Board of Guidance


Art Bloom

Reform Judaism

Mr. Bloom is affiliated with Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem and Temple Brith Achim in Petersburg, Virginia.  A native of Petersburg, he is former owner of The Bloom Agency, a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations agency in Winston-Salem.  He received a B.A. degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, in 1980.

 

Jim Collins

Protestant Christianity

Mr. Collins is a native of Mayodan, N.C. and a 1974 graduate of North Carolina State University.  A resident of Clemmons, Collins is a financial adviser.  His religious affiliation is Ardmore United Methodist Church and Christian Left.  His interest in bringing more religious learning opportunities to people of the Winston-Salem area was a key factor in the original development of Interfaith Winston-Salem.  He is a charter member of the Interfaith Winston-Salem Leadership Team.

 

Imam Khalid Abdul Fattah Griggs

Islam

Imam Griggs serves the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem and as associate chaplain in the Office of the Chaplain at Wake Forest University.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of World Religions.  A native of Winston-Salem, he received a B.A. degree in Political Science/English from Howard University.

 

Truman Dunn, Ph.D.

Protestant Christianity

Dr. Dunn is a retired Moravian minister who has lived in the Winston-Salem area for many years.  He earned a B.A. degree from Penn State University, an M.Div. degree from Duke University and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.  He served as an adjunct professor at Salem College for 15 years.  He has been involved in Interfaith Winston-Salem since its conception.

 

Jay Ford, Ph.D.

Protestant Christianity

Dr. Ford is associate professor in the Department of Religion at Wake Forest University.  He is in his third year as chair of the department and was recently elected Chair of Chairs within the College.  BioHe received his Ph.D. from Princeton University (1998). He teaches courses in the areas of East Asian religions, Buddhism, comparative religion, and interreligious dialogue. Dr. Ford has actively supported the development of Compassionate Winston-Salem, serving on the Mayor’s Advisory Panel.

 

David Harold, M.Div, LCSW

Roman Catholicism

Mr. Harold is a member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Winston-Salem, and is former Director of the Piedmont Triad Regional Office of Catholic Social Services. He is currently the Director of Disability Advocates of NWNC, and chairs the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Council on Services of the Homeless. For over 35 years he has been committed to his own and others’ personal and spiritual growth through psychotherapy, Tai Chi instruction, and justice work.

 

Aaron LaVallee

Spiritual but Not Religious

A native of Winston-Salem, Mr. LaVallee is a Realtor with LaVallee Properties and associate with LaVallee and Associates.  He describes himself as “spiritual with no religious affiliation.”  He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the UNC School of the Arts and a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance, Pedagogy and Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.  While at UNCSA was awarded several scholarships and grants, and founded a mindfulness-based student organization, “The Art of Peaceful Living.” 

 

Seretha Masdon

Unitarian Universalism

Ms. Masdon, who grew up in Macon, Ga. in a conventional Christian denomination, now attends the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem (UUFWS), where she says “every conversation is essentially an interfaith experience.”  She actively represents UUFWS in Winston-Salem Pride events, CHANGE and Interfaith Voice and has organized fundraising events for the Adam Foundation and AIDS Care Services.  She works at Aon-Hewitt.

 

Rev. Peggy Fulghum Matthews

Protestant Christianity

Rev. Matthews, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a member of Parkway United Church of Christ, is a Chaplain and Healing Touch Provider.  She is a graduate of William C. Peace University (formerly Peace College), Salem College, the UNC Chapel Hill Graduate School of Social Work and the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University.  Before returning to Winston-Salem in 2013, she was director of Congregational Care for nine years at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro.  Among her many activities in social work, she was an advocate for and originator of North Carolina’s first Battered Women’s Shelter, which was located in Winston-Salem. 

 

Darlene R. May, Ph.D.

Islam

Dr. May is affiliated with the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem.  A native of Akron, Ohio, she is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religion at Wake Forest University.  She has a B.A. degree with a major in Linguistics and minors in Spanish and French from Indiana University at Bloomington, 1969.  She earned a Degree of Specialization in Linguistics and Hispano-American Dialectology at the Instituto Caro y Cuervo in Bogota, Colombia in 1967; and an M.A. in Arabic Language and Literature in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures in 1978, both from Indiana University at Bloomington.

 

Jerry McLeese

Protestant Christianity

Mr. McLeese is a member of Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.  A native of Anderson, South Carolina, he retired in 1998 after a career as a sportswriter, a corporate communications manager and owner of a public relations agency.  He received a B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University in 1966.  He is chairperson ex officio.

 

Michelle M. Nicolle, Ph.D.

Zen Buddhism

Dr. Nicolle, a native of New Orleans, is affiliated with the Winston-Salem Community Dharma Group and the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She earned a B.A. degree in psychology and a Ph.D. degree in neurobiology, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is a chaplain candidate in the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Program in Santa Fe.  She retired from Wake Forest University School of Medicine as an associate professor in 2013.  She currently is a chaplain intern at Arbor Acres Continuous Care Retirement Community in Winston-Salem.

 

Andrea (Drea) Parker

Pantheism/Naturalism

Andrea (Drea) Parker, who received her B.A. degree in religion from Salem College in 2012, follows the Pantheist tradition.  A native of Kernersville, she works for The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem.  She served in the Peace Corps in 2006-08 in Benin, West Africa and currently is on the Board of Directors of the North American Interfaith Network. She has more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit field. 

 

Dr. Sandy Phocas

Shamanism

Dr. Phocas is a Shamanic Practitioner and workshop leader who has spent over 25 years studying modalities of therapy, healing, and spiritual growth. After receiving her M.D. degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine, she began her career as a psychiatrist, later training in EMDR, Hypnosis, Gestalt Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Holotropic Breathwork™. She also trained with shamans and traditional healers in a variety of cultures across the United States and in Ecuador, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. She practices in Winston-Salem and offers workshops throughout the eastern United States. 

 

Sita Somara, Ph.D.

Hinduism

Dr. Somara is affiliated with Winston Salem Balavihar, an organization focused on helping develop social values and enrich human morals in children for becoming better future citizens. Dr. Somara is also actively involved in Indo-US Cultural Association.  Dr. Somara is also actively involved in Indo-US Cultural Association. Dr. Somara has Ph.D. in Biochemistry from India. She moved to Winston Salem in 2011 as Assistant Professor at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine after working at University of Michigan for nine years. 

 

Dana D. (Deon) Strickland, Ph.D.

Protestant Christianity

A member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Dr. Strickland is an assistant professor in the School of Business at Wake Forest University.  He received an A.B. in economics from Harvard University in 1988 and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997.  Prior to joining the faculty at Wake Forest in 2008, he held faculty positions as The Ohio State University and Arizona State University.  He worked as an economist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2000-2002.  He and his wife, Dr. Carmen Strickland, have two children.  He is an active member of Maple Springs United Methodist Church.

 

Kim Williams

Protestant Christianity

Mr. Williams is an entrepreneurial business-to-business sales and marketing consultant.  After growing up in Myrtle Beach, Williams completed a B.A. in religious studies at Wofford College and a Master of Divinity Degree at Southeastern Seminary. He was a pastor in the United Methodist church until 1999. He is a former adjunct faculty member at Queens University and Central Piedmont Community College and has been a guest lecturer at Wofford College, Wake Forest University, and Forsyth Technical Community College.

 

 

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