The Board of Trustees consists of members of the Fellowship who have been selected to hold the authority of the Fellowship.


Photo of Laura Liermann
Laura Liermann,

Laura Liermann, Co-President. My husband and I visited many churches in Port Charlotte and were pleased with most of them, but didn’t find the right fit. Too many were proud of their exclusivity. “We” are saved, “They” are not. Truthfully, we had not considered Unitarian Universalism because we were unfamiliar with its philosophy. Eventually, we walked in through the UUFCC doors and found that inclusion was the goal. That all humanity was to be respected and that spiritual growth involved deep questions and the constant fine-tuning of the answers.

I was raised in a household that involved my mother, a liberal Catholic, and my father, an agnostic; both of whom had integrity and strong morals. As an army family, we traveled to many places and witnessed many spiritualities and their valuable place in people’s lives. As a teacher, working around children and their families, I have enjoyed a huge variety of people and appreciate how needs differ.

My goal for being on the Board of Trustees is to be a part of the continual goal of tolerance for all, even those who do not share our particular philosophy.

Joseph Fenty, Vice President

Joseph Fenty, Vice-President – Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Joseph. I am delighted to serve you as a Board member. I am a secular humanist, agnostic-atheist, democrat, and science and philosophy nerd. I support creating conditions where humans and other living things can flourish. I look forward to working with you to ensure that UUFCC is a meaningful, purposeful, and democratic organization.

Richard Schwarz, Treasurer

Richard Schwarz, Treasurer I am a graduate of Northwestern University and a CPA. I retired from Dun and Bradstreet as senior Vice-President after 25 years, serving in various positions in finance and management. After retirement, I moved and served as President of our Property Owner Association in Carolina Trace, North Carolina. I was also Treasurer of our 36-hole golf club at Trace for 3 years. Moving to Florida, I served as Treasurer of our Property Owner Association within Burnt Store Marina. Joanne and I feel we have a very special community here at UUFCC and I wish to give something back by serving as Treasurer.

Laura Anderson, Secretary

Laura Anderson, Secretary – My motivation for joining the Unitarian Universalist world was to find a place to feel like I belonged in a world of judgment filled with illogical and inflexible ideas about religion. That was in the 1990s. I’ve never turned back. I was born in Michigan and moved to Arizona to go to college. The less rigid social expectations of the West suit me and the beauty of nature and access to public land keep me rooted in the West. After working in Utah for 30 years, my husband, Cliff, and I now split our time between the mountains of Idaho and the west coast of Florida.

Betty C Barriga, Trustee – I started attending UU Sunday services at the beginning of 2017.  I started as a friend and then I became a UUFCC member. I have been the Chair of the Immigration Justice Committee since its inception in 2017.

Betty Bariga
Betty Barriga, Trustee

I graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social work in 1981. I worked for about a year as a caseworker in a small community agency, Respond, Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut. I then went to work with a freight company called Air Express International. The company was acquired by DHL and I spent the last 20 years of employment at JFK Airport in New York as a Hazardous Material Specialist in global logistics.  In 2009, I took an early retirement package.

In August 2016, my mother and I moved here to Port Charlotte.

Immigration Justice Committee has sponsored and co-sponsored various events in the community: immigration forum, immigration debate, immigration film series, training program for US Citizenship application,  Literacy Program for Adults, postcards, and letter-writing campaigns. We have raised awareness and funding for organizations such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Planned Parenthood, Legal Aid Society,  Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Congregational Accompaniment Project for Asylum Seekers.

Mike Krzyzkowski, Trustee – Hi, I’m a retired family physician, having moved to FL shortly before Hurricane Charlie, which occurred on Friday, the 13th of August. I worked for a time in Arcadia part-time with a Community Health Center, then the DeSoto Co Health Dept., before moving on to finish up with Tidewell Hospice for several years.
This was a nice way to slow down in a very useful way. I retired 7-8 years ago to focus on fishing,
gardening, birding, and enjoying the Florida outdoors. I am married with 4 adult children, 4 grandchildren, and 1 step-grandchild. The trouble is, they live too far away nowadays (never mind that I moved south!). My wife and I are very happy with the UUCC fellowship and activities.

Mike Krzyzkowski, Trustee

Robert Moran, Trustee  My twin brother Ronald and I were born in Shinnston W. Va. in 1941. My father owned a print shop and I had a dream childhood until I was 14 years old.

Robert Moran
Robert Moran, Trustee

My father died and we lost everything. My mother found a teaching job in Ohio and the family moved to Elyria. I stayed in Shinnston and worked in a funeral home for my Junior year of high school. After graduating I then joined the Army for two years in Germany.

After the Army, I bounced around with many different jobs. Finally got a job as a Boilermaker. It was hot dirty and dangerous, I loved it.

I retired after 32 years and a serious injury to my left leg. I bought a sailboat and moved to Punta Gorda with my new wife, Peggydawn. We sailed for 20 years around Florida and the Bahamas.

After years of recovery from Alcoholism, I found UUFCC. It is a very nice fit for my beliefs.

Sharon Whitehill
Sharon Whitehill – Trustee

Sharon Whitehill, Trustee

Growing up in Milwaukee with an atheist mother and a (non-practicing) Christian Scientist father, I once had a near-panic attack from being inside of a church when I was attending a wedding. Much later, I revised and rebuilt my concept of what “being religious” meant at a liberal, non-denominational oasis in a desert of religious fundamentalism at a place called Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a fiery, outspoken minister named Duncan Littlefair – who, I eventually learned was a himself a UU.

Thus, I felt quite at home at UUFCC when I first attended as a guest of friends in the 1990s. I soon became a snowbird, joined this fellowship and, when I retired as a professor of English literature at Grand Rapids Valley State University, moved to Port Charlotte. I have attended UUFCC nearly every Sunday since then. Early on I became involved with an education program we called Elderwise, teaching various academic and pop culture classes and later chairing the organization. Rev. Sara Zimmerman was serving us at that time, and I’ve not only had the privilege of working with every minister since, I’ve also seen how resourceful we are during periods of being lay-led.

I have long participated as a Worship Associate, sung in the choir, and been a member of the Social Justice Committee. I have spoken at least twice a year from the pulpit. With my husband Jim Meloy, I co-facilitates self-improvement classes called “Happiness is an Inside Job” for many years, until Jim’s death in 2021. Most recently I have deepened my involvement with this Fellowship by becoming a member of the Board – a role which, more than any other to date, has offered me an overall perspective on how we function, who we are, and what we want to be.

At UUFCC, once such a new place to me, I’ve found ways to continue sharing my passion for the rich world of literary wisdom and art. I’ve reinforced my political, social, and moral true north. And I’ve made – I continue to make – my most cherished connections and dearest friends.