2018 Board of Directors of Unity of Springfield

Mary Hilsabeck-Huber

President of the Board of Directors

Having attended Unity since 2007, Mary has a passion for this church and for being of service. She regularly platforms, ushers, decorates, sets up and cleans up for events, and has been involved with the Youth of Unity (YOU) group. Mary has two children, Emily and Duncan, who grew up in Unity and graduated from the YOU program. Mary models for them the importance of volunteering and serving this community.

Mary retired the end of January, 2015, from the Federal Medical Center, where she had been employed for the past 25 years. Mary and her spouse, Sue Hilsabeck-Huber, are members of PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays), andshe was chairperson for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) Affirmative Employment Program at the Medical Center. It is Mary's joy to serve Uinty of Springfield as a Board Member.

For reflections from the Board President, click HERE.

Simone Hite

Vice-President and Liaison for Fundraising ("Fun-Raising")

  • Owned 2 successful businesses.
  • One of the top Aflac reps for 11 years.
  • Very involved in community charities, business and church activities.
  • Former Board President until 2013.

Dr. Paula Armknecht

Secretary and Liaison for Volunteers

Paula has been a student of Unity Principles for 33 years, joining Unity of Springfield in 1981. Paula is a native of Springfield and has lived in Nixa since 1999, where she is a 4th grade teacher at John Thomas School of Discovery (JTSD). Paula holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University, and a B.S.ED and M.S.ED from MSU in Elementary Education & Educational Administration.  She is mother of five grown children, and grandmother of four. Paula’s motto: “It may scare me, but it’s not going to stop me!

Kari Brashers

Liaison for Youth & Teen Activities

  • Married to Mitch (bass player extraordinaire) for 18 years
  • 2 kids (Bella age 9, Beck age 7)
  • BS in General Business from Missouri State University
  • Currently pursuing MBA from Webster University
  • Current job: Manager of Regulatory Compliance at American National (worked at American National 1998-2003, 2005-present)
  • Professional designations include AIS, API, AINS, CPCU, ACP, CCP, ARC
  • Served in the United States Peace Corps with husband, Mitch, from 2003 – 2005 in Mauritania (West Africa)
  • Volunteer for power point 2nd and 4th Sundays.  Volunteer for children’s Sunday school 3rd Sundays.
  • Enjoys music, cooking, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Amy Burnett

Liaison for Outreach

Amy Burnett has attended Unity of Springfield since 2014. She enjoys attending services, special events, classes and volunteering as often as she can. 

Amy felt called to a higher level of service to the church and is excited to add her energy to the Board's efforts to make Unity of Springfield more visible in our community. Amy holds a BS in psychology and a M.Ed in Special Ed Learning & Instruction. She currently works for Missouri Children's Division. Prior to this, Amy dedicated 14 years to providing services to individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities.

Amy is married to her wonderful wife, Lisa Landrigan, who also attends Unity. They have four adult children and one beautiful granddaughter.


Cindy Goodwin

Liaison for Marketing & Publicity

Cindy was first introduced to Unity of Springfield in 1997 by a friend. At that time, Sue usually did the meditation and Cindy remember thinking, “One day, I’ll do that.”

Cindy joined UoS in 1999, attending classes as often as her schedule allowed. She has been active thru-out her time at UoS. She has volunteered in a myriad of ways; including, but not limited to, Platformer, usher, bookstore clerk, and street clean-up.

Cindy worked as the Administrative Assistant for 5 years, learning all the different facets of church administration. She brings to her role as a Board Member intimate knowledge and understanding of the church and its members. She looks forward to continuing to serve the church family she loves.

John Russ

Liaison for Music Department

John was born in Washington, DC, and grew up near Andrews Air Force Base. His family moved to Springfield in 1974, and he attended Kickapoo High School and SMSU before moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music in 1985. He lived in Boston until returning to Springfield in 2001, and has been working at American National Insurance since 2002, currently as a Quality Assurance auditor. 

He found Unity in 2014, after discussing his spiritual ideas with a friend. He finds the five principles empowering. He is involved with the band, and has helped out with many other activities. Unity has helped him grow as a spiritual being, and he is interested in expanding his involvement by working with others to come up with creative solutions to business problems. 


Terry Lippold

Liaison for Building & Grounds

In 2010, after retiring for the fourth time, Terry moved to Missouri to be near his six grandchildren in Rogersville.

He has owned several successful businesses:

•Mortgage Broker and Mortgage Banker, Stock Broker, Day Trader, and Insurance Sales
•Corporate Pilot, Charter Pilot, Flight and Ground Instructor. Aerobatic Instructor.
•Contractor who designed, sold, built and serviced over 400 gunite swimming pools in Northern California. Factory Warranty station for pumps, filters, heaters, cleaners and other pool equipment manufacturers.
•A Wholesale Perfume distributing company with contracts with 100 retail stores.
•Snow removal business.


John Braucher

Liaison for Adult Education & Employment

John has practiced as a Clinical Social Worker for more than 40 years. He is a father of three, and a grandfather of three. John has a keen interest in Health and Wellness, not only for people, but also for the planet! He plants trees and shrubs on his homestead outside of Warsaw, Missouri.


Emeritus Board Member

Norma Vinson has served on the Board of Directors at Unity for over 9 years, which includes 2 wonderfully difficult years as President.  Honored now as Emeritus Board member, she has a voice but no vote on decisions and attends most Board functions.  She has been a member of Unity since 1977 and still studying this way of life.

Serving as building and grounds liaison, she qualifies from years of real estate involvement and managing her numerous rental properties.  Although she has been around for over 80 years, she still enjoys working as a commercial appraiser, doing eminent domain valuations for public improvements.

The center of Norma’s life is her four kids, their kids and their kid’s kids.  Hobbies are ballroom dancing, judging dog shows, landscaping and playing occasional piano.  Yoga and exercise and a good chiropractor are expected to help her keep up the pace.