Annual Meeting

St. James Cathedral will hold the 2022 Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 30. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. with Choral Eucharist, followed by a short break, and will resume with a review of the past year, brief reports from the Dean, Wardens, and Treasurer, and the election of Wardens, Cathedral Chapter members, Finance Commission members, and delegates to the diocesan convention. The meeting will end at 12 Noon.
 
PLEASE NOTE: there will not be food provided, but we promise to keep the meeting brief.
 
Read about the slate of nominees below.

Cathedral Warden Nominees

Nicole A. B. Spencer

Senior Warden

I am a lifelong Episcopalian and became a member of St. James Cathedral in the Autumn of 2015. I have served on the Cathedral Chapter since 2018 and currently serve as Junior Warden. Summer in the City is the ministry that inspired me to join St. James and I am still active in that ministry as both a volunteer and a member of the leadership group, where I focus on strategies and processes that will support the longevity of the ministry. 

In my professional life, I work with executive teams on organizational development and process improvement at the nexus of strategy and operations. My niche is developing and sustaining productive relationships between and among diverse stakeholders. I have more than 20 years of experience in real estate, managing high-rise office buildings in the Loop as well as other commercial and residential portfolios in Chicago. I received my undergraduate degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College and my Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law.

In November 2021, I was elected as a lay representative to the Bishop and Trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.  Over the past 30 years, I have volunteered for a variety of non-profit entities whose missions support education for girls and women; spiritual development; and LGBTQ+ communities.

I am both challenged and nourished by St. James. It has been my joy and honor to serve the St. James Cathedral community in various ways.  As Senior Warden, I would be committed to supporting and furthering the vibrancy and impact of our community.

Susan Fickling

Junior Warden

I am a cradle Episcopalian who has attended St. James on and off since moving to Chicago in 1998 and have attended regularly since the birth of my first child in 2009. My daughter Alba and son Ashwin sing with the choristers. We generally attend the Sunday 9:00 a.m. service and I often help in Sunday School classes during the 10:00 a.m. hour. 

One of the things that is most important to me about St. James is the amount of social outreach we do.  Our family supports the feeding ministry both as volunteers and financially and I would love to see more community outreach as part of the mission of St James.

In my “day job”, I am a managing director at Duff & Phelps, where I run our Midwest Transfer Pricing practice.  I also serve as the Audit Chair and on the Board of Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Scripps College and am a Certified Business Economist™.

I have served on the Cathedral Chapter for the past three years and would be honored to serve as the next Junior Warden.

Chapter Members Nominees

George Culver

I am a former member of the Cathedral Chapter and currently serve on the Finance Commission. I have also served St. James as Assistant Treasurer for eleven years and as chair of the investment committee for nine. I serve the Diocese 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 Futures 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 (Trinity, New York City.)  

I am married to my college (Yale) sweetheart, Marianne Culver.  Our son, Leland has grown up at St. James and attends Amherst College. 

I thank the St. James Community for their trust in me thus far and for their consideration of my candidacy for the Cathedral Chapter. If elected I hope to ensure the further growth and success of this wonderful organization. 

Anne Driscoll

I recently completed a three-year term as one of the three Diocesan At Large Members of the Cathedral Chapter. During the past year, I felt called to St. James. The profoundly meaningful worship services, including the many excellent sermons and exquisite music, have fed my spirit. It is an honor to be nominated to serve as a member of the Cathedral Chapter, now as a parishioner.

I currently serve on the Board of Trustees of Episcopal Charities and am passionate about mission and outreach. I accompanied a group of students on a mission trip to Moshi, Tanzania and most recently journeyed to Chiapas, Mexico to work with two Episcopal companion parishes there. 

I am a Partner at McCarthy Bertschy & Associates, a retained only executive search firm, and have over two decades of professional services industry experience. My practice expertise spans a broad range of industries, although my areas of specialization include the manufacturing, professional services, and pharmaceutical/medical device industries.

Cilla Esiri-Olowopopo    

I am originally from Nigeria and have been in Chicago for about 40 years. I received a BS in Computer Science from Northeastern University, Chicago, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. My career has been in Information Technology (IT), computer software. I am presently working for a Federal Agency, and I manage a group of software developers.

I enjoy giving back and I have participated in several medical missions of free services to rural areas in Nigeria with my late husband, who was a physician. I have been attending services at St. James for about three years and currently attend the 9 a.m. service.

I would be honored to serve as a member of the Cathedral Chapter.

Diocesan Convention Delegate Nominees

Robert Black

I have been a member of St. James Cathedral since 1996, by way of the Cathedral Choir, in which I still sing. I am a former Junior Warden, served as chair of the former Arts & Music and Communications Committees. Since 2015, I have been on the cathedral staff as Director of Finance and Administration.  

