Mr. Donald G. Hart — President
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.
Mr. Theodore E. Phillips — Director, Finance & Administration
Ted joined UCF in 2014 bringing with him extensive experience in the finance and accounting industries. A CPA/CGMA, he earned his BS in Accounting and MBA in Finance from St. John’s University before going on to hold Client Service and Senior Management positions, including Senior Manager at Deloitte, Vice President & Controller at Merrill Lynch and CFO at Carnegie Hall. Ted lives on Long Island with his family and volunteers at the Theodore Roosevelt Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Member of the New York State CPA Society Not-for-Profit Industry Committee, Audit Committee Member of ICCR and as Trustee of the Congregational Church of Huntington, NY.
Ms. Kathryn McCloskey — Director, Social Responsibility
Katie joined the team in 2007 and oversees the responsible investing arm of UCF. With extensive experience in the not-for-profit and humanitarian fields, she holds a BA in Women’s Studies and Literature from the University of Virginia, and is on the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) Board of Directors as their Secretary and Vice Chair. Katie lives in Long Island and with her husband and two children and enjoys knitting and scuba diving.
Mr. Howard W. Hawkins III — Director, Business Development
Howard joined UCF in 2015 bringing with him an extensive background in sales and business development. His professional experience includes: Vice President of Defined Contribution Plans at Putnam Investments, Managing Director of Institutional Sales – Retirement Services at MassMutual Financial Group, Vice President of Business Development & Marketing at Christian Brothers Investment Services, and Managing Director of Securities at Commonfund. He has a successful record of selling investment management products and services to both Fortune 1000 companies and non-profit institutions, and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. Howard lives in White Plains with his wife where he also sits on the Board of Trustees for the White Plains Public Library. Additionally, he is an Honorary Trustee for Francis W. Parker School in Chicago.
Ms. Karen Sherman-Chang — Controller
Karen joined UCF in December 2011 bringing with her over 15 years experience in finance — with a specialty in Credit Default Swaps and Commodity Trading Industries. Karen attained a BA in Business Administration from Baruch College in 1998 and has completed all parts of the Certified Public Accountant examination. She is a native Jamaican and resides in Brooklyn with her husband and son, Wesley — who currently attends Penn State University.
Mr. Matthew W. Wagner — Senior Executive, Business Development
Matt joined United Church Funds in February 2013 as the Investor Development Associate, and was promoted to Senior Executive of Business Development a year later. Prior to joining UCF, Matt worked in business development for a private investment bank and as a financial advisor for firms in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Matt earned a BA from McKendree University, and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary financial credential. An active member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Lebanon Illinois, he also volunteers his leadership as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Deaconess Foundation in St. Louis, the Illinois South Conference UCC, the Boy Scouts of America’s Lewis & Clark Council, the Mid-America Workforce Investment Board, and the Rotary Club of Red Bud, Illinois. An Eagle Scout and 2-time Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, Matt lives near St. Louis, Missouri.
Ms. Stacey Pettice — Executive, Business Development
Stacey joined UCF in 2016 as a Business Development Executive. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in the Financial Services & Investment industry. Stacey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hampton University where she received a BS in Finance. Upon graduation she joined Goldman Sachs & Co. as an Options and Derivatives analyst where she managed daily trade volume, margin requirements and cash/position balancing processes. After promotion to an Associate of the firm, Stacey joined the Private Wealth Management Division as a Relationship Manager to ultrahigh net worth individuals and small institutions regarding on-boarding, funding, trading and strategy implementation. Prior to joining UCF, she was a Relationship Manager at Fidelity Investments managing over one billion dollars in Private Client assets. Stacey is originally from Charlotte, NC and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. She is a missionary at the Brooklyn Tabernacle and has traveled the globe to touch, move and inspire as many lives as possible.
Ms. Milagros Hernandez — Client Services Team Leader
Milly joined UCF in 2004 and is the friendly voice you often hear on the other end of the phone, overseeing the customer service for account-related inquiries. Prior to UCF she worked in public opinion research at Baruch College, Greenpath Debt Solutions, and at a Bio-Chem Laboratory. Milly holds two BA degrees, in English and in Sociology, from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Ms. Crysta Seelal — Client Services Representative
Crysta joined UCF in 2011 and serves the front lines of our Investor Services Department. She handles the day-to-day client processing and provides customer service to investors needing account information. Crysta has 12 years of banking experience in customer service and accounts payable. She lives in Brooklyn, is a mother of three and a grandmother of two.
Ms. Michele Hamilton — Staff Accountant
Michele has worked with the UCC since 1989. A native New Yorker, she earned her BS in Accounting from City University of New York. In addition to her work with UCF, Michele owns Sara Mae Bakery, a Harlem-based catering and baked goods business. Michele is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church and enjoys salsa dancing.
Mr. Gaylord Tang — Administrative Assistant, Administration
Gaylord joined the UCF team in 2012 as our expert in logistics and organization. He holds a BA in Studio Art from Brooklyn College and previously worked in the legal and human resources fields. Gaylord has over 10 years experience in administration and enjoys painting and printmaking in his spare time. He holds regular art exhibitions in his native New York City.
Ms. Debbie Wibowo — Marketing and Communications Associate
Debbie joined UCF in 2016, bringing her extensive background in the marketing and communications field. She holds a Masters in Business Communications from Queensland University of Technology, Australia and enjoys taking pictures and baking with her daughter on the weekend.
Mr. Adam Sank — Administrative Assistant, Business Development
Before joining UCF in October 2016, Adam worked in a number of different fields – including television news, administration and marketing. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Michigan. Adam also moonlights as a stand-up comic and has made a number of TV and radio appearances.
Contracted services from the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ
Mr. David Klassen — Chief Investment Strategist
A 30-year veteran of the investment and finance industry, Dave served on United Church Funds’ Investment Committee before accepting his current position. Over the years, he has served in portfolio management positions at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and JP Morgan Chase. Dave earned a BA in Accounting from Franklin & Marshall College and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he serves on the Investment Committee of Union Theological Seminary and the Board of Trustees of the Village of Irvington, New York.
Mr. Michael de Guzman — Senior Investment Analyst/Portfolio Manager
Michael worked in finance, investment banking and asset management after graduating from Dartmouth College. He completed his MBA at Columbia Business School, where he authored and co-authored several published Case Studies, and served as a Guest Lecturer for Corporate Finance and as a Teacher’s Assistant for Corporate Finance and Capital Markets. Michael is a Director of the Dream Hope Believe Foundation.
Ms. Lan Cai — Senior Investment Staff/External Investments
Lan joined the Pension Boards UCC in 2015, bringing with her extensive experience in investment and asset management. Over the last 15 years, she has served in portfolio management positions at Millennium Partners and PineBridge Investments in New York. Lan received her MBA from the University of Chicago and is a CFA® charterholder.
Contracted Services from the United Church of Christ
Ms. Lynne Hansen — Planned Giving Associate
Lynne joined UCF in July of this year as the Planned Giving Associate after having administered the UCC Planned Giving program since 1997, through the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship in Cleveland. Prior to that, Lynne worked for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Bicentennial Fund Campaign and the Presbytery of Giddings Lovejoy in St. Louis, and has served local churches in the areas of stewardship and mission interpretation for much of her adult life. Lynne earned a BA in Psychology and English from Rutgers University. She currently serves on the board of her local League of Women Voters.