Ministry Leaders and Staff
Transitional Minister: Reverend Patrice Bittner, Ordained Unity Minister
Rev. Patty was born in Orlando, FL, raised Catholic and spent time as a Methodist and Episcopalian during college. She majored in Elementary Ed but did youth ministry throughout college. Then she settled into becoming a minister in the Presbyterian Church where she served mostly rural churches for 30 years. After attending Unity of Bon Air about 10 years ago she decided Unity was her tribe. She attended Unity Urban Ministerial School and was ordained in 2017. She became the minister of Unity of Ann Arbor in 2018 and returned to Richmond in July 2021. She is delighted to serve this spiritual center which opened the doors to new life and new perspectives after leaving a 27 year marriage. She loves the people, the creativity and the unconditional love that is a daily experience here.
Communications & Adult Education Coordinator: Reverend Cheryl Fare, Licensed Unity Minister
Cheryl Fare is a Licensed Unity Minister and Teacher, inspirational speaker, published playwright, actor, producer, director, singer/songwriter, organizational consultant, and heart-centered metaphysician. At Unity of Bon Air, Cheryl teaches classes, leads the Prayer Team, and serves on the Ministry Team as Communications & Adult Education Coordinator. Cheryl has a passion for Unity Principles, and shares openly how using these real and practical Truth teachings have guided her through several exceptional life challenges. Cheryl holds an MFA in Theatre administration and management, and is pleased to bring her 35+ years of experience in performing arts to her work in Unity. Cheryl lives with her husband of more than 35 years, has 2 adult children.
Music Director: Claudia Carawan
Claudia leads our music program which is a dynamic, creative force that supports and reflects the Unity principles using the language of music. The mission of our music program is to provide music that is spiritually enriching and inspiring. We feature a diverse variety of musical styles ranging from pop, inspirational, jazz, rock, new age, and classical, but the overall format is contemporary.
Claudia has been Music Director at Unity of Bon Air for several years and has been a professional musician most of her life. She is an award-winning songwriter, an international recording artist, and a powerful vocalist who plays many instruments (piano, guitar and alto sax). Claudia has recorded four CDs of "positively soulful" music (Out of the Blue, Fearless, Joy Rising and Magic In The Air, her first Christmas CD), which have received rave reviews. Her voice has been featured on radio and television in national advertising campaigns.
Youth & Family Ministry Director: Melody Neal
Melody Neal is the Director of Youth and Family Ministries, she works with our youth programs and includes some intergenerational activities as well. Melody believes that "Our children are our greatest hope for the future so we must give them the tools to grow". Melody is certified by Unity Worldwide as a Certified Spiritual Educator, has been a member of Unity of Bon Air for over 16 years, and is also a full-time nurse within our community.
Life Events Coordinator: Janie Van Ostern
Weddings, Memorials, Anniversaries
Bookkeeper: Kara Bickett
Richmond has been Kara’s home for 17 years. She grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. She loves traveling back to Roanoke to see family and the beautiful mountains. Kara has associate degrees from Virginia Western Community College in Business Management, Banking & Finance and Merchandise Management. She is happily married with 2 boys, 2 dogs and a cat that keep her busy. Kara enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
Facilities Coordinator: William Patterson
Administrative Coordinator: Kim Griffin
Kim has been a student of the Unity Community for many years. She first learned of Unity through one of her mentors, Miriam, who introduced her to the Divine within. It was a perfect match for what she knew, in her heart, to be true for each of us. She loves music and animals, and one of her favorite quotes is, “Without music, the world would B♭.” She is thrilled to be joining Unity of Bon Air and looks forward to meeting each of you over the coming weeks and months.
The 2021-22 Board of Directors, Alternates, and Trustees
To contact any of our Board members, please CALL 804-320-5584 and leave a message or CLICK HERE to send a message
Brent Jackson - President
Brent is a practicing attorney. He has been a member of UBA for over a decade, and has served on the Board for approximately 5 years in the capacity as a member, Treasurer and is currently the Board’s President. He is the father of 4 young ladies and his wife Trudy and his mother Mildred regularly attend UBA.
Myra Federspiel - Vice President
After 25 years of working in the home warranty industry, Myra retired in March of 2020. She is the proud mother of two wonderful sons and the Nano of two awesome grandsons. Myra has served previously on the Board and in many other capacities, and has attended Unity of Bon Air since 2000.
Amy Fulcher-Davis - Secretary
Amy has a 45+ years in local government with experience in social work, executive leadership, policy writing, program implementation, budget and finance, training and staff development and risk management.
Jim D. Lakin - Treasurer
Jim is a retired kitchen and bath designer/woodworker/re-modeler at Richmond Decorating Company, and has served on the Board since 2016.
Howard Green - Board Member
Howard is Deputy Director of Professional Services for the National Organization on Disability, and previously served on the Board from 2007 - 2010.
Reverend Lisa Marks - Board Alternate
Rev. Lisa C. Marks, M.Ed is a Religious Science Minister and Prayer Chaplain at Unity Bon Air. She is a teacher first and foremost, and has been for over 30 years, not only through the school system, but through the myriad of spiritual classes she has taught on a variety of topics. Rev Lisa is a credentialed counselor, specializing in grief and inner child work. She is a Reiki practitioner and a regressionist.
Janet Loving Pitts - Board Alternate
Janet recently retired after thirty plus years working in behavioral health with individuals and families with co-occurring disorders (addiction, trauma and mental illness). Janet has attended UBA for over twelve years, served in fellowship coffee, helped with AV and the children’s ministry. She is currently the chairperson of the Cares committee and volunteers in the office.
Anita Marie Ramsey - Board Alternate
Anita Ramsey is a native Richmond-er and retired clinical social worker, retired from VCU Health in February 2020. Anita's career as a Certified Clinical Social Worker in health care involved working closely with healthcare professionals and teams providing psychosocial support and resource mobilization for Trauma, Burn and Transplant surgery services, as well as inpatient coverage and outpatient surgery clinics. Anita is trained as a Healing Touch Practitioner and has studied the Psych-K processes of bringing into balance levels of consciousness and left and right brain hemispheres.
Michael Regulinski - Board Member
Michael and his amazing wife Maureen (Mo) have been members of Unity for over 15 years. Michael has been employed at Dominion Energy as an attorney for almost 25 years and has practiced law since 1986. Michael is currently serving on the board to continue his work supporting Unity of Bon Air's mission and teachings. Michael and Mo have two adult children who are married and living with their spouses in Los Angeles, CA and in Edinburgh, Scotland. Michael kindly asks for your love and support.
Jodi Smith - Board Member
Jodi is a nonprofit director for Mended Little Hearts, a “recovering” attorney, and volunteer director for the Alliance for Unitive Justice.
Jane Gordon - Board Trustee
Jane is a retired educator and now spends her time tutoring chronically-ill children.
Tom Layman - Board Trustee
Tom spent his career in advertising before retiring from the Martin Agency, and worked several years for the Virginia House of Delegates when the General Assembly was in session.
Rusty Rothrock - Board Trustee
Rusty is the retired owner of The Lindsay Group, a home inspection service. Prior to starting the company he was a custom home builder in the Richmond area.