Meet the UUC Board for 2017-18


President: Tim Pickering joined UUC in 2011. He has served with the Lay Pastoral Care Ministry and attends the Men’s Group regularly. He served on the Ministerial Search Committee and is a member of the Memorial Garden Committee, responsible for opening the columbarium and installing the plaques when there is a service. Tim cofacilitated the first ever offering of Adult OWL two years ago. He is a member of the Wednesday book club and is a co-facilitator for the Tuesday meditation sessions. He served as a Member-at-large on the Board prior to being elected President-elect in 2016. Tim is retired from VT where he was a research faculty member and worked for many years in the Office of the Vice President for Research. He also worked for 25 years as a research chemist in industry. Tim has 3 children and 2 granddaughters. 


President-Elect: Ellen Plummer is Associate Vice Provost at VT where she is part of the team responsible for programs and policies that support faculty success. In addition, Ellen directs policy and governance efforts including supporting the Academic Affairs committee of the Board of Visitors. While at VT, Ellen has assisted with the university’s strategic planning processes, directed grant-supported recovery initiatives, and helped shape the university’s inclusion and diversity efforts. The VT Women’s Center reports to Ellen, and she serves on the board of the statewide Virginia Network, for which she helps lead the Senior Women’s Leadership Seminar for aspiring academic leaders. Ellen has a B.S. in Human Development and an M.S.W. in Community Organizing both from UConn. She holds a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from VT. She was a member and RE teacher at ERUUF (Eno River, TN) and attended the UU congregation in Keene, NH. At UUC, Ellen serves as a Worship Associate, has chaired the Worship Services Committee, and served on the Ministerial Search Committee that brought us Rev. Pam Phillips. 


Treasurer: Bill Baker started attending UUC 6 years ago, and he and his wife, Susan, felt that the sermons, philosophy, and the activities of the church enriched their lives. Bill has participated in Circle Suppers, a Covenant Group, Sunday Circle, book discussion groups, and the men’s Monday breakfast. In addition, he is a coffee maker, greeter, and a member of the Adopt-A-Highway program. He also serves on the Finance Committee. Bill retired from the practice of nephrology in July 2013, having worked in Harrisonburg, Danville and Radford. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at NYU teaching biochemistry and cellular biology. Bill enjoys being outdoors (hiking, bicycling), travelling, reading, listening to music of all genres, solving computer and other techie problems, attending concerts/lectures, and volunteering. He helps with many different groups including members of Warm Hearth Village with computer issues.


Secretary: Irene Peterson has been attending UUC for almost 3 years along with her spouse, Molly McClintock. She serves on the Greeting Committee, has participated in Circle Suppers and has helped with the annual UUC fundraising auction. Since retiring from teaching assistive technology to visually impaired individuals, she is able to fill her time volunteering with Montgomery County Christmas Store, Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, Project Linus, Life Long Learning Institute, Montgomery County Historical Museum, Montgomery Floyd Regional Library Board and the NAACP.


Member-at-Large: Jennifer Mercier is a Blacksburg resident and has been attending UUC since 1999 along with her husband, Korey. She is the mother of three boys and works as a counselor in Blacksburg. She has volunteered in several capacities at UUC, most recently serving as an RE K-1 teacher and Adult OWL facilitator. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys playing with her kids and being outdoors.




Member-at-Large: Susan Wamsley and her husband moved to Blacksburg in 1977 when Gary joined the faculty at VT. They came from Lawrence, KS, took one look at the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains and never left. Susan taught 6th grade English at Auburn Middle School in Riner for 15 years and retired in 2002. She and Gary are relative newcomers to UUC but feel they’ve found a home here. Social justice issues have always been important to her – another reason why our congregation is such a good fit. When she can tear herself away from the many great novels she wants to read, Susan enjoys visiting with grandchildren, planting flowers, working in their vegetable garden, and hanging out with their pound dog, Easter.


Member-at-Large: Amy Pruden grew up in Toledo, OH and enjoyed spending summers and winters “up at the lake” in northern Michigan. She is currently a professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech where she teaches and conducts research related to curbing the spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance. She has attended UUC since 2008 and has served on the Strategic Planning Committee, the Ministerial Transition Committee, the Children’s Religious Education Committee and has taught several classes “downstairs” for the Children’s RE program. She is married to Rajesh Bagchi and has two children in the program.​