Strategy and as a member of the mergers and acquisition team. In 1997, Doyt received his Masters of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University. While in Cleveland, Doyt also worked as a General Manager for Cleveland Steel Container.

Doyt and his wife Kristin met while at Northwestern in 1985. They were married in Cleveland in 1994. Kristin is a family physician and practices medicine with Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. Doyt and Kristin have two children, Margaret (1999) and Desmond (2004), and he lives next door to his older sister Valerie. Doyt enjoys running with his dog Minnie, playing tennis, taking walks with Kristin, and traveling.

Rev. Doyt Conn, Jr.

Dr. Beverly Ffolkes-Bryant

Assistant Superintendent, District 75, New York City Department of Education
Trinity Church, New York City, NY

Dr. Ffolkes-Bryant has been an educator for over 40 years with the New York City Department of Education, starting as a teacher and is currently an Assistant Superintendent of District 75. She was the founding Principal of P.S. 315, School of the Performing Arts in 1998.

Under Dr. Ffolkes-Bryant’s leadership, P.S. 315 has been honored with numerous awards from both community and professional organizations including WNBC’s “What’s Good About New York”, the New York State Alliance for Arts Education, the Brooklyn Borough, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, among many others. She and P.S. 315 have been recognized for community collaborations, steadily rising test scores, and reducing failure rates through education and the arts.

In 2008, Dr. Ffolkes-Bryant received the Congressional Award for Educator of the Year.

Dr. Ffolkes-Bryant joined Trinity Church in 1997. She has participated as a lay reader, congregational council member, and youth group advisor. She also was a member of the New York Episcopal Diocese’s “Children’s First” Committee.

She was educated in New York City’s public schools graduating from the Music and Arts High School. Dr. Ffolkes-Bryant received a bachelor’s degree from Aldelphi University, a master’s degree from Teacher’s College/Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from St. John’s University.

Dr. Beverly Ffolkes-Bryant

The Reverend Elizabeth Marie Melchionna

Rector, The Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, NC

The Rev. Elizabeth Marie Melchionna (pronounced mel-shio-na) has been the rector of The Chapel of the Cross since 2016.

After working in outdoor education and leadership development, Elizabeth Marie began her ordained ministry as a Luce Scholar teaching at Payap University and facilitating interfaith dialogue at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Peace, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Always serving with an attentiveness to leading healthy change, Elizabeth Marie has worked as a parish priest at St. Mary’s Arlington, VA and as the Davidson College Episcopal Campus Minister and Associate Rector of St. Alban’s in Davidson, NC.  She also has served as the Canon for Discipleship and Parish Life at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, CO.

 

Elizabeth Marie holds degrees from Davidson College (magna cum laude) and Yale University’s Divinity School (summa cum laude). Additionally, she holds graduate certificates in Anglican Studies (Berkeley Divinity School at Yale), Liturgy (Yale Institute of Sacred Music), and Conflict Transformation (Eastern Mennonite University).

She has studied and worked around the world including Madagascar, England, New Zealand, and Thailand. Elizabeth Marie and her husband parent three kids ranging in age from diapers to driver’s license.

Rev. Elizabeth Melchionna

The Reverend Canon Shana M.P. McCauley

Canon for Spiritual Formation, Trinity Cathedral
Portland, OR

The Rev. Shana McCauley is the Canon for Spiritual Formation at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. She leads the welcome and pastoral care ministries, as well as supports stewardship and anti-racism initiatives. Previously, Shana was the vicar of St. Edward’s in Silverton, a small (and mighty!) mission in rural Oregon for 11 years.

In 2016, she closed and relaunched St. Edward’s helping the congregation to be flexible and to transition to its next chapter. From 2018 to 2020, St. Edward’s worked with the community to change zoning laws and to build four cottages to help unhoused women transition into stable housing. Shana was the Associate for Youth at St. Timothy’s in Danville, California, prior to leading St. Edward’s.

Shana is Korean and Caucasian growing up in Anchorage, Alaska. She is married with three sons who range in age from four to twelve. She received her Master of Divinity from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. In her spare time, she enjoys fiber arts and reading young adult fiction.

Rev. Canon Shana M.P. McCauley

The Very Reverend Kate Moorehead Carroll

Dean, St. John’s Cathedral, Jacksonville, FL

The Very Rev. Kate Moorehead Carroll is the 1oth dean of St John’s Cathedral, where she oversees a vibrant urban congregation of about 1,500, along with a number of non-profits birthed by the Cathedral. Mother Kate has led the Cathedral congregation in developing ministries for the homeless, immigrants, and children as well as implementing a new vision for the redevelopment of the urban core in the Cathedral District. She also serves as vice president of the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, the Cathedral School Early Learning Center, Cathedral Arts Project, Cathedral Care nursing facility and Aging True Community Senior Services.

A noted preacher, Kate is known for her speaking and scholarship throughout the Episcopal Church. She has presented at the National General Convention as well as numerous church conferences and workshops within the United States, and is the author of five seasonal meditation books, as well as a book and three-part video series about Mary Magdalene.

Kate is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College and a cum laude graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, where she earned her Master of Divinity. She and her husband James (J.D.) have three sons – Luke, Jake and Max.

Commitment to ‘Strengthening Leaders for a Changing Church through Connecting, Equipping, and Diversifying’:

“All over the world, the shape and structure of Christianity is changing. In North America, Sunday morning worship is shrinking and innovative ministries are on the rise. It is clear that technology is changing the way we write, speak, and think and that means we will be worshipping in new ways and praying in new ways. I believe that EPN is one of the incubators where great practitioners of the faith can gather and brainstorm. We need flexible, wise, creative leadership in order to take the Episcopal Church into the future.”

Very Rev. Kate Moorehead Carroll

Fred E. Staley Jr., Assistant Treasurer

Executive Director of Operations, St. Stephen’s Church; Richmond, Virginia

Fred Staley is the newly-appointed Executive Director of Operations for St. Stephen’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. He manages finances, facilities, administration, and human resources.

Prior to joining St. Stephen’s, he served in a similar role for the Episcopal Church Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, since 2013. As associate for administration at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Staley managed 20 full time and eight part-time staff, as well as volunteers. He has overseen maintenance of the physical plant as well as Bethesda-by-the Sea’s retail thrift store, one of the nation’s leaders with revenue more than $1 million annually.

His previous experience also includes serving as business manager for a Presbyterian church in Knoxville, Tennessee, administrative and financial management in secular settings, including his family’s business, Staley, Marble & Granite also in Knoxville. Staley graduated cum laude from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, and holds an MBA from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Staley is married to Debbie, an award-winning author. They have one married son, Ethan, and two precious dachshunds, Buster and Phillie.

Fred E. Staley Jr.

Chapel of the Cross,
Madison, Mississippi

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All Saints Episcopal Church
Richmond, Virginia

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