My undergraduate degrees are from Wheaton College (Illinois) in economics and music, with post graduate work in non-profit management and television production. For 25 years I produced a program on religion called 30 Good Minutes, which was broadcaston WTTW 11 PBS in Chicago from 1956 to 2014.

I am a former co-chair of the Diocesan Convention and have attended many past conventions, sometimes as a delegate, sometimes as a volunteer, and sometimes as an observer. I am very familiar with the role lay delegates play in the business of the diocese and would be honored to represent St. James Cathedral again in 2022.     

Erin Maus

My ties to St. James Cathedral 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 currently serve as Cathedral Chancellor and am a former Senior Warden. I previously served on the Stewardship Committee and the Search Committee that brought Dean Barrington to St. James. You can find me on Wednesday evenings at our new Evensong during which our Choristers sing, and most Sundays at the 9 a.m. service, the Deans Forum, or down with the Sunday School kids or parents.  I am also an active volunteer in our Feeding Ministry.  

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 was a delegate to the Diocesan Convention in 2020 and would be honored to serve again.

Nicole Spencer

I am a lifelong Episcopalian confirmed at the National Cathedral in 1985. For many years prior to becoming a member of St. James, I attended services in St. Andrew’s Chapel. I became a member of the St. James in Autumn 2015. Summer in the City is the ministry that inspired me to join the St. James Cathedral Community. I am active in the Summer in the City (SitC) ministry as both a volunteer and member the working group.  As a member of the SitC working group, I focus on strategies and processes that will support the longevity of the ministry.  I am also an enthusiastic volunteer during SitC camp and seasonal events.  I am an intercessor during Sunday choral Eucharists. I have served on the Cathedral Chapter since 2018 and  currently serve as Junior Warden.

In my professional life, I work with executive teams on organizational development and process improvement at the nexus of strategy and operations. My niche is developing and sustaining productive relationships between and among diverse stakeholders. I have more than 20 years’ experience in real estate. I’ve managed high-rise office buildings in the Loop as well as commercial and residential portfolios in Chicago. I received my undergraduate degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College and my Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law.

In November 2021, I was elected as a lay representative to the Bishop and Trustees of the Episcopal Dioceses of Chicago.  Over the past 30 years, I have volunteered for a variety of non-profit entities whose missions support education for girls and women; spiritual development; and LGBTQ+ communities.

I am both challenged and nourished by St. James. It has been my joy and honor to serve the St. James Cathedral community in various ways.  As a delegate to the Diocesan Convention, I would be committed to communicating and voting the interests of our community.

Nominees for Finance Commission

George Culver

I currently serve on the Finance Commission, served St. James as Assistant Treasurer for eleven years and as chair of the investment committee for nine. I serve the Diocese 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 Futures 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 (Trinity, New York City.)  I am married to my college (Yale) sweetheart, Marianne Culver.  Our son, Leland has grown up at St. James and attends Amherst College.

I thank the St. James Community for their trust in me thus far and for their consideration of my continued membership on the Finance Commission.  

 

Kevin Godsil

I was elected as a member of the Finance Commission in 2021 and am eager to continue serving in that role. I have been attending St. James since 2005 and joined the Acolyte Corps in 2007. Currently, I primarily attend the 11:00 a.m. Sunday Eucharist, but I also often serve at the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Eucharist. I serve as an acolyte and as Head Verger to the Liturgical Ministry.

I am a Client Service Manager at the Northern Trust Company, handling the relationships between institutional clients and the Bank’s Transfer Agency operations. He graduated from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics.

Introducing the New Diocesan Member of the Cathedral Chapter

Elected in November 2021 at the Diocesan Convention

The Rev. Christopher Griffin

At the diocesan convention in November 2021, The Rev. Christopher Griffin, Vicar of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, and Associate Priest at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Evanston, was elected to a three-year term as a Diocesan Member of the Cathedral Chapter. He has served on the Commission on Ministry, the Ecclesiastical Court, as co-chair of the Antiracism Commission, President of the Union of Black Episcopalians, and a board member of the Primo Center. The following is his candidate statement from that election.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but when Diocesan Convention rolls around, I find myself reflecting on the “good old days” when we all met at our Diocesan Center and our Cathedral. Surely it made sense to shake things up a bit and move Convention and other events around to accommodate more of our members throughout our diocese, but I still wonder and care about the significance of our Cathedral with other churches in the diocese, like my own, and with the city. Geographically, and theologically, the cathedral remains an important symbol to me for projecting our presence in the city. 

Therefore, I would like to be part of the conversation(s), thinking about our cathedral (as well as the rest of our congregations) in such a time as this. The pandemic has caused many of us to re-imagine the role of our churches in our communities. I believe that, along with our Bishop, St. James Cathedral may be able to lead the way we can all re-envision who we are and what we do as we move forward. I believe our cathedral can still speak for us and represent us wherever, and whenever, we meet in these good new days.

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