Rev. Tim Kutzmark (He/Him)

Rev. Tim Kutzmark, Ministertkutzmark@uufresno.org

The Reverend Tim Kutzmark is a graduate of the Divinity School at Harvard University, where he received the prestigious Hopkins Shareholder Award for academic and ministerial accomplishment. He previously served congregations in Virginia and Massachusetts, where he had a special emphasis on ministry to those with no church affiliation who were looking for a welcoming spiritual home. Passionate about social justice, Tim has been involved in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, policing reform, Climate Change action, immigration reform, gun control, LGBTQ+ rights, living wage, death with dignity, and other progressive stands. He is a member of the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board, which leads a national effort to increase public awareness of the moral basis for advocating for reproductive health, including safe and easy access to abortion. He is also a proud supporter of ACE, (The Association of Clovis Educators) and their efforts to unionize Clovis Unified School District educators. Tim was a recipient of a 2020 “Way of Peace” Award from the Fresno Center for Nonviolence for his work coordinating a series of Friday night vigils for “Allies of the Black Lives Matter Movement” in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many other unarmed black citizens killed by law enforcement. He is a certified instructor of Kundalini Yoga, teaches several different forms of meditation and spiritual practice, and leads spiritual reflection groups and retreats. A world traveler, Tim has spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa.

Mariah Mewborn, Administration and Facilities Manageroffice@uufresno.org

Mariah was born in Thousand Oaks, California. Daughter of Karen & Eugene Mewborn, she has been a leader from an early age, serving on the student council board for Simi Valley, California. Mariah has always been in sports & activities, track & field, softball, soccer, theatre, volleyball, and her personal favorite, basketball. Dedicating her earlier years to sports helped Mariah find her first passion: sports journalism. Sports opened a lot of opportunities for Mariah, including offering her the chance to travel to most states in the U.S. Sports also opened the door to college at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she graduated with her BA, majoring in Mass Communication and minoring in Business.

Mariah has made many YouTube blogs and has been featured on Sirius XM 142 Belle Aire Radio several times. Wanting to be closer to family, she moved to Fresno after living in North Carolina for 7 years. Mariah loves to laugh and be surrounded by people who share the same values: helping others no matter their color, shape, or size; spreading love everywhere you go; and trying to make as many places as possible BETTER than when you arrived.

Mariah Mewborn (She/Her)

Karen Urrutia-Polnitz (She/Her)

Karen Urrutia Polnitz, Director of Lifelong Learningdll@uufresno.org

Karen is a Latina writer, organizer, and educator. She is a grateful wife and mother and is proud to have discovered that she is also a Unitarian Universalist after joining the UU Church of Fresno about 5 years ago. A Bay Area transplant, Karen has been a Central Valley resident off and on for the past 20 years. After returning from Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Theater-Playwriting, Karen began her formal work as an educator teaching dance and theater to local youth in Coarsegold. She began substitute teaching in 2015 and in 2016, started working on her Single Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on social justice, multiculturalism, and action research. Karen taught High School Spanish, Dance, and Women’s Alliance at Minarets High School and Edison High School before leaving to join the UU team in 2022. Karen is honored to be part of the team at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, a community that has been a source of love and support for her and family. When she’s not exploring spirituality and working for justice with the church, Karen can be found at home with her family and pets or hitting the trails with her hiking group.

Eva Viotto, Sunday Childrens Program Coordinator

Eva has called Fresno her home for the past 16 years after college and collegiate sports brought her here. She has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. She worked at Community Regional Medical Center for six years in the Leon S. Peters Rehabilitation department. Eva left the workforce for a season to focus on homeschooling her two children, Timothy and Madison. She has been fully immersed and active in the homeschool community and strongly advocates for Self-Directed Education - focusing on the strengths and gifts of the youth and their passion and interest to guide them through their education experience. She has also stayed active in the health and fitness world and has been a Personal Trainer for the past 12 years, with some breaks to focus on her children. She also taught group fitness classes at the Student Recreation Center at CSU Fresno where she was a certified instructor focusing on Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga. Eva is the grateful owner of Indigo & Sage Holistic Circle, where she offers physical, emotional, mental and spiritual guidance as a Soul Coach. She also works at B-Alive Vitamins where she enjoys sharing her passion for holistic practices and alternative medicine. 

 

Eva has been a part of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno since 2015 and has served gratefully on several Teams including: the Vision Team, the Worship Associate Team, the Leadership Development Team, Spirit School Team and Religious Exploration Director Search Team. Eva’s hobbies include her indoor plants, gardening, writing, reading, organizing, riding her bike and roller-skating. She also enjoys the company of her dog Jade, her cats Petunia Basil and Sage and her flock of chickens and ducks.

Eva Viotto (She/Her)

Cecily Callahan (She/Her)

Cecily Callahan, Coordinator of Congregational Lifemsc@uufresno.org

Cecily Callahan is a Fresno County native. After graduating high school, she attended Fresno City College and then went on to receive her BA in Theater Arts from Fresno State. Some of her interests include reading, social media, house plant care, TV, people, and any cause that champions the underdog, especially the un-housed community of Fresno. Cecily participated in the Pink House program in 2012/13 where she received an informal but in-depth education on living in intentional community. She also volunteered for Evangel Home, a faith-based shelter for women and children during her time at the Pink House and eventually she ended up on staff as a house manager. There she got first-hand experience in advocating for some of the un-housed women and children of Fresno. Cecily has also volunteered as a CASA of Fresno County, advocating for multiple children in the child dependency court system. 

In 2022, Cecily founded Ash Tree Green Burial, a nonprofit organization with the goal of creating a green burial cemetery for Fresno County. However, her most rewarding job is being a mother.

Daneillie Davis, Administrative Assistantaa@uufresno.org

Daneillie (pronounced Danielle), says she has no idea why they spelled her name like that back in Sikeston, Missouri, her birth town. Daneillie has an AS Degree in Pharmacology, but she has a background as a Financial Aid Advisor, packaging awards for college students. Daneillie has three sons, Elijah, Zayd, and Tony, who she says take up more money than time! In her spare time she loves to watch movies and tap dance!

Daneillie Davis (She/Her)

Kiran Hayer (She/Her)

Kiran Hayer, Accountantaccountant@uufresno.org

Kiran was born in India and moved to the United States when she was 5 years old. Although she grew up in San Jose, she has lived in Fresno for almost 17 years. She graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Kiran has dedicated her career to working in the non-profit community because of her passion to help others. She comes to us from Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, where she has over 15 years of experience working with many different programs. In her personal life, Kiran enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.

Lorenzo Bassman, Music Director

Music Director Lorenzo Bassman received his A.B. Degree in music from Duke University, after which he received a Diploma and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. He has performed with many of today’s leading classical musicians. Lorenzo and his family moved to Fresno in 1997 and joined our church in 2000. Lorenzo quickly became active in our music program, and in 2006 assumed the Music Director position. He has brought many innovations to the program, broadening its scope to include music of many genres. He has arranged music for adult and youth instrumental and vocal ensembles, has established a versatile church band, Stolen Thunder, and has taken our music program to the greater Fresno community, performing at numerous peace community events.

Lorenzo Bassman (He/Him)

Veronica Baker (She/Her)

Veronica Baker, Religious Exploration Assistant

Veronica was born in Washington D.C. and moved to Fresno when she was 8 years old. She has been a part of the UU Church of Fresno since age 11. She graduated from Edison High School, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, and is starting a MLiS in the fall. She has been involved in RE with UUCF for a decade, starting as a counselor with Chalice Camp and eventually had the honor of becoming camp Co-Director. She is excited to continue working with youth in her current role. 

Anjali Hayer, Religious Exploration Assistant

Anjali is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Fresno State University. After graduating, she hopes to obtain a job working with aircrafts or with NASA. In her free time, Anjali likes to write, swim, and read. She has two younger siblings, a 16 year old sister and a 12 year old brother. 

Anjali Hayer (She/Her)

Desmond McCollum (He/Him)

Desmond McCollum, Religious Exploration Assistant

Desmond received his B.A. from San Jose State University in 1994. While pursuing a music career, he worked for fourteen years with adults with disabilities.  He and his wife and two children moved to the Central Valley to be closer to his parents.  Working with people, he has learned many useful skills, such as the ability to listen to what others say, stay professional, and problem-solve with clients and students.  He is grateful to be part of the UU Church of Fresno and to work in an environment that supports individuality, respect, and love.

Addison Ellis, Sexton

Addison was born and raised in Clovis with a fostered love of creating, reading, and writing. He attended Fresno State and first graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as an undergraduate student in 2017 and then once more as a graduate student with distinction from its Master of Fine Arts program in 2020.

Addison Ellis (He/Him)

Mark Royce (He/Him)

Mark Royce, Sound Technician

Mark brings with him over 40 years of professional media production experience. He is skilled in all aspects of audio production from studio recording to broadcast production and live event engineering. His video production experience includes church and university content creation from camera operation to studio editing and rendering. He’s a strong media and communications technician with a diverse collection of professional experiences: audio and video editing, broadcast and podcast production, studio design, concert touring, and live event technical production.


Mark is happily married for 41 years and has two daughters that bring him joy and life fulfillment.

Ian Ellis, Video Technician

Ian Ellis was born and raised in the Central Valley and currently resides in Clovis. He is a senior attending Fresno State, focusing on getting his bachelor’s degree in multimedia, production, communications and journalism. Ian operates the new three-camera video system in the sanctuary and also projects all the images seen on the screens in our Alluvial Avenue Sanctuary and on the livestream broadcast to our Virtual Sanctuary.

Ian Ellis (He/Him)

David Firth (He/Him)

David Firth, Sunday Morning Sexton

David Firth has been the sexton of our church for 24 years. It is David’s job to prepare the church for the many events that take place throughout the year, plus he oversees the housekeeping and maintenance of our physical campus. David also assists with the sound system and taping of our Sunday sermons for our website.

Betty Pingel, Minister Emerita

Betty Pingle, Minister Emerita, served for eleven years and worked with the congregation to build a more spiritually contemplative style of Sunday Service. She introduced more singing and a meditation time. She included children in the service with a story for all ages. Together, Rev. Pingel and the congregation built a more solid organizational structure. After retirement, Betty moved to Colorado to be with her family. Rev. Betty Pingle passed into the mysteries of death in 2023.