At United Church Funds (UCF), we are blessed with a cadre of highly skilled professionals who offer their time and share their expertise for no monetary reward. In the for-profit world, corporate board members receive handsome compensation for their time and service. Our Board Members’ incredible gift of time and service enables UCF to benefit from the wisdom of individuals who could easily sit on the boards of large mutual funds, but who instead place their talents in the church’s service. Their volunteer service on our board saves UCF thousands of dollars and ensures that our investors pay some of the lowest fees available. We’re proud of the people who serve the United Church of Christ in this way, and honor their contribution.
Mark R. Parthemer, AEP, is Managing Director and Senior Fiduciary Counsel for Bessemer Trust, a wealth management firm for high net-worth individuals. He is a well-known national speaker, frequently published author, and wealth planning magazine columnist. He chairs several fiduciary law committees of the American Bar Association and is ABA Liaison to, and Chair-Elect of, Synergy Summit. Mr. Parthemer serves on the Florida Bankers Association Trust Division Executive Council and chairs its Legislation Committee. A member of the Florida and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, he has garnered Lifetime Achievement honors for over 15 years as one of The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Parthemer received his JD from the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University, following BA and BS degrees from Franklin and Marshall College. He is an avid golfer, active in his church and serves on several national committees, including as Chair of UCC’s Wider Church Ministries Budget & Finance Committee.
Dennis Bushe was Managing Director and Chief Investment Risk Officer for Prudential Financial, where he was responsible for oversight and management of market, credit and country risks for Prudential’s $60 billion portfolio of proprietary invested assets. Mr. Bushe serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for RS Investment Trust and RS Variable Products Trust, and as an advisor to the Pension Plan Trustees of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. From 1999 to 2007, he served as a Trustee for the Children’s Specialized Hospital, the country’s largest pediatric rehabilitation center. Mr. Bushe holds a PhD in Economics, an MA in Urban Planning from New York University, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He is a member of Christ Church in Summit NJ, where he served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Executive Board.
Since 2007, Sylvia Ferrell-Jones has served as President & CEO of the YWCA Boston, following 25 years in real estate investment management, not-for-profit governance and executive leadership. Serving as a director at Boston-based AEW Capital Management and as a principal investment officer for the State of Connecticut Trust Funds, Ms. Ferrell-Jones managed equity and debt portfolios of up to $2 billion. She also served as Regional Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, providing governance, management and fundraising consultations to a portfolio of not-for-profit affiliates. Holding a BA from Cornell University and a JD from Yale Law School, Ms. Ferrell-Jones serves as a Trustee of Andover Newton Theological School. In addition to having served as Moderator and member of several committees, Ms. Ferrell-Jones sings in the choir and serves on the Pastoral Relations Committee at Pilgrim Congregational, UCC.
Donald G. Hart, a native of Phenix City, Alabama is a graduate of Auburn University (BS) and Southwestern Theological Seminary (MA). His professional career includes five years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co. and 11 years in finance and administration with the Foreign Mission Board—Southern Baptist Convention. Since 1989, Mr. Hart has worked for the United Church of Christ in various capacities. From 1989 to 1991 he was the controller of The Pension Boards—United Church of Christ and Assistant Treasurer of United Church Funds (formerly United Church Foundation). Since April 1991, Don has been President of United Church Funds and was also Treasurer of The Pension Boards—United Church of Christ through 2002. During his tenure as President of United Church Funds, Don has grown this organization — that offers pooled investment funds for churches and other institutions of the United Church of Christ — from approximately $35 million in assets to about $820 million. Don serves on the Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ Board and is a Trustee of Chicago Theological Seminary.
An active member of the UCC, Douglas Hatfield has practiced law since 1961 and has served the church as Trustee of the UCC New Hampshire Conference, President and Chairman of the Conference Board of Trustees, and member of the UCC’s Executive Council. As past President of the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Hatfield is also active in a number of local organizations in New Hampshire. Since 2000, he has served as Chair of the Endowment Committee for Havenwood Heritage Heights Retirement Community. Mr. Hatfield also serves on the Board of Trustees and as Moderator for Smith Memorial Congregational Church, where he is a member.
Pastor of St. John’s UCC in San Francisco, Sandra Hulse spent 15 years in taxable fixed-income trading and as an officer with EF Hutton and other brokerage firms before being ordained in 1995. A graduate of Muhlenberg College, the Rev. Dr. Hulse earned an MA in Counseling from Montclair State University, an MDiv from Drew Theological School and a DMin from the University of Creation Spirituality. In addition to pastoring churches across the UCC, Rev. Dr. Hulse has served on the budget and finance committees of the Central Atlantic, New York, Florida and Northern California Nevada Conferences.
Mr. Nesa Joseph is President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Greater St. Louis, Missouri and has held several leadership positions in hospitals and medical groups throughout the US and India for over 25 years. Before joining VNA, Mr. Joseph was responsible for the administrative operations including finance and investments at the Deaconess Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of the United Church of Christ, Cleveland, Emmaus Homes Trust Foundation, St. Louis, and Global Health Ministries, Minneapolis. Mr. Joseph holds a BS in Biology, graduate degrees in Personnel Management and Hospital Administration, and a Doctorate in Education with a focus on Medical Administration. He is a member of St. Paul UCC, Lebanon, Illinois of the Illinois South Conference. Mr. Joseph is married to his graduate school classmate Anney; they are blessed with two children Sarah and Aneesh.
A Certified Financial Planner ®, Gwendolyn Kirkland has worked as a Registered Investment Advisor and General Securities and Managing Principal of Kirkland, Turnbo & Associates since 1994 after eight years with Dean Witter. A dynamic speaker, Rev. Kirkland has discussed the debt crisis on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, served as a frequent guest stock picker on Chicagoland’s WBBM 780 AM’s Noon Business Hour, and addressed a range of investment topics in articles appearing in Essence, Money Magazine, Black Enterprise, and EBONY. A graduate of Bradley University with a MEd from DePaul University, Rev. Kirkland earned an MDiv from Chicago Theological Seminary while maintaining her financial practice, and was ordained in 2010. She serves Covenant UCC in South Holland IL as Associate Pastor of Stewardship, and serves on the Stewardship Committee of the Illinois Conference.
Yvette Wynn is a Private Banker for Morgan Stanley Private Bank, and has a Master’s Degree in Economics. A member of the Community Church of the Pelhams in Pelham, New York, she has served as her church’s Moderator and currently sits on the Metropolitan Association Board of Directors. She has also served on the New York Conference Annual Meeting Planning Team and volunteers her time with the Westchester County Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and her local food bank.
The Rev. Dr. Harold C. Smith
* Member of the Board of Directors