Our Staff

rev. DR. joshua synder


Rev. Josh Snyder is celebrating 20 years as a UU Minister.  He has served three congregations in that time: Second Unitarian Church of Omaha Nebraska, First Unitarian Church of Wilmington Delaware, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio Texas.  This is Rev. Josh's first experience doing contract ministry and he is looking forward to the experience. 

Rev. Josh grew up in a small town in southeast Michigan, and is a Michigander through and through. He attended the University of Michigan and Meadville Lombard Theological School where he received a Doctor of Ministry degree. Rev. Josh identifies as a UU Buddhist, having practiced Zen for over 20 years. He lived in Tokyo for a “gap” year studying Buddhism with Rissho Kosei-kai.

Rev. Josh just finished a year sabbatical focusing on the daily practices of ministry.  His favorite thing to do in ministry is connecting with people to accomplish a seemingly impossible goal.  Whether it is social justice oriented or a project within the congregation, he likes that feeling of accomplishment and seeing people celebrate being in community together.  Preaching and teaching are the two things he loves to do most in church.

While these are unusual circumstances to be doing ministry, life together in community goes on.  Spiritual needs don’t stop, and are magnified when we cannot be together in person.  Rev. Josh will be working with the Board to come up with some specific areas of church life we will focus on in the next year, but there is one focus he can guarantee: you!  If you need him, please don’t hesitate to call on him.  Rev. Josh looks forward to getting to know all of you, serving the UU Congregation of the Hudson Valley, and strengthening our Unitarian Universalist faith and tradition together.


JAne Podell

Director of Lifespan

Faith Development

Jane Podell has served our congregation as Director of Religious Education (DRE) for the past 7 years.  Before that, she served as DRE at the UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie for 17 years. In addition to working half-time at UUCHV, she also holds part-time positions at the UU Congregation of the Catskills in Kingston as "Youth and Young Families Coordinator"; at Vassar College as the weekend concerts supervisor; and at Cappella Festiva, a community choir in Dutchess County, as Administrator.  Jane has been a UU for 25 years and says that Unitarian Universalism has been the center of her life. She adds, "There is little separation from what I do and who I am." Her position as DRE calls her to minister to children of all ages as they engage in spiritual seeking and discover their own path, always with a sense of wonder.

Rita Ruotolo


Rita has been UUCHV’s administrator since 2006 and handles a lot of the behind the scenes work that is essential to our congregations success.

Giocille Shaw


Giocille Shaw has been a member of the musical staff of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Hudson Valley since 2014. She also teaches in  the Ossining Union Free School District, the Steinhart School of New York University, and The Cortlandt School of Performing Arts. She is a staff musician at Theater O and St. Ann's Church in Ossining, and is the founder of Ossining Sings!, an ensemble devoted to building community through song. 


Our 2021-2022 Board of Trustees


Sheri Brown, President


Nora Mulligan, Vice President


Jim Russell, Secretary


Monica Dietrich, Treasurer


Susi Dugaw

Lynda Karanikolas

Gunnel Rydstrom

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The Leadership Development Team



Our Committee Chairs



Susi Dugaw


Virginia (Ginny) Stillman


Michael Schwartz


Anne Pearl, co-Chair

Kathy Williams, co-Chair



Chris Oliver, co-Chair

Betsy Tomic, co-Chair


April Stritmater