Annual Meeting

St. James Cathedral will hold the 2024 Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 28, in the Great Hall, following a special 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist in the Cathedral. This will be the only service of the day. Lunch will be provided. Let us know you are coming by filling out this Google Form where you can also state any dietary restrictions.

At the Annual Meeting we will look back at last year and forward to 2024. We will also elect Cathedral Chapter members, representatives to Diocesan Convention, and Finance Commission members. Meet the candidates below.

Cathedral Chapter Member Nominees

Susan Fickling SENIOR WARDEN

I am a cradle Episcopalian who has attended St. James on and off since moving to Chicago in 1998 and regularly since the birth of my first child in 2009. My kids Alba and Ashwin sing with the choristers and are active in the Youth Group. We generally attend the Sunday 9:00 a.m. service and also Wednesday evensong. 

One of the things that is most important to me about St. James is our role in the Episcopal Community as well as in the Chicago area including 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 Kroll LLC, where I run our Midwest Transfer Pricing practice.  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 five years and would be honored to serve as the next Senior Warden.


My connection to the Episcopal church goes back many generations. I was baptized at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Wilson, N.C. A small mission church, founded in 1887, it was the first Black Episcopal Church in the region and my grandmother’s family was among the founding members. My family relocated to Philadelphia when I was a small child, and we eventually found our way to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Germantown. As an adult, I attended the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and later joined St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA., where I taught Sunday School. After I arrived in Chicago, I visited different churches but always felt most at home at St. James Cathedral. I became a member in 2016. I have always been impressed with the energy and outreach programs of St. James. I have helped with the feeding ministry,  Summer in the City, and supported the Revive Christmas Basket program; three very successful and important ways that the church connects with the community beyond the walls of its building. I am finishing my 3rd year on  Chapter and helped on the Capital Campaign.  I have served on the Usher Ministry since 2016 and as Head Usher since 2020. I enjoy welcoming regular worshippers and visitors to a place filled with the Holy Spirit and the wonders of God’s works.

In my professional life, I am a tenured faculty member at DePaul College of Law. I serve as the Associate Dean for IT and Library Services and Associate Professor of Law. I teach Introduction to American Law and Advance Legal Research.

St. James has a significant and storied past. I believe we are at the beginning of what will be an illustrious future. I would be honored to serve as Junior Warden at such an important time in the life of this church and cathedral.

Phil Debush

I first started coming to St. James 23 years ago.  After initially being drawn by the liturgy, I eventually got more involved in various facets of the cathedral. Between 2003 and 2011, I taught Sunday School with my wife Anna, I was on a Dean search committee, I served on Chapter, and I was on the Finance Commission. For a few years when our children were younger, we attended Grace Church in Oak Park which is in the community where we live, but we were eventually drawn back to the strong roots of St. James about six years ago. Even though our two sons are now in high school, I'm a regular attendee of the 9:00 am service whose intimacy and energy resonate with me.      

In my day job, I work in commercial banking at Bank of America. I also have a passion for Montessori education, and I've been in several leadership roles on the board of West Suburban Montessori School in Oak Park for the past 14 years as we've built out an elementary program there.

Maria Price

As a lifelong Episcopalian, I sensed God's presence and welcome from the moment I entered St. James Cathedral. In the years since my first worship service at the Cathedral, it has been an honor and a joy to be a part of the Cathedral community and cultivate its valuable, unique, and meaningful ministries.

I am currently a dedicated co-leader of the Young Adults and Junior High youth groups at the Cathedral. As co-lead for the Young Adults group, I have enjoyed working alongside Cathedral administration and staff to enrich program offerings by implementing emerging parishioner interests within existing young adults-led engagements. Throughout my years as a Youth Group leader, it has been a privilege to contribute to the growth of the Cathedral’s youth by shepherding them in deepening their belief and faith as they explore the Episcopal tradition. Over the years, the number of participating youth has grown, a testament to the years-long priority of developing an augmented and robust Christian formation experience for young people.

After completing a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago’s Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, I began my career in public health at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, where I am currently a research grant specialist. It is humbling to know that through my work at Lurie’s, I contribute to improving children's lives and health outcomes throughout the Chicagoland area.

Keith Schmidt

I am a lifelong Episcopalian who regularly attends the 9 AM service with my family. I moved around a lot when I was younger, and the Episcopal Church was a fixture and a home wherever we went. My wife, Suzanne, and I have attended St. James since we moved to Chicago in 2009. Our two boys, Karl and Max, were baptized here. Our family supports the feeding ministry both financially and as volunteers. Our involvement with St. James increased with the expansion of the children’s ministry and I would like to see us build on that to support our current families and to welcome new ones into the congregation.

Professionally, I work as a software engineer at Google, where I have been for the past 19 years. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degrees in computer science at Brown University. My hobbies include cycling, travel, personal finance, and philanthropy.

Diocesan Convention Delegate Nominees

Susan Fickling

Maria Price

Allen Moye

Nominees for Finance Commission

George Culver

George currently serves on the Cathedral Chapter and the Finance Commission. He served as Assistant Treasurer for eleven years and as Chair of the Investment Committee for nine. George serves the Diocese as a Trustee of the Common Fund and Episcopal Charities as a member of their finance committee, and as Treasurer for Brent House, The Episcopal Council at the University of Chicago. His experience in the Derivatives Industry gives him perspective for matters in investment and finance and he has helped many members of St. James with large gifts and bequests. Most importantly he helps teach the younger students in the Sunday School. George is a life-long Episcopalian and graduated from an Episcopal grade school (Trinity, New York City.) He is married to his college (Yale) sweetheart, Marianne Culver. Their son Leland grew up at St. James and attends Amherst College.


Michael Paik

Mike has been attending St. James since 2015 - growing up in a Korean-Presbyterian community, not a “cradle” Episcopal like his wife Olivia, it was a huge adjustment. Eventually, there were only so many newcomer lunches Mike could attend, before he was firmly no longer new. Since then, Mike and Olivia have welcomed their first son, Julian, and are excited for him to grow up at St. James. 

Mike has 10+ years of consulting experience and is looking forward to learning more about the financial mission of a cathedral church. Mike is a Chicago native, with an MBA from the Booth School of Business and an undergraduate economics degree from the University of Chicago. He is also interested in bringing back the hot ham sandwiches during coffee hour.