Craig Elder, Senior Warden
I have been attending St. James Cathedral since moving to Chicago in March 2015, having transferred from St. Paul’s Church in Milwaukee, WI. I previously attended Calvary Episcopal Church in Memphis, TN and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jonesboro, AR. At St. James, I am currently the Junior Warden and on the Usher Team. I am married to Arista Elder and have an adult son, Nathaniel, who lives in Memphis, TN.
I’m a Director at Robert W. Baird, serving as a senior fixed income analyst in the Private Wealth Management Equity and Fixed Income Research Group. I’m a member of Baird’s Investment Policy Committee and serve on the PWM Fixed Income Credit Committee. I have a BBA in Business Administration with a major in Finance from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis and received a MBA with an emphasis in finance from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. I’m a member of the Fixed Income Analyst Society in New York, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the CFA Society of Chicago and the CFA Institute.
Nicole Spencer, Junior Warden
I became a member of the St. James Cathedral community in 2015. For almost 20 years prior, I attended weekday services in St. Andrew’s Chapel. I am an intercessor at Sunday choral Eucharists and currently serve on the Cathedral Chapter. I am active in the Summer in the City ministry as both a volunteer and committee member. It is a joy and honor to support the vibrancy of St. James Cathedral Church.
In my professional life, I work with executive teams on organizational development and process improvement at the nexus of strategy and operations. I have more than 15 years’ experience managing commercial real estate (high-rise office buildings) and residential portfolios. Over the past 25 years, I have volunteered for a variety of non-profit entities whose missions support education for girls and women; spiritual development; and LGBTQIA+ communities. I am exploring opportunities to apply my professional experience within mission driven organizations.
I received my undergraduate degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College and my Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law.
My wife Trish and I have been attending St. James since 2018. We attended the Annual Retreat in 2019 and became more deeply connected to the community and the spiritual practices. We appreciate the social outreach and community involvement encouraged by St. James. We support the Food Ministry and appreciate the opportunity to be of service. We participated in the Pathways to Racial Reconciliation Program and got great personal value from the program and , again, grew closer to the St. James community. I will be co-leading the Wednesday evening Centering Prayer practice in 2020 with Lisa Hackney-James.
I am a senior managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, an international real estate services and advisory firm. My 40 years of commercial real estate consulting has been with large institutions and not-for profit organizations. I look forward to helping support St. James as we move forward with a major capital campaign and work through other property and real estate-related challenges.
Trish and I have been married for 43 years and have three children and three grandchildren. We appreciate Chicago and are active in civic and cultural activities. We are committed to supporting social causes with special focus on education and human welfare. We believe “to whom much is given, much is required.”
My wife Caroline and I have lived in Chicago since 2009 and have two young boys, Sawyer (6) and Henry (4). We have attended St. James Cathedral services intermittently since 2009 and began regularly attending in 2016.
I grew up in the Episcopal church. My family were regular and committed members of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Live Oak, FL and I was confirmed in 1991. I grew up in Live Oak, attending Suwannee HS and then the University of Florida. I met Caroline at UF and we were married several years later at All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park, FL. I am deeply committed to church life and enjoy attending services at St. James and other activities.
I work in the finance industry, advising community banks on how to make better decisions across different aspects of their business. Since 2009, I have been employed by Performance Trust Capital Partners.
My wife Janice and I have been members of St. James Cathedral since 2018.
I have extensive leadership experience building technology companies as Board of Director, Chief Executive Officer and lead venture capital investor. Since 1998, I have concurrently served as Chief Executive (CEO or President) and Board Director of three software companies. Most recently, I was President of PS Technology, Inc., a wholly owned technology subsidiary of a Fortune 150 corporation. PST is the leading provider of enterprise software to the North American railroads.
Diocesan Convention Delegates
I have been a member of St. James Cathedral since 1996, shortly after I joined the Cathedral Choir as a stipendiary singer and transferred my membership from St. Luke's Evanston. From 2000 to 2015, I served in many capacities, including chair of the former Arts & Music Committee, chair of the Communications Committee, editor of the cathedral newsletter, and Junior Warden. In 2008, I was recognized with the Bishop's Award for "outstanding service to God, church and community".
