- Bruce Birchard (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting)
- Betsy Cotton (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting)
- C. Wess Daniels (Northwest Yearly Meeting)
- Jennifer Foster (Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association)
- John Helding (North Pacific Yearly Meeting)
- Cheryl Keen (Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting)
- Kristina Keefe-Perry (New York Yearly Meeting)
- Noah Baker Merrill (New England Yearly Meeting)
- Trayce Peterson (Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting)
- Greg Woods (Illinois Yearly Meeting)
Bruce served Friends General Conference as its General Secretary from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his administrative duties in this position, he has spoken and written frequently about his personal spiritual journey, about what makes for a vital Friends’ meeting, about organizational leadership within the Religious Society of Friends, and about the Friends Peace Testimony. During the period of Bruce’s service as General Secretary, FGC expanded its programs and services very substantially, creating new programs in Traveling Ministries, Youth Ministries, and the Committee for Ministry on Racism.
Bruce started working for the Religious Society of Friends in 1974, when he began a ten-year stint working for disarmament and peace conversion for the Peace Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. He continued his peace work as National Coordinator of the Disarmament Program of the American Friends Service Committee from 1984 to 1992. Bruce joined the Religious Society of Friends in 1967 in Middletown, Connecticut. In 1976, Bruce transferred his membership to Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, where he remains active. Bruce has published a number of articles in Friends Journal and various peace movement publications. His essay, The Burning One-ness Binding Everything: A Spiritual Journey, was published in 1997 as a Pendle Hill Pamphlet and is available from the FGC Bookstore, as is his 2004 piece entitled The Roots and Fruits of a Powerful Peace Testimony: Speaking Truth with Power.
Betsy Cotton, Treasurer
Betsy is an independent consultant providing finance and strategic planning services to
small to medium-sized businesses needing expertise on a part-time or temporary basis.
Her clients include companies that are public, private, family-owned, employee-owned,
and venture-backed. Her goal is to create financial processes that enhance transparency
and facilitate decision-making throughout the organization. She was formerly the CFO of TerraCycle, a company which provided branded recycling solutions to consumer products companies worldwide. Prior to that, she was the CFO for Stratum Group, a privately capitalized partnership focused on financing small to mid-sized North American oil and gas companies. She also serves on the Boards of Marts & Lundy (Chair, Finance Committee) and is the new Clerk of the Audit Committee of the American Friends Service Committee.
Betsy is a member of Solebury Friends Meeting in New Hope, PA, where she has been
the Religious Education coordinator for more than a decade. She received her B.A. from
Tufts University (International Relations and East Asian Studies) and her MBA from
Stanford University. Betsy lives in the Garden State on a small farm with her husband, Rob, and their son. They share their property with several horses and cats as well as a variety of uninvited wildlife. They enjoy the outdoors, travel, and music.
C. Wess Daniels
C. Wess Daniels is a released minister at Camas Friends Church, a PhD student in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, and an adjunct professor at George Fox Seminary. Equally important in his life are his three young children and wife, Emily. Wess enjoys roasting coffee, reading and writing, enjoying the outdoors and playing imaginative games with his kids.
He has been involved in encouraging cross-branch dialogue and renewal among friends for a number of years mostly through his work with convergent Friends. He served as a co-editor for the publication Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices a book that brought together Young Adult Friends from 17 countries and the many branches of Friends. Wess has also led many workshops and retreats on Quaker renewal in places like: Pendle Hill, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center, Quaker Heritage Day and Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative).
His publications include: Convergent Friends: The Emergence of Postmodern Quakerism (2010) in Quaker Studies, I (Hope) I see Dead People (2012) in Friends Journal and A Faithful Betrayal: The New Quakers (2010) in Quaker Life.
Jenny is currently a member of Atlanta Friends Meeting, previously holding membership in Northampton (Massachusetts) and Honolulu Friends Meetings. Jenny became a Friend by convincement after living in community at Pendle Hill, where she met and married her husband, David Foster, in 1985. Jenny was led to serve the QVS Board because of the life changing leading that resulted from volunteering in AFSC workcamps in New England (1971) and Mexico (1973). Walking through a cornfield in rural Mexico on the way to dress the wound of a woman (who had cut herself while chopping wood), Jenny decided her life’s work involved becoming a nurse. She subsequently served as a nurse in the U.S. Peace Corps (Guatemala), and from that experience became a midwife for underserved women. She practiced as a midwife in Mississippi, Texas, the eastern shore of Maryland, Hawaii (Molokai), and Massachusetts.
After about 20 years of clinical work as a nurse-midwife, Jenny returned to graduate school to complete her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology. She is now a faculty member within the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility at the School of Nursing at Emory University. Her research focus is community-based participatory research to improve maternal-newborn health and health services in low resource settings. Most of this research has been in the Dominican Republic, but is also now beginning in Atlanta. Jenny has served on the Boards of Midwives for Midwives, (a birth center and training site for traditional midwives in Antigua, Guatemala), Proyecto ADAMES (an organization to build capacity among nurses to reduce maternal mortality in the Dominican Republic), and currently serves on the Worship and Ministry Committee at Atlanta Friends Meeting.
John Helding, Clerk
John divides his time between work in the academic, business, and Quaker worlds. He is an independent strategy and organizational consultant in academia and the private sector where he supports clients such as the University of California at Berkeley in the development of effective and high quality organizations. Previous work includes service as a senior advisor to the Great Place to Work Institute, developers of Fortune Magazine’s ‘100 Best Places to Work’ listing, and a 15-year career with Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategic management consulting firm. At Booz Allen Hamilton, John consulted with clients in a variety of industries and finished his career at the firm as Senior Director of Global Recruitment.
