Ohio RCRC's Board of Trustees includes representatives of several of RCRC’s member organizations from across Ohio. Other board members are elected for their relevant knowledge and skills. The board is now searching for members and committee members who will enhance its religious, geographic, ethnic, and racial diversity, who have a range of helpful skills.
With a decade of campaign, advocacy, and communications experience at the intersections of faith and politics, Elaina loves listening to people’s stories and engaging communities for social change. She has served as a gender justice advocate and community organizer for various nonprofits and campaigns, including Sojourners, Women’s Action for New Directions, and Obama for America.
Elaina received her bachelor's degree from Capital University in Columbus, OH. She holds a master's degree in both Theological Studies and International Peace & Conflict Resolution from Wesley Theological Seminary and American University, respectively. Elaina hails from Chillicothe, OH, and adores her wild and wonderful family.
Rev. Richard Venus
Rev. Venus is a Unitarian Universalist Minister of the First Universalist Church in New Madison, Ohio. His ministry began while attending Union Theological Seminary and serving in New York’s Riverside Church where he worked for three years with Puerto Rican youth living in the Harlem housing projects. He then served United Methodist churches in Detroit, Southfield, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. From there, he earned an Masters of Arts in Journalism from the University of Michigan and an Masters of Arts in Counseling and Guidance from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. He then served Unitarian Universalist churches in Jackson, Michigan, and Dayton, Ohio.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith
Rev. Dr. Smith is the pastor and president of “Crazy Faith Ministries,” a worshiping community at Summit United Methodist Church. She served as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio for more than twenty years. Prior to that, Rev. Dr. Smith served at Trinity UCC in Chicago with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. She is an author and musician residing in the Columbus, Ohio area. Her blog appears regularly in the Huffington Post.
Megan M. Hunter, Esq.
Ms. Hunter serves as a resident attorney at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from Vermont Law School in 2014, where she served as chair of their chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. During that time, she brought Dr. Katharine Morrison of Buffalo Women’s Service (a woman who opened a birthing center in her abortion clinic) to speak at their annual Roe v. Wade Anniversary Dinner.
Ms. Hunter is a licensed attorney in New York and Ohio, and will continue her work in the Buckeye state with legal issues at the intersection of environmental and reproductive justice. She is a proud pro-choice Catholic.
Rev. Dr. Rita Root
Rev. Dr. Root serves as the Associations General Minister for the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations. Prior to her accepting this call, she served as the Interim Conference Minister in the New York Conference and as the Interim Association Minister of the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference. She has served in the local parish in urban, suburban and rural settings as well as at a campus ministry at a state university.
Rev. Dr. Root graduated summa cum laude from Minnesota State-Mankato with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Religious Studies. Later, she received her Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago and her Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary.
Bishop Judith Craig (ret.)
Born in Lexington, Missouri, Bishop Craig earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Jewell College, as well as a Master of Religious Education degree from Eden Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. She conducted postgraduate studies on the religious education of adults at Union and Teachers College, Columbia University. Before becoming bishop, she served in roles from youth director to parish pastor for congregations in Missouri, Connecticut and the Cleveland, Ohio area.
Elected to the episcopacy of the United Methodist Church in 1984, Bishop Craig led conferences in the Michigan and Ohio West areas for eight years each. She made history in 1996 as the first woman to deliver the traditional Episcopal Address opening the United Methodist Church’s quadrennial General Conference. Bishop Craig’s contributions to her church and her world have been widely recognized. Four colleges and universities have presented her with honorary doctorate degrees, and in 2000, a home for orphans near Monrovia, Liberia, was christened the Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village.
Rev. Cheri Holdridge
Rev. Holdridge is an ordained United Methodist minister and the founding pastor of The Village Church. The Village is a partnership of the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ, located in Toledo, Ohio. Cheri is a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and serves on the Advocate Council for national RCRC. She is a former Board member of Equality Ohio and Equality Toledo.