After a 12-year executive career in the for-profit world and a 25-year career as a non-profit executive director and CEO, I was hired in 2015 as the cathedral's Director of Administration. In 2017 I was named Canon for Finance and Administration.
I have served three times in the past as a delegate to diocesan convention and was co-chair of the convention for two consecutive years. In this important year of electing a new bishop, I am especially eager to serve as a delegate on behalf of St. James Cathedral.
I have been an active member of St. James Cathedral since 2016 and would be honored to represent our community at Diocesan Convention. I am currently a leader of the Young Adult and Invite Welcome Connect ministries. Last fall, I was delighted to develop and co-lead the Way of Love series. I also serve as volunteer coordinator of readers and intercessors and enjoy volunteering for Sandwich Sunday.
In 2018, I studied with Education for Ministry and served on the Gala Planning committee. Beyond the cathedral walls, I have been honored to serve as Delegate to Chicago's 2019 Diocesan Convention and as board member of Sacred Ground urban spirituality center.
I have 9 years of experience as a project manager in nonprofit development and strategy consulting. I have spent the past 5 years volunteering with the Royal School of Church Music, serving as Head Proctor. I enjoy worshiping at both the 9am service and the 11am service, where I sing in the Cathedral Choir.
My ties to St. James date to 1996, when I was looking for a church while attending law school. At St. James I found both a community of like-minded folks and a spiritual home. Since then, St. James has been the site of many of my happiest life moments and a place of comfort for my family. My husband Gary and I were married here in 2003. In 2007 and 2011, our children Mary Jane and Matthew were baptized. As promised during their baptisms, you welcomed them into the church with open arms.
I am committed to serve St. James in thanks for all that it has given my family. I have served as both Junior and Senior Warden and was just recently named Chancellor of the Cathedral by the Cathedral Chapter. You can find me most Sundays down with the Sunday School kids or parents, and often serving as a lector, usher, or participant in our meals ministry. I previously served on the Stewardship Committee and the Search Committee for our new Dean.
When not taking the kids to swimming, soccer, art class or music lessons, I am a litigation partner at Baker & McKenzie. I also work with many non-profits on governance and advocacy issues. I served on the governing board of directors for the Public Interest Law Initiative, and am a current board member and past board president of the Center for Disability and Elder Law. I have run five Chicago marathons, enjoy newspapers, and love to travel.
Finance Commission Members
I have served St. James Cathedral as Assistant Treasurer for eleven years and as chair of the Investment Committee for nine. I serve the Diocese of Chicago as a Trustee of the Common Fund and Episcopal Charities as a member of their finance committee. I also serve as Treasurer for Brent House, the Episcopal Council at the University of Chicago. My experience in the Derivatives Industry gives me a sharp perspective for matters in investment and finance. I have helped many members of St. James with large gifts and bequests.
I am a life-long Episcopalian. I was graduated from an Episcopal grade school at Trinity, New York City and married to my Yale college sweetheart, Marianne Culver. Our 18-year-old son, Leland has grown up at St. James and attends the Lab Schools at University of Chicago. I thank the St. James community for their trust in me thus far and for their consideration of my candidacy. If elected I hope to ensure the further growth and success of this wonderful organization.
I have been a member of St. James Cathedral for the last five years. I moved to Chicago from London and was previously a member of the Lambeth Mission St. Mary’s in the North Lambeth parish of London, UK. At St. James, I am a member of the Altar Guild and Finance Commission, and help with the Sunday School. I joined the Finance Commission in July 2016.
I have been an Assistant Professor of Accounting at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where my research specialized in financial institutions; disclosure regulation and liquidity; real effects of disclosure; and real effects of regulatory changes on banks’ behavior. I was a researcher at the Bank of England and, prior to my doctoral studies, worked as a competition and financial economist at Charles River Associates (CRA) in London and Washington, DC. I received my PhD degree from London Business School.