St. Stephen's Vestry

2020 Vestry & Portfolio Assignments

 

Marv Aardahl - Senior Warden

Joe Merkens - Junior Warden

 

Malcolm Blue - Inreach

Bill Brintnall - Outreach

Sheri Flay - Children & Youth

John Fortman - Treasurer/Finance

Bob Hill - Hospitality

Kathleen Jensen - Formation

Marian Krabach - Human Resources

Bob Gregor - Pastoral Care

Steve Plote - Buildings & Grounds

Rachel Rieckhoff - Communications

Cindy Swaisgood - Interfaith & Ecumenical Relations

 

John Nelson - Clerk (non-voting member)

2021 Vestry Nominees

St. Stephen’s Vestry Candidate Biographical Information



Nominee Name:        Claudia Alexopoulos    

     

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  I was raised Episcopalian and have remained with that faith my entire life. My husband and I met at The Church of St Charles in Northridge, CA where we were married in 1975. Our children were all baptized in the Episcopal church.

           

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I was born in Kentucky and moved to California with my parents. We lived in the San Fernando Valley. Shortly after joining the congregation at St. Charles I met my future husband who was a member of the vestry. We were married and I gave birth to our twin sons, Jeffrey and Stephen in 1979. In 1984 we moved to our home in Saugus where we added our daughter Jennifer. During the years there I worked as a Pre-School teacher and Girl Scout leader. I served on the Board of Directors of the Canyon Theatre Guild and worked for many years on shows there.

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual)

o  I first started attending St. Stephen’s in 2000 to 2005 and returned in 2012. I attend the 10am service. My granddaughter attended the St Stephens pre school.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  I ran the Acolytes at St Stephens and currently count pledges following services.

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  I am a committed member of the family of St. Stephens, I have the ability to work as a team member, and listen to the input of others. My background as a member of the Board of Directors at the Canyon Theatre Guild provided me with experience serving as a committee member and the need for a board to work together for the best interest of an organization. 

Nominee Name:       Jennifer Aston          

 

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  My children are 5th generation Episcopalians. I was Baptized (1977) and Married (2001) in the Church. I have three boys who were also baptized in the Episcopal Church-Church of the Transfiguration in Arcadia CA – (2005) (2007) (2011) and my eldest was Confirmed last fall (2019) at St Stephens.

 

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I was born in the US on a business transfer of my parents. I was raised in Canada. I graduated University with a degree in Fine Arts-Pedagogy of Ballet. I moved to the US with my husband in 2002. I worked in the business sector at USC for 10 years. I took 6 years off to be at home with my three baby boys. My husband ran a successful staffing agency. Andrew and I co-found a new brand staffing agency in 2015, Human Element Company, to which I am the current CEO.

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual)

o  I have worshiped at St. Stephens for 5 years. When we were present at Church, we attend the 10am service.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  I grew up in St. Clements Anglican Church in Toronto Canada. When moving to the US we joined Church of the Transfiguration in Arcadia. I was the Sunday School Co-Ordinator, I served on the Vestry one term and I was the Chairwoman for the annual fundraiser live auction gala. I stepped away from a serving capacity in the church while my kids were in Elementary School. I served as PTA President and Foundation Vice President for my children’s organization for many years. 

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  I am ready to get involved in our church once again. My children are older so I don’t feel the pull to volunteer quite the way I did in their organizations in their Elementary years. My boys’ sports schedules are no longer pulling us away on Sundays Yipee!!!!!! I come from years on Vestry, PTA Boards, Foundation Boards, Little League Board, Child Health Council Board, and tons of Community Service. I am co-founder and CEO of a Staffing Agency-Human Element Company and can bring a wealth of knowledge from both HR and budget perspectives. I am a great listener and usually find the answers that lay somewhere in the middle. I look forward to this opportunity with St. Stephens and am thrilled to serve the church community.

Nominee Name:    Shannon Brintnall   

          

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  I am a lifelong Episcopalian and was baptized into the Episcopal Church at six months of age. I attended a private Episcopal day school for my elementary years. While I have attended services as a teen at other churches/denominations with friends but I have always made the Episcopal Church my spiritual home.

           

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I was born and raised in Southern California and have never lived further than 60 miles from my place of birth. I am married to Bill Brintnall and together we share six children (his/hers/ours).  I am a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for the William S Hart Union High School District and have been teaching since 2003; though I started as an elementary school teacher (kinder & first grade) before I returned to school to get my Deaf and Hard of Hearing credential.     

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual)

o  I started attending St Stephen’s in the spring of 2000 which makes it 21 years this year!  Typically, our family attends the 10:00 service and will likely continue to do so once we can worship in person again.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  Currently I am serving on the tech guild. Previously I have been a Sunday School teacher and have served on the altar as a chalice bearer.  I also completed EFM and served as an EFM mentor for two years. 

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  I’d like the opportunity to serve as a vestry member because it’s been a few years since I have served the parish in an official capacity.  I feel I would benefit the parish in multiple ways. As a special education teacher I have a lot of experience working with people in different capacities with love and compassion.  I have the ability to assess situations, to create attainable goals, and to set them in motion. 

Nominee Name:        Jay Clark  

     

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  My family attended the Church of Christ in Lancaster as I was growing up. After Cathy & I were married we decided to attend St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (her church growing up). When our children were young they had friends who were involved in youth group at Lancaster United Methodist Church and asked if they could join them. We left St. Paul’s for a few years and returned after the children were grown.

 

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I grew up in Lancaster with my parents, two older brothers and an older sister. My dad worked at Edwards Air Force Base for thirty years as an aeronautical engineer, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom. I married the former Cathy Bozigian in 1970 and we were blessed with two children, Cristin and Jeff and are now the proud grandparents of 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson.

After graduating from college in 1972, I began my career as a teacher in the Antelope Valley High School District, teaching Health, English, Science and Physical Education. Additionally I coached basketball and baseball. After 13 years I moved into administration and ended my 38 year career as a high school principal. One of the many highlights of my years as a principal was working with at risk youth at a continuation high school.

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual).

o  We have worshiped at St. Stephen’s for seven years and regularly attend the 10:00 service.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  I served on the Vestry at St. Paul’s Lancaster both as a Junior and Senior Warden. I worked with our Rector and members of the Vestry on committees addressing finance, buildings and grounds, stewardship, Christian education, outreach, and worship.

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member.

o  After retiring and moving to Valencia, I knew I wanted to be more involved with our church by serving God and our community. I have the time and willingness to share my organizational skills from my experience working with students and teachers. I believe I am an effective communicator and enjoy working with others. As a previous Vestry member in Lancaster, I have the knowledge and experience to be an effective member of St. Stephen’s Vestry.

Nominee Name:       Aubrey Hardman 

         

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  I was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas and baptized into the covenant of Jesus Christ at St. Paul’s-On-The-Plains Episcopal Church of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas where I was raised in the Anglican tradition under the guidance and stewardship of the Rev. Harold Clinehens, Jr. and Rev. William Jarvi and Bishops the Right Rev. Sam Hulsey and the Right Rev. C. Wallis Ohl.

 

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I attended Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, TX where I earned a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in English/Philosophy and Master of Arts and Sciences (MA) in Technical Communications in 2001 and 2003, respectively. I also received my Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2010. I have over 17 years of experience in the Aerospace & Defense Industry with a global Fortune 500 corporation and over eight years of experience leading a finance team of over 100 employees.

 

I met my beautiful wife, Ashley, while working on my undergraduate at TTU. We have been married for almost 20 blissful years and have two wonderful children: Liv (16) and Nick (12). I try to spend as much time as I can with my family. I enjoy almost any activity in the mountains. Since moving to CA, I have also found a love for surfing which I never would have thought possible as I have always been somewhat afraid of the ocean. I also must be learning something new or always deepening my knowledge in a subject matter.

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual)

o  My family and I moved to Santa Clarita during the summer of 2017. After taking some time to get settled, we started searching for a church family. We found a warm welcome and a home at St. Stephen’s and decided to join in 2019. My family and I have been very blessed with St. Stephen’s over the past year and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our fellow parishioners. We attended the 10am service before the pandemic and still regularly attend service virtually.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  While in Fort Worth, TX, my family and I were highly active in St. Martin-In-The-Fields (SMITF) of Keller, TX for almost 10 years. While at SMITF, I served in the following areas:

·      Vestry Member

·      Stewardship Chair

·      Audit Committee Chair

·      Finance Committee Member

·      Usher

Also, during my undergraduate and graduate work at TTU, I worked for the TTU Canterbury Center of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas assisting the Rev. David Krause in ministering to TTU students.



Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  I have years of experience serving in various leadership positions in support of a congregation. I have over seven years of experience in helping a parish manage its resources. I also have over eight years leading a Business Operations team of over 100 employees for a division of a global Fortune 500 corporation. I believe I will be able to lean on my extensive business and leadership experience to help St. Stephen’s continue to be a “safe and sacred space for all in the community.”

Nominee Name:     Julie Johnson       

 

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  I was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York and attended 9 years of Catholic school at St. Charles Borromeo in Brooklyn Heights. 

o  My husband is a Methodist and we were married by my father-in-law who is a retired Methodist minister. When our children were young, we took them to my father in law’s Methodist church.

           

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I grew up in Brooklyn and was raised to respect the Church, my family, Frank Capra ideals of democracy, and a good MGM tap dance. In pre-VCR days, my parents would wake me up at 2am to watch a classic MGM movie on television. Given this, I started my early career in theater in New York City performing off Broadway and in the occasional jazz/ Musical Theater cabaret. I quickly discovered that my true passion was American History and pursued a career as a history educator in K-12 schools and eventually completing my doctorate in American history. I now have the most amazing job in the world teaching American history at College of the Canyons. At COC, I am also the Faculty Co-Coordinator for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. 

           

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual) 

o  I have worshiped at St. Stephen’s for a year and a half and I regularly attend the 10am service. 

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  I am a member of the Tech Guild at St. Stephens and I also helped coordinate the Youth Group Pancake Breakfast last year.

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  I have been searching for a spiritual home for many years. Finding St. Stephen’s has been a blessing to me and my family. I wish to serve on the St. Stephen’s Vestry to give back to the community that has so graciously welcomed us. I believe that my education and experience mentoring other educators can contribute to the St. Stephen’s community and Vestry.  Both theater and history education look for the common humanity in all of us. I hope my skills can contribute to the St. Stephen’s community service.  

Nominee Name:       John Noonan

 

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  I was born and raised as a Catholic, attending Catholic elementary school, high school, and college. After a period of “religious hibernation” in my adult life, and being married with kids, we sought out a church that seemed right for us. We visited the closest church to us, which was St. Stephen’s, and found it comfortably familiar to our childhood religious experiences.

 

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  Born and raised in Cleveland (go Browns!), attended University of Dayton and got an electrical engineering degree. While in Dayton, met my wife Cinda, a Dayton resident, through mutual friends. We married in 1984, have 3 boys (all Eagle Scouts), and 3 grandkids. I worked at Walt Disney Imagineering, retiring after 36 years in 2016 as an engineering director. We lived at various places around the world while building Disney theme parks. I have been a professional pyrotechnician for about 20 years, designing and shooting large public fireworks shows. We now live in Castaic, somehow busier in retirement than when employed. When conditions permit, we are looking forward to putting lots of miles on our motorhome again.

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual)

o  We arrived at St. Stephen’s in 1992, a mere 29 years ago, after moving back to Valencia from Paris, France. We are “10-o’clock-ers”.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  I spent a short time on the Bishop’s Committee many years ago before St. Stephen’s was an official parish. It was pretty much a Vestry under a different name. Since then, most of my contributions have involved ongoing technical support. This area has gotten a lot of attention lately with major initiatives necessitated by the pandemic. I also organized the annual Angel Tree gift program for about 20 years, handing that off a couple of years ago.

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  Two things that I can bring to the Vestry are:

1.    I have a lot of relevant experience with complex technical systems.

2.    I have a long-term perspective of St. Stephen’s history.

Nominee Name:       Jason O’Leary    

 

Your denominational history: Which faith traditions have you followed over the years?

o  Catholic and Episcopal

 

What is your personal life story and your professional/work experience?

o  I was born and grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. I went to college at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I lived in and around New York City from 1997-2005, working in the television post production field. I met my wife Leith while there, and we moved to her home state of CA in 2005. We married in 2006, and have two beautiful children ages 12 and 9 who were both baptized at St. Stephen’s. We currently live in Stevenson Ranch. I continue to work in television and am currently Vice President of Technologies and Distribution for Fox Sports Marketing.

 

How many years have you worshiped at St. Stephen’s?     What Sunday Service do you most regularly attend? (7:45am or 10am in past prior to safe distancing guidelines. As you all know currently our services are Virtual)

o  We originally began attending St. Stephen’s in 2016 and attend the 10am services.

 

Please list your previous church service/ministry service at both St. Stephen’s and other churches you may have belonged to. Groups or committees you participated in, leadership posts you held such as Vestry, etc.

o  During my youth in Massachusetts, I was involved in our CYC (Catholic Youth Commission) program and served as Vice President. Recently, I started a St. Stephen’s team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s which raised over $2,000 this year. I look forward to continuing these efforts at part of St. Stephen’s in the future.

 

Why do you wish to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry? What special skills, knowledge or experience do you possess that you think will be useful as a Vestry member?

o  I am inspired and driven by involvement within my community. Since moving to the Santa Clarita area, I have been involved in volunteer efforts through the local YMCA, and have also joined the volunteer committee for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I am excited to serve on St. Stephen’s Vestry to get even more involved via my church community. I also feel that my experience managing large scale projects and budgets within the television industry may be useful as a Vestry member.

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