In our work with congregations, we believe healthy, effective teams come from thoughtfully assembling diverse gifts and perspectives, and then organizing them to pursue big, impossible dreams, with a spirit of adventure and fun. As we advise, so we practice. The Launchpad team knows itself and its mission. That helps us do our great work: helping you pursue yours.
Rev. Robin Tanner
Reverend Robin Tanner was called as Minister of Worship and Outreach at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, NJ in 2016. Prior to this, she served Piedmont UU Church in Charlotte, NC. There the congregation grew from 113 members to 270 members and added a second location in a small southern town. Robin is committed to social change through spiritual transformation. She has completed a residency in clinical pastoral education at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Rochester. She founded the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, an interfaith organization committed to faithful progress. Robin is working on her doctorate of ministry at the Pacific School of Religion focusing on the intersection between economics, organization sustainability, and theology. Robin and her wife the Rev Ann Marie Alderman have two young children. She enjoys yoga and social transformation!
Rev. Jake Morrill
Reverend Jake Morrill has served Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church (Oak Ridge, TN) since 2003. From 2009-13, he was on the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and he's currently on the Board of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a large online UU congregation. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Harvard Divinity School, Jake combines his passion for creativity with sustainable religious community. He's a long-time student of Bowen Family Systems Thinking, currently working with the Bowen Center in Georgetown, DC, and brings a strengths-based, playful systemic perspective--noticing a situation's resources and opportunities, then helping leaders generate the options that make their hearts sing.
Jake is a Chaplain in the Army Reserve, and has published several fiction pieces, including a novella, Randy Bradley. He and his wife, Molly, enjoy parenting two school-age children.
Empowering leadership through collaboration, diversity and inclusion is Aisha Hauser’s mission and passion. While Aisha started her professional career in the field of social work after earning a MSW from Hunter College in NYC, she quickly became involved in the religious education program in the first Unitarian Universalist congregation she attended and there found her love of liberal religious education.
Aisha is currently serving East Shore Unitarian Church as the Director of Religious Education. She serves on the Staff Leadership Team with the Minister and Director of Finance and Operations. Her prior experience includes the position of Director of Religious Education in two different congregations on the east coast. While working for The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County in Orange, N.J, Aisha accepted the additional job of Urban Community Ministry Coordinator. Her dual role in the congregation afforded the opportunity to combine social justice work with religious education; an opportunity for to practice true “Faith in Action.”
Aisha has also worked for the Unitarian Universalist Association serving as Children and Families Program Director. There she worked with on the faith development team publishing the Tapestry of Faith curriculum. Tapestry of Faith is a holistic program that is deeply rooted in our faith, theology and social justice work. Each program for every age offers everything a UU congregation needs to grow a rich and diverse religious education program. She has led workshops on anti-racism and multicultural religious education.
Aisha currently serves the wider movement as the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Team of the Liberal Religious Educators Association and as a member of the UUA Nominating Committee.
Aisha was born in Alexandria, Egypt and did not learn the English language until right before starting kindergarten. She has lived in various places in the United States and in South America. She lives with her husband, two teenagers and two dogs adopted from Cartagena, Colombia.
Fred's specialty is organizational development and implementing best business practices. In his private sector career, Fred has worked extensively with international organizations in Europe, Africa and Asia, consulted with numerous industry leaders in the United States, and guided PhD scientists, senior executives and front-line managers to improve their organizations’ performance. Fred has also served in the public sector as an agency director in Arkansas state government in the administration of then-Governor Bill Clinton. For most of his spiritual life, Fred was without a church home, until he discovered Unitarian Universalism in general and, more specifically, ORUUC in Oak Ridge, TN. Since joining the ORUUC family, Fred has been an active volunteer for many church projects and ministries, served on the Board of Trustees as Board President, and currently serves as the Director of ORUUC Operations where he leads the multi-site initiatives. He and his wife Kristina are the proud parents of a design engineer son and enjoy art, music and learning about other cultures.
Arif Mamdani entered seminary after more than 10 years in the nonprofit sector building the capacity of community organizing groups around the country. This Fall, he will be the Hallman Ministerial Intern at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, MN. Arif serves as Associate Director of the Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice, and Social Transformation. He is also on the board of the Church of the Larger Fellowship and the Movement Strategy Center. He lives in MN with his wife and children.