Candidate Biographies

Chapter Members Nominees

Olivia Elliott

Born and raised in Dallas, TX in a large multi-racial household, Olivia moved to Chicago to attend The University of Chicago. She then went to teach bilingual (Spanish/English) 5th grade in Fort Worth through Teach For America. She moved back to Chicago where she now works for the Obama Foundation; her focus is on developing young leaders, honing the skills they need to solve our generation's most pressing issues. Growing up in the Episcopal Church, she has a deep appreciation for creating a space of true inclusion and belonging, and actively works to ensure that vision can be realized. On any given Sunday, you can find her at the 11:00 a.m. service, often serving on the altar as an acolyte. Olivia is also an active member of the young adult group. Olivia and her husband, Mike, were married by Lisa last November and have called St. James their parish home for the past four years.


Debrah Jefferson

Debrah is a third generation Episcopalian and has been a member of St. James Cathedral since about 1996. She has been a member of the acolyte core for the last 15 years, and for the last 10 years she has been a head acolyte and a member of the verger team. She has been a delegate twice to the Diocesan Convention, part of the pledge committee, and a volunteer for the last three years for Summer in the City. For the past 15 months, she has been an active member of the Transition Team for the Diocese Search for the 13th Bishop of Chicago. After retiring from Chicago State University in September 2013 as associate vice president for academic affairs, Jefferson accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Chicagoland Regional College Program (CRCP) in 2014. Jefferson holds a Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in computing and instructional research, as well as a Master’s degree and a Bachelors of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. She has over 40 years of experience in higher education, government, and the corporate workplace. Having started her work experience working in advertising and public relations for both industry and governmental agencies followed by faculty positions and university administration, Jefferson has a broad, based background.


Allen Moye

Allen Moye joined the faculty of DePaul College of Law in January 2005. He holds appointments as Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Rinn Law Library. He also supervises the College of Law's technology support team. Prof. Moye earned his Bachelor’s degree from Howard University, his JD from University of Richmond, and his MLIS from Catholic University. In his primary role as director of the law library, Prof. Moye is responsible for the financial management and quality of library services and research support, offered to faculty, students, alumni, and other patrons of the law library. He coordinates with the legal writing faculty to provide legal research instruction to law students and teaches Advanced Legal Research in the JD program. He also teaches two sections of Introduction to American Law and Legal System’s as part of the Masters in Jurisprudence curriculum. Allen is a lifelong Episcopalian and has been a member of St. James since 2016. He serves on the Usher Board, and usually attends the 11:00 a.m. service.



Elizabeth Wakefield-Connell

Elizabeth (Liz) Wakefield-Connell is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at Loyola University Chicago. At Loyola, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses and maintains an active research program, studying how children and adults learn through gesture and action. Liz earned her B.A. at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, majoring in Psychology and Music, and continued higher education at Indiana University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. A postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago brought Liz to Chicago, where she has lived since 2013 with her husband, Justin Connell. Their daughter, Aria was born in the spring of 2018. Justin and Liz both grew up in the Episcopal church and began attending St. James in fall of 2019. They quickly grew to love the very family-friendly 9am service and the Songs and Stories church school program, which they regularly attend with Aria. Liz looks forward to becoming more involved with the church community over the coming years.


Diocesan Convention Delegate Nominees

Lieve Buzard

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. 


Erin Maus

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.



Nicole Spencer

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 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 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.


Nominees for Finance Commission

George Culver

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.


Kevin Godsil

Kevin has been attending St James since 2005 and joined the Acolyte Corps in 2007. Currently, Kevin primarily attends the 11:00AM Sunday Eucharist, but also often serves at the 9:00AM Sunday Eucharist. He serves as acolyte, chalice bearer, and acts as Head Verger to the Liturgical Ministry. He works as 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.