John is a member of Bellingham Friends Meeting and worships at Lopez Island Preparatory Meeting, both in Washington State. John recently finished seven years of service on the AFSC national board and continues as clerk of the AFSC audit committee. John is a member of the FGC Quaker Quest traveling facilitator team and an advanced facilitator in the Alternatives to Violence Project. Previous Quaker service includes membership on the founding board of the San Francisco Friends School. John graduated in Industrial Engineering at Oregon State University and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University.
John lives on Lopez Island of the San Juan Islands in Northwestern Washington State with his partner Lisa. He helps in parenting two teenagers and in taking care of the families’ chicken flock and beloved yellow lab, Cora. John enjoys the outdoors and has participated in a variety of habitat restoration projects including the restoration of his great grandfather’s homestead in North Dakota to a native grassland.
Kristina is a member of Rochester MM, New York Yearly Meeting. She travels under a minute from her Monthly and Yearly Meeting, leading retreats on prayer, Earthcare as a spiritual practice, faithful service in peace and justice, deepening vocal ministry, spiritual discipline, discernment and gifts, and theopoetics in the US and Canada. She serves on the Traveling Friends Program of NYYM, and convenes semi-programmed worship in her Monthly Meeting. She co-coordinated and co-led the Shalom Project in 2003 (with Zachary Moon) and Koinonia in 2005: week-long plunges into living in a community of faith and urban service for teens of Pacific Yearly Meeting. Kristina also coordinated the EarthQuaker Bike Trip – a bike ride of witness and service from Philadelphia to Johnstown, PA. She is a student at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and works as a volunteer doula. As the Foodjustice Coordinator for NOFA-NY she oversees healthy food projects in low-income communities in New York State.
Cheryl joined the Cambridge Friends Meeting in Massachusetts in 1974, where she served as a volunteer with the AFSC. She is an immediate past clerk of the Yellow Springs Friends Meeting. Her husband Jim served on the board of the Quaker United Nations Office and provides ongoing support the staff.
Cheryl has played a leadership role in several higher education capacities, serving traditional aged and adult college students, graduate students, and gifted high school students while advancing the fields of experiential learning, civic education, service-learning, intensive learning environments, and spirituality in higher education. Her co-authored book, Common Fire: Leading Lives of Commitment in a Complex World (Beacon Press, 1996) and her ongoing research on diversity, service-learning, and vocational calling has relevance for the design of the Quaker Voluntary Service Program. Cheryl is now a faculty member at Walden University in the Ph.D. in Education program. Previously she worked at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where she also served over time as Dean of Faculty, co-Dean of Students, Director of the Center for Community Learning, and College Professor. She has served for 12 years as Senior Researcher for the Bonner Foundation and has completed a longitudinal study of student development in the four-year community service programs on 25 campuses. Her first professional work involved founding and coordinating the Harvard Peace and Conflict Studies Program, during which time she also served as Quaker campus minister.
Noah Baker Merrill, Recording Clerk
Noah seeks to be faithful in the living Quaker tradition of gospel ministry—the practical spiritual work of encouraging faithfulness and awakening hearts. Putney Friends Meeting in Vermont has released him for service encouraging the future of Friends. Noah brings experience as a team leader in AmeriCorps, the U.S. national community service program, where he coordinated violence-prevention and leadership education programs for at-risk youth. He has served with the American Friends Service Committee in a range of roles from community organizing to policy advocacy. From 2006-2010, he established and directed a medical aid effort supporting Iraqi refugees in the Middle East. His writing on issues of service and spirituality has been published in publications including Friends Journal, Quaker Life, Western Friend, FGConnections, The National Catholic Reporter, and through the Wider Quaker Fellowship. In 2009, Utne Reader magazine recognized him as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” He serves as Secretary of New England Yearly Meeting.
Trayce holds a B.A. from Earlham College and a Masters of Ministry from the Earlham School of Religion. As Friends United Meeting’s first Quaker volunteer to Belize, Central America, she taught in a girls high school and helped develop a literacy program with the Sisters of Charity in Belize City. She has provided leadership for various youth programs in the U.S. including Pendle Hill’s Summer Youth Programs. She served as the presiding clerk of the Chicago Fellowship of Friends Meeting. She served on the board of various national peace and justice organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee, New Call to Peacemaking, Christian Peacemaker Teams and Pendle Hill. She is one of the authors of two consensus training manuals Building Consensus: Conflict and Unity for adults and Friendly Consensus: Speak, Listen, Unite for young people. She led the Bible study in various Quaker contexts including Friends General Conference annual gathering and various yearly meeting annual sessions. Trayce works at Earlham College as the Director of Multicultural Affairs and attends Clear Creek Meeting, part of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting.
Greg is a lifelong Quaker and still holds his membership at Columbia (MO) Friends Meeting of Illinois Yearly Meeting. Over the past dozen years, his faith has been strengthened by his interactions across branches of Quakerism. He has served Friends in multiple ways, most recently, serving as the Assistant Coordinator of the Young Adult Leadership Development Program at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center, near Philadelphia PA. He sees service as a way of living out Jesus’ message in today’s world. Currently he is a Masters of Divinity student at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.