Announcement of Nominations for Positions on the Board of Trustees and Congregational Committees

Emerson’s 2022 Nominations Committee, (Martin Estill, Edna Kelly, Ben Lee, Robin Sickles, Carol Trout, Carolyn Truesdell) is pleased to announce the 2023 slate of nominees for elected positions. Biographies of the nominees will be posted in the members’ section of the website and in the 2022 annual report. Elections will take place at the Annual Meeting of the congregation on January 22, 2023.

Nominees for Board of Trustees
Annie New
Hilary Ritz

Nominees for Charitable Outreach
Janet Dawson
Ruth Wolinsky

Nominees for Nominations Committee
Linda Lord
Kent Scott

Mini-Biographies of the Nominees

Anneliese (Annie) New
My wife, Trish, and I have been members of Emerson since 2018. Most congregation members know me from my past involvement in Rebuilding Houston and the Stewardship Committee; my stints as a generous bartender for Emerson Auctions; and currently, serving on the Transition Team. I’m excited to be nominated for the Board of Trustees. I hope to expand my involvement at Emerson, and I look forward to planning for our shared vision of our congregation – especially at this pivotal time of seeking and welcoming a new settled minister.

Trish and I were both raised somewhere on the spectrum of Catholicism – me being born into a strictly devout German/Polish family. I still embrace much of my “inherited” faith traditions, but as a couple, we wanted a church where we would be welcomed to slowly find our core truths. After joining First UU in San Antonio, we embraced the UU principles as a “chosen” faith – fiercely loving, and making this world a better place for each other. At Emerson, I feel challenged and I feel growth. This congregation consistently stirs my soul!

Away from church, I spend my time on various home improvement projects, including many ranch projects out in Hallettsville. I am an endurance athlete and amateur boxer. I have a Master of Science degree in psychology, and work for Houston Methodist in TMC. I am a psychometrician in the department of Neurology. I spend my days measuring people’s brain functions by using cognitive tests and simply observing their approach to challenging scenarios. In what can seem a rigidly quantitative atmosphere, I have learned the beauty in personal differences, as well as the resilience of the human spirit.

Hillary Ritz
Hilary Ritz has been attending Emerson since 2010. She became the director of the Emerson Players that same year and has directed half a dozen shows with the Players as well as a few other shows in other area community theatres. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre with honors from the University of Houston. At Emerson, she also participates in the choir, manages the official private Facebook group, and presently serves on the Worship Committee, where she enjoys writing material to contribute to the services. Hilary is a published author and a solopreneur who provides editing, writing coaching, and publishing consulting services to other writers. Hilary’s son, Charlie, is 10 years old, an avid video gamer, and an Emerson enthusiast who hates to ever miss a Sunday.


Janet Dawson
In the early 1970’s I began visiting Unitarian churches. At that time, my husband and I lived in a small town that had no UU fellowship/church so we would drive to Austin or Houston to attend but not on a regular basis. After we started a family, we did move to Houston and enjoyed the congregations of Emerson and First UU. Because of where we lived, First UU was quite a bit closer so we became regular visitors.

Later we moved to the Fort Worth area and joined the First Jefferson UU Church. It was a welcoming and warm congregation, and I served as the secretary of the Board after the merging of First UU of Fort Worth and Jefferson UU. It was a good decision not only personally but also with the merger because more opportunities opened with a larger membership.

Changes in life are always happening so in the mid 1990’s I moved to Virginia and became a member of First UU in Richmond. Again the congregation was delightful and after a time, I became a member of the board and then secretary. Around 10 years later I moved to Fairfax County, VA and enjoyed the friends I made via the church.

Now I’m a member of Emerson UU and continue to love the people, philosophy, and fellowship that is offered. I am a greeter (on the third Sunday) and started to observe the English as a Second Language classes when COVID became an issue so the possibility of participating in that program was put on hold.

Throughout my professional career, I taught elementary children who had special needs where I was active in my professional (you don’t say the “U” word in Texas) association. After 20 years in the classroom, I wanted to make a change so I was fortunate to become a union organizer for public school non-management personnel. I was in that position for 3 years and then moved to Virginia where I organized for the Virginia Education Association in Richmond and Fairfax for a total of 20 years.

I also developed and trained programs for the National Education Association which I found so rewarding. An example of the programs I was a part of was anger management, reading body language, stress management, trainer of trainers, and an intern program trainer. The intern program was one of the most personal rewarding experiences of my professional life.

I love to meet people, have adventures that are new to me, and enjoy new challenges! Having an opportunity to contribute to Emerson on the Charitable Outreach Committee would be tremendously rewarding to whomever is chosen. Thank you for your consideration.

Ruth Wolinsky
Ruth has been a member of Emerson since 2012 when her daughter – now 11-year old Elena – was just 10 months old. She has been an Emerson Board member, organizer of the Emerson Auction 4 times, and member of many other Emerson groups. A native of Pennsylvania and raised Catholic, she is so happy to now be a UU.


Linda Lord
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. Also lived in Detroit, Michigan; Wilmington, Delaware; El Paso, Texas; and Phoenix, Arizona. First resided in Houston in 1978. Received BSChE in 1977 from Wayne State University, and MBA in 1988 from University of Houston. Worked in the oil and gas industry mostly in the Houston area from 1979 until my retirement in late 2014. Married to Joseph (Ken) Hillstrom in 1974. Widowed in 2022. No children.Member of a number of Unitarian Universalist fellowships and churches since 1978. A member of Emerson UU church for 7 years.

Kent Scott, PE
Married to Katie Scott (2011) and have two children James (9) and Luke (6).

Born and raised in the Greater Houston area. Attended the University of Houston and graduated in 2007. Worked as an engineer in the oil and gas industry from until 2021 when I joined my current employer who develops utility scale solar power facilities.

Member of Emerson since 2013.