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Seven Leaders Join Interfaith Board

posted Dec 9, 2013, 10:59 AM by Interfaith WS   [ updated Dec 11, 2013, 5:16 AM ]

Interfaith Winston-Salem has named seven new members of its Board of Guidance, broadening the diversity of the board, which now has 14 members.  Two-year appointments were approved December 5 for the following community leaders:


Jim Collins, Class of ‘15

Jim Collins is a native of Mayodan, N.C. and a 1974 graduate of North Carolina State University.  Collins is a resident of Clemmons and works as 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.


Dr. Truman Dunn, Class of ‘15

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.


Dr. Jay Ford, Class of ‘15

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. His current research compares and contrasts the evolution of religious conceptions of the Ultimate (God, Brahman, Nirvāṇa, Dao, etc.), East and West in relation to their socio-historical context. Dr. Ford has actively supported the development of Compassionate Winston-Salem, serving on the Mayor’s Advisory Panel.


Aaron LaVallee, Class of ‘15

A native of Winston-Salem, Aaron 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, including the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, and founded a mindfulness-based student organization, “The Art of Peaceful Living.”  He has performed with the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Carolina Chamber Symphony and country music legend Ray Price.   


Seretha Masdon, Class of ‘15

Seretha 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.


Dr. Sandy Phocas, Class of ‘15

Sandy Phocas is a Shamanic Practitioner and workshop leader who has spent over 25 years studying modalities of therapy, healing, and spiritual growth. 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. Her passion is helping people to not only heal, but to access their own truth, power, and creative life force energy. She practices in Winston-Salem and offers workshops throughout the eastern United States. 


Kim Williams, Class of ‘15

Kim Williams is an entrepreneurial business-to-business sales and marketing consultant.  After growing up in Myrtle Beach in a family involved in motel and property management, 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.