2018 Board of Directors of Unity of Springfield

Mary Hilsabeck-Huber

President of the Board of Directors

   Mary Hilsabeck-Huber has been an active member at Unity of Springfield for 11 years, attending classes, workshops, volunteering and serving on the Board of Directors. Being part of a church community has always been important in her life, and she is truly grateful to have found a ministry that is accepting of the LGBT community and her life.

   She worked most of her adult life in some type of law enforcement, serving four years in the Air Force before beginning a career in correctional work. She retired from the Federal Prison in Springfield after 25 years. 

   Currently she conducts self-defense classes for women, teaches Love and Logic Parenting classes, proudly serves as the president of the Board of Directors here at Unity, is actively involved in numerous social justice issues and spends three days a week taking care of the most amazing little boy ever, her grandson, Julian.

   Her greatest joys in life are her marriage to her wife, Sue, her daughter Emily, son Duncan, a recent connection with her daughter Courtney, whom she gave up for adoption 38 years ago, and her grandson, Julian. 


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 Armknecht has been involved with Unity for over 30 years. She is passionate about the principles of Unity and making a difference in the world. Paula is a retired teacher with a B.S., M.S., and Ed.D. in Education. Family is important to her, as she has five grown children and several grandchildren. Paula loves the natural world and lives her dream of peaceful coexistence with the universe in the country, surrounded by wildlife. She also volunteers with Ozarks Water Watch as a stream monitor, and loves being a part of the Board of Unity of Springfield.


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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

NORMA VINSON